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Stan and June: To Have and Hold for 55 Years! - Minneapolia Star Tribune

 June and Stan 2007

(Photo of June and Stan  -  Minneapolis Star-Tribune Article - 2007)

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The Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper has a series called the “Duets.” This series is published quarterly as a front page story in the “Source” Section of the paper. The Star-Tribune describes this feature as: “Duets” and is an occasional feature that celebrates unique relationships between two people, related or not. – Portraits in Words and Pictures.” The feature is written by Gail Rosenblum with pictures by Jim Gehrz.

June and our relationship apparently came to the attention of Ms. Rosenblum as the result of tributes that I had previously published to June in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Ms. Rosenblum called me one day and asked if they could meet with me to do an article about June and I for the “Duets” Feature. They also requested permission to take a pictures of June and I. Because of June’s advanced Alzheimer’s, I was initially apprehensive about a photo of June in her current condition at that time. I did not want her portrayed in a negative manner by such a photo. They promised that any photography of June would be sensitive and in good taste. They were true to their word.

The result was a full page article entitled: “Duets Entering the Winter of Life”, published in the 24 November 2007th  edition of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper.

The text of the story as it appears in the Minneapolis Star - Tribune newspaper feature article reads:

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  “Stan and June:

To Have and to Hold for 55 Years”

 “Most days at 12:15 PM Stanton Berg 79, guides his wife’s rolling recliner into the chapel of the Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck in New Brighton for reflection and prayers.  Gently he turns June 80, east towards the largest stained glass window, the one with the heart, dedicated to her: “In honor and memory of June K. Berg, loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend.” Stan is remembering for both of then now. Their song was “Tennessee Waltz.” Their favorite city London. During eight trips there they never lost their giddy delight that two farm kids raised during the Great Depression would know such abundance in their lifetime.

June a home maker taught her forensic scientist husband how to navigate the underground and double decker buses. They have four children, 10 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren. Her decline was slow, giving Stan time to steady himself as she descended into a world he could not reach. He’s no longer bitter towards God or couples who laugh as they share a restaurant meal. Now all he feels is gratitude. He is by her side 30 hours a week. At home he prepares “Lots of ham sandwiches” and pours himself into a letter writing campaign decrying the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He saves his sweetest words for her. “If you travel into life’s sunset before me” he writes to June, “walk slowly – wait up – watch for me.”

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The author of the Star-Tribune article wrote to me immediately following the publication:

“Could you please send me your mailing address?...I have been bombarded by people calling and emailing me about your story, So many peoples hearts go out to you. Thought you’d like to see a few letters that came in. Your willingness to share your story touched so many people.  Regards!  Gail.”

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Below is a link to my copy of the actual page as it appeared when published:

Star - Tribune Page.

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Reader's Comments

Wendy Vineall  - Vernon, New York -(7 May 2014): "lWhat a beautiful story Stanton!!! What amazing love!!!!! I can only dream to find that kind of love and commitment! God bless you." 

Mary Berneche  - Roseville, Minnesota - (7 May 2014): "Stan what a beautiful picture. You are still so devoted to June. May we all be so lucky to have one care for us so much."

Anne Dinnelly - Belfast, United Kingdom - (24 June 2016): "That a was lovely Stan. June was a wonderful woman and so special to you  it was lovely to read what it said in the paper ."

Jackie Irving - Liverpool, United Kingdom - (24 June 2016): "I love to see this picture ...it moves me every time ...its lovely Stan '..I've just read the tribute on June's website ...its wonderful ..55 years together ...such a long time....you should rest a while too Stan and keep up your strength and look after your health....it's so good to read your post ...and you know I can actually see the words now...I feel very strongly that your prayers have worked and it's bringing me much joy ...thank you Stan and God bless."

Patricia Speck - Cardiff, United Kingdom - (24 June 2016): "What a lovely tribute Stan...your life with June was truly blessed and your memories so sweet and tender are blessing your days on earth until you meet again. Thank you so much for blessing us with your writings."

Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacaogdoches, Texas - (25 June 2016):"I would have re-titled it Hand in Hand for Time and All Eternity.  Beautifully written tribute to your love."

John Stevens  - Twin Falls, Idaho - (25 June 2016): "Beautifully written. The last line got me. I play guitar every Tue at Kaufman Care Center. Tennessee Waltz is requested nearly every time. And Redwing every time. A gentleman 85, in a wheel chair, gets to play his mandolin. High Lite of his week. We mesh well together. He played in the Grand Ole Oprey way back. Thanks Stan. "  

 

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 June's Passing

June 1994

After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on:

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"