Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother
June's Family - Children - Grandchildren - Life's End
- Published on Friday, 30 May 2008 19:20
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
(June, the "Queen of my Heart" - Mother's Day 1994)
In considering all of June's lifetime activities, including her many travel adventures, I am sure June would look on her activities as a Mother and as a Grandmother as the best periods of her life.
June's (and Stan's) Four (4) Children.
David Michael "Dave" (9/1/1947 - 10/18/2012)
Died of Lymph Node-Lung Cancer, age 65.
Daniel Lee "Dan" (3/31/1949)
Susan Ellen "Sue" (9/2/1953) *
Julie Lynn "Jule" (9/3/1958)
The birth of June's four children were all special and joyous occasions in her life. and all occupied a special loving chamber in her heart.
* Susan was named after her Grandma Ellen F. (Nedland) Sillbauagh.
(Photo on right above: - the Berg family at Christmas time in December 1994. (L-R): Grandma Ellen, Daniel, Susan, Julie, Stan, June and David.)
June's (and Stan's) Ten (10) Grandchildren
David's children, Kristen "Kris" Marie (8/9/1967), Gretchen "Gretch" Kaye (11/27/1971), Steven "Steve" Oneal (6/15/1974) and Jordan "Jordo" MacKenzie (5/23/1984).
Daniel's children, Allison Leigh (2/13/1980), Michael "Mike" Curtis (8/25/1981) and Amanda Marie (4/10/1982).
Julie's children, Erik Oneal (11/13/1978) and Emily "Em" Rose (12/8/1985).
Susan's son Daniel "Spike" Morgan (7/27/1988).
June's (and Stan's) Ten (10) Great Grandchildren
Andrea "Andi" Jean (12/19/1988) and Brianna "Bri" Holly (2/14/1992) both daughters of Kristen.
Marijane Antoinette (3/10/99) is the daughter of Erik.
** seven (7) of the great grandchildren were born after Alzheimer's had taken over or ended June's life. These seven great grandchildren will never know their very special great grandmother. It is my hope that they and the other grandchildren will read about June's life in this 31 chapter edition of "Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother" as well as the many stories to be found on June's website.
Owen Oneal was born (Eriks's son) on 5 August 2006. Katrina Ann was born (Eriks's daughter) on 18 January 2008 and *June Marie (Erik's daughter) was born on 1 August 2012.
*It is no secret that I had been disappointed over the years when none of the first 11 of the 12 granddaughters and great granddaughters were named after or in honor of their very special grandmother June. I was more that a little pleased to see this honor finally bestowed on grandma June when her 12th granddaughter was so named.
Twin girls Ileana Charlotte and Sophie Olivia were born on (29 April 2010) as daughters of grandson Steven.
Twin boys Devin Jessie and Brandon Lee were born on (15 September 2011) as sons of granddaughter Allison.
June's (and Stan's) One (1) Great-Great Grandson
On January 12th, 2014 a great-great Grandson Gage Todd Robert Palmetier was born to Great Granddaughter Brianna Holly Zick at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis.
Grandchildren were always a very special joy in June's life.
When it came to requests on June's time by her grandchildren, her philosophy was always and simply stated, "there is always time" and its always "on the way" even though it might be in the opposite geographical direction. With her grandchildren, "No" has never been a part of her vocabulary. I used to tease June that the grandchildren could be burning the house down and Grandma June would say "that's alright as long as they are having fun!"
June frequently referred to one or the other of the grandchildren as "my lamb chops" or "my lamby" The grandchildren in turn also have pet names for their Grandma June. "Grammy" and "Grams" are the most common. Gretchen calls her Grandma June "Grammy Cakes".
June is a Grandma who cried over the troubles of her children and grandchildren on one hand and would swell with pride over their accomplishments on the other. These few sentences in the story of June's life cannot possibly convey an understanding of the love that June had in her heart for all of her children and grandchildren.
I think that Gretchen speaks for all the grandchildren when she describes her Grandma June:
"Visiting Grandma June was like going to Disney Land. We always had so much fun together. Laughing and being silly. She would connect the garden hose from the laundry room and fill the wading pool so we would have nice warm water to play in. We would bake cookies, play games, shop, and go to the movies and even Valley Fair. She did everything to make us happy. I loved how she used to tuck me in at night and pray with me at bed time. She would read to me while I was all cozy in bed. She always made me feel very special and very loved. What an incredible Grandma.”
June kept a framed quotation in her bedroom. It was a gift. Unfortunately, I do not have a record of the identity of the giver. I am sure that I have read it over a hundred times. I never tire of reading it, reflecting on it and thinking of people who have impacted my life. It never fails to bring on an emotional tug at my heart. I am sure that when you read it over and reflect on it, you will agree that June is one of the persons who has left footprints on your heart as she has on mine.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go…
Some people stay awhile and leave footprints on our heart and we are never the same."
(1983 – Yours, Mine & Ours.)
Happy 75th birthday to a mother, a grandmother, my wife, my love and my best friend!
(The above dedication - wish was made at the time that this booklet was published on June's 75th birthday in 2002. The year 2002 was also the year of June and my 50th wedding anniversary.)
The above picture of June and me was taken during our 50th wedding anniversary celebration at our daughter Julie's home. June was in her 6th year of Alzheimer's but was still doing very well and we were traveling extensively to forensic science conferences around the United States. In those early years of the disease it was mostly a matter of accomodating June's loss of short term memory.
The Last Years
June first noted her short term memory problems in 1997 and discussed them with her doctor of Geriatrics during her annual physical examination in December 1997. He told June that what she was experiencing was not normal for her age. He made and appointment for June to have a series of tests at the University of Minnesota. Their report in late January of 1998 indicated a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's disease with severe short term memory losses...our life would never be the same. June managed to keep the disease at bay and remained in early stages of the disease through the year 2002. June did very well during the period of years from 1998-2002. We were very active and did the many things we had previously put off doing...we did much traveling including a final goodbye trip to London during the Sherlock Holmes Festival in 1999. We literally completed all items on our "Bucket" list.
In the following years of 2003 and 2004, Alzheimer's began to gradually take control of June's life with personality and related changes. In March of 2005, very little of the June of old remained and it was necessary to place June in an Alzheimer's facility to assist with her care. Physical changes were rapidly taking place in addition to the changes in her mind and mentality.
My days with June slowly evolved into ones of arrival at the nursing home at 9 AM, being with June for the facility activities programs, feeding June her noon brunch, spending time with June in the Holy Spirit Chapel, feeding June an afternoon snack, and just being with June until late afternoon. I would leave for the day after 5 PM to return to our house for the evening - a house no longer a home without June.
Our three children who lived in close proximity (David, Daniel and Julie) were scheduled to visit June on specific weekly days. It was our goal to have someone from our family on site for some period of time every day, to monitor June's care and provide a loving atmosphere and presence for her.
June had lost her ability to walk in early 2006 and was in a wheel chair for her remaining days. June had difficulty eating with swallowing problems. Her food was pureed. the last two years were one's in which June was largely non-responsive and would sit with her eyes closed for most of the day. Those were very sad and difficult days!
June passed on from Aspiration Pneumonia, a common cause of death in Alzheimer's, on 23 October 2008 after a long 12 year journey into the shadows of this terrible disease.
(June and Stan - the Holy Spirit Chapel - Benedictine Health Care Center)
( Photo - Jim Gehrz October 2007)
Marion Reinartz - Cologne, Germany - (1 February 2013): "wunderbar ... wonderful ... she had good periods, the ones as a mother and grandmother where the best ones, I think so, too ..."
Gilda Yen Torino - Manila, Phillipines - (1 February 2013): "Thank you so much for sharing your lovely family picture my friend. Hope you are keeping well so as the whole family."
Lora Rushing Robinson - Benton, Louisiana - (1 February 2013): "Everyone cares, thank you so much for sharing,what a beautiful family....love you ...and Ms.June, "
Sally Gore - Mason, Ohio - (1 February 2013): "How wonderful..."
Heather Pearson - London, United Kingdom - (1 February 2013): "Wonderful, Stanton!"
Janice Kennedy - Coon Rapids, Minnesota - (1 February 2013): "I've always loved this picture. (Family)"
Beth Ann Doucette - Lino Lakes, Minnesota - (1 February 2013): "Very nice,...Thank you for sharing."
Bernadette Barbour - (1 February 2013): "What a beautiful family, what a legacy to you and June!"
Jacqueline Crowther - Manchester, United Kingdom - (2 February 2013): "So sweet... thanks for sharing."
Terry Shepherd - Warsaw, Indiana - (3 October 2013):"I admire your love for your wife."
June passed away on 23 October 2008 from the complications of Alzheimer's disease (aspiration pneumonia) after a long exhausting journey of almost 11 years . June was just a few days short of her 81st birthday on 8 November 2008. June will always be the love and light of my life. No one else will ever replace her!
A review of June's life and the funeral arrangements can be seen on this website . An article "June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam" appears on the top blue navigation strip under the label: "In Memoriam". For a short cut to that article,
Notes: Readers are encouraged to read/review the other chapter's (31 chapters) in this story of June K. Berg's life. (Reminiscences of a Traveling Grandmother) Each chapter is intended to be a capsule view of a small segment of June's life and travels'.
It is also intended to be a small segment of history from a time period of World War II and the periods both pre and post World War II. You will find the history is accurate and continues to be updated as new records and photographs become available.
June, a very humble person would never consider her life worthy of a story. To me June has been a lady for "All Seasons". A very unique, bright and highly principled Christian lady. While June like everyone, has likes and dislikes, I have never found her to be uninterested or bored with any thing that life has presented her.
June was well traveled. She traveled to Europe eleven (11) times and made at least 100 trips in and around the United States. June would be included in Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation."
**Updated 31 January 2013.