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Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother

Chapter: 31 - June's Family - Children - Grandchildren - Life's End

 

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"CHAPTER 31."

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 "JUNE'S FAMILY - CHILDREN - GRANDCHILDREN - LIFE'S END"

June 1994

(June - Mother's Day 1994)

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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.

Grandchildren were always a special Joy in June's life. When it came to requests on June's time by her grandchildren, her philosophy was always simply stated: "There is Always Time ' and "It's on the Way" even though it might be in the opposite geographical direction.

With June's grandchildren, "NO" was never a part of her vocabulary. Stan used to tease June telling her that the grandchildren could be burning the house down and June would say: "That's alright as long as they are having fun!"

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JUNE'S (and Stan's) FOUR (4) CHILDREN

Berg Family Christmas

 (Christmas Time - December 1994)

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David Michael "Dave" (9/1/1947 - 10/18/2012) - Top row  right.

     (David  Died of Lymph Node-Lung Cancer, age 65.)

Daniel Lee "Dan" (3/31/1949) - Top Row - Far left.

Susan Ellen "Sue" (9/2/1953)  - Bottom row - Second from left

Julie Lynn "Jule" (9/3/1958) - Bottom row - Second from  right

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Note: June is on the Far Right of the second and bottom row, Stan is in the Center of the Top Row 

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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.

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* Susan was named after her Grandma "Ellen" F. (Nedland) Silbaugh.

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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).

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JUNE'S and STAN'S TWELVE (12) GREAT GRANDCHILDREN

Great Grand Daughters Andrea "Andi" Jean (12/19/1988) and Brianna "Bri" Holly (2/14/1992). Both are daughters of Grand Daughter Kristen.

Great Grand Daughter Marijane Antoinette (3/10/99) is the daughter of Grandson Erik.

Great Grand-Daughter "Adeline" (1/3/2013) and Great Grandson "Luke" (4/8/2015), are both children of Grandson Jordan M. Berg.

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Nine (9) of the great grandchildren were born after Alzheimer's had taken over or ended June's life. These nine 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.

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Owen Oneal was born (Erik's son) on 5 August 2006. Katrina Ann was born (Erik's daughter) on 18 January 2008 and *June Marie (Erik's daughter) was born on 1 August 2012.

*It is no secret that Stan 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. Stan was more that a little pleased to see this honor finally bestowed on grandma June when her 12th granddaughter (Erik's daughter) 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.

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JUNE'S and STAN'S ONE (1) GREAT-GREAT GRANDSON

A Great-Great Grandson, Gage Todd Robert Zick, was born (1/12/2014) to Great Granddaughter Brianna Holly Zick, at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis

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GRAND CHILDREN - A GRAND TOTAL - ALL - TABULATION - 23

1. Total Grand Childen is 10

2. Total Great Grandchildren is 12

3. Total Great, Great  Grandchildren is 1

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(Only Available Photo of June's, Children, and Many of the Grandchildren) 

The First Four Photos on the top row are Stan and June's Children arranged in birth age order with the oldest David, appearing first...Similar age order is followed or continued with the Grand Children appearing in the following and remaining photos.

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As Stan indicated earlier, the grandchildren were always a very special joy in June's life.

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.

 Stan feels that Gretchen speaks for all the grandchildren when she describes her Grandma June:

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"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. 

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Gretchen and June

(Gretchen and June in the Family Double Bed - Ca. 1974)

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June kept a framed quotation in her bedroom. It was a gift. Unfortunately,  there is no record of the identity of the giver. Stan is sure that he has read it over a hundred times. Stan never tires of reading it, reflecting on it and thinking of people who have impacted his life. It never fails to bring on an emotional tug at his heart. Stan is 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 Stan's.

"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.)

Stan  

 

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June and Stan 50th Anniversary

(June and Stan's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party)

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The above picture of June and Stan was taken during their 50th wedding anniversary (2002) celebration at their daughter Julie's home. June was in her 6th year of Alzheimer's but was still doing very well and they 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.

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"JUNE'S ALZHEIMER'S - 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.

June and Stan's 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. While June and Stan were still very active forensically but started doing the many things they had previously put off doing...June and Stan did much traveling including a final goodbye trip to London during the Sherlock Holmes Festival in 1999. They literally completed all the items on their "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.

Stan's 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. Stan would leave for the day after 5 PM to return to their house for the evening - a house was no longer a  home without June. 

Their three children who lived in close proximity (David, Daniel and Julie) were scheduled to visit June on specific weekly days. It was Stan's goal to have someone from the 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. It would take Stan 1.5 hours to feed June her meal...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 almost 12 year journey into the shadows of this terrible disease.

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(June - Stan - Holy Spirit Chapel - Benedictine Health Care Center, 2007)

 

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 June's Passing

June 1994

June passed away on 23 October 2008 from the complications of Alzheimer's disease (aspiration pneumonia) after a long exhausting journey of almost 12 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 Stan's life. No one else will ever replace her!

 

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