Life Story / Obituary
All who knew June White would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was kind, generous, and compassionate, and she lived to selflessly give to those around her. Faith was a cornerstone in June’s life, and the way she lived her life exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. She was diligent and hardworking in everything she did, but she took the time to embrace each day she was given alongside those she loved most. Although she will be deeply missed, June will never be forgotten.
The year 1929 is commonly recalled as the year that the historic crash of the stock market sent our nation and much of the world spiraling down into the depths of the Great Depression. This same year was filled with great joy for Ivan and Nettie (Krieger) Hart as they were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Loretta June on November 17, 1929, in Flint, Michigan. It has been said that her father was the one who wanted to name her Loretta, but her mother had said they would call her June. As a result, June is how she was always known. She was one of four children in her family, but sadly her sister, Doreen, passed away after a drowning accident when she was a teen. June also had two brothers, Gerald and Fred.
June’s upbringing was typical for the time. She was a pretty straight-laced kid who did what was right. June grew up attending church. She enjoyed reading and was very musical throughout her adulthood as well. June sang in the choir at school and also took part in the choral theater productions. She attended Farnum Wood School and graduated from Flint Tech. Since she took shorthand in school she worked for a store in downtown Flint after graduating.
Not to be forgotten during her years in school was June’s introduction to the young man who would prove to be her true love. His name was Delbert, “Del” White, and he also loved to sing and was in the choir. Together they participated in Youth for Christ ministries, and their relationship took root. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together June and Del were married on September 23, 1950, at Trinity United Methodist Church.
After a short honeymoon along the shores of Lake Huron the newlyweds were eager to begin their life together. They spent some time living at her grandparents’ farm and later moved to an apartment. June and her husband later built their first home together in Flushing. They built it themselves, and June even did some of the roofing. June and Del welcomed four children: Dennis, Steve, Brenda, and Lori, into their hearts and home. From the time her first child was born, June focused her time and attention on caring for her home and family. Del’s job took them to Kansas City, and while there much of their social life revolved around friends they met at church. June also spent a lot of time with her children as Del’s traveling responsibilities increased. Vacations took them back to Michigan to visit relatives.
After nine years, the White family was able to return to Michigan. They settled into a home on Robinwood Circle in Utica, which is the place they called home for the 50 years that followed. They became actively involved at Utica United Methodist Church in Sterling Heights as both she and Del sang in the choir.
June made their home such a special place. She was very patient and loving when it came to her children. Although she took care of much of the household work for a time, when her children got older June also introduced them to a few chores. June was fantastic in the kitchen when it came to both cooking and baking. She was known for her molasses cookies, missionary cake, lemon squares, and the way that she made beautiful birthday cakes that were tailored to her family members. June also made wonderful BBQ brisket that was quite a lengthy process as well as thimbleberry jam. She always made things to please those who were eating, but everyone also knew June was very frugal with portions.
One of her favorite places to make memories with her family was at the cabin in Copper Harbor, Michigan, that overlooked Lake Superior. Her mother had purchased it in 1961, and every year they would spend a couple weeks there from the time they returned to Michigan. June loved seeing the stars in the crystal clear skies at night and watching the ships passing by.
Throughout her life June was always busy. When grandchildren arrived they were thrilled and spent as much time with them as possible. June really enjoyed the little babies, and when they were older she liked reading with them and also had activities for them. She had even kept some of the toys her own children had played with. June and Del regularly prayed for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren later in life. They knew each child was special in their own way and were proud of each one of them.
June and Del were active members of their church, and their church family was also a big part of their social circle in addition to their neighbors and a few other couples. Through their church June and Del became involved with Bible Study Fellowship, Stephens Ministry, and a Prayer and Praise group. For years they enjoyed traveling with her mother, often to see relatives in Oregon or Montana. Around their 50th anniversary, June and Del decided to treat each of their children to a special vacation over the next four years. Those trips brought them to Florida, on a Disney vacation and cruise, on a Caribbean cruise, and to Sedona, Arizona. She was a gifted seamstress and made dresses for both her daughters and herself as well as character sweatshirts for her grandchildren. June enjoyed reading, often Christian novels, and working in her flower beds for as long as she was able. She and Del enjoyed watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy as well as concerts like the Gaither family.
This past February June and Del moved to Grand Rapids to be closer to family and get the extra care they needed. Rest Haven Homes was a great fit as they were able to fellowship with believers, attend hymn sings, and grow in their faith. There was never anything that was more important to June than her faith and knowing that she had passed a legacy of faith on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, June White fully embraced the days she was given. Although she was more quiet by nature and not one to show emotions openly, she had her own way of making her family know they were each uniquely loved. One never needed to wonder what June was thinking, and at times her quick wit would show her appreciation of humor. A quiet servant of the Lord she loved, her faith was the compass she used to direct her steps. June leaves behind a brilliantly colored mosaic of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
June White, age 92, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on December 1, 2021. She is survived by her husband, Delbert; children: Dennis & Joanne White, Steve & Sherry White, Brenda & Steven Lautz, Lori & Dan Celmer; 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Nora Hart; and several nieces and nephews. June was preceded in death by her parents, Ivan and Nettie Hart; sister, Doreen Hart; and brothers Gerald and Fred Hart. Cremation has taken place.