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Life Story / Obituary
Everyone who knew June Masiewicz would agree that there was no one like her. She was kind and compassionate with a generous spirit that was more than willing to help others in any way she could. June was a loving and devoted wife and mother, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother to her amazing grandsons. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with a quiet strength and a graceful courage that were so inspiring. With faith as a cornerstone in her life, June made a significant impact in the hearts and lives of those too numerous to count. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were deeply entrenched in the throes of WWII. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods while manufacturing was focused on supporting the war effort. There was dancing in the streets with the war’s end in 1945, and America began making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. It was just prior to this historic day in 1945 when Bill and Bernice (Schab) Mooney were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as the beauty of spring unfolded in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named June Marie drew her first breath. She was one of two children to be raised in their home at 1114 Quarry Street, NW, as she was joined in the Mooney family by her sister, Patricia.
In many ways June was a young girl of her generation. Her father worked in a local factory while her mother was a homemaker. June was a bit of a tom-boy who enjoyed fishing, watching car racing, and also keeping up with other sports, but she did also enjoy baking. She looked forward to big Christmas Eve parties at Grandma Mooney’s and then there was midnight mass at St. Adalberts where they were members. As a student June attended St. Peter and Paul and then went on to Catholic Central High School. She fell in love with the music from this era and always enjoyed Motown, Sinatra, and other singers from this magical time.
Not to be forgotten during June's years in high school was her introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was Donald Masiewicz, and they began dating. After five years together, June and Don were married. The newlyweds initially settled into an apartment on the Northwest side, but they eventually purchased a home on the Southeast side. Don worked for Lipton Tea, and they also purchased Our Tavern on Broadway, NW. Together they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Kimberly, who was born in 1968. In addition to caring for her home and family, June touched so many others in a special way. She student taught children with special needs at St. Paul the Apostle. June was an amazing cook, especially when it came to Polish food, and she was very talented with home decorating as well. She also put these skills to good use while designing all the displays at Steketee’s downtown for a time.
There was never anything that was more near and dear to June’s heart than being with her family. During Kim’s grade school years they were members of St. Paul the Apostle. June was involved in all their fundraisers, paper drives, bingo, and supporting cheerleading activities. Within her community she also belonged to the Elks. As parents, both June and Don were giving, caring, loving parents, and although June was strict at times she was consistent in her expectations. Every year the family went to Niagara Falls, Cedar Point, and other destinations. usually to see family and friends. When they went out to eat, June’s favorite restaurant was the Little Mexico Café.
Later in life June was over the moon excited to become a grandmother, and it was easy to see that she adored her grandsons, Ryan and Zack. They made her life complete, and it has been said that June was the best grandmother anyone could ask for. June took care of them, and they loved her so much. It was very difficult for June and her loved ones when she was diagnosed with cancer just this past fall. Although it was a sudden development, she never once gave up or felt sorry for herself in any way.
Described as one of the most honest, caring, and giving people around, there was no one who met June Masiewicz and left unchanged. She was generous with both her time and her resources to others in whatever way she could, exemplifying the faith that she held near and dear to her heart. June was the type of person who could always find the positive side in everything no matter what came her way. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
MASIEWICZ- Mrs. June M. Masiewicz aged 71, of Grand Rapids, passed away on January 7, 2017 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald. June is survived by her loving daughter, Kimberly Walker; her most cherished possessions: her grandsons, Ryan and Zachary Walker; sister, Patricia Duba; many nieces, nephews, faithful friends and loyal patrons. June had an exceptional way of making you feel special and always had time to lend an ear. She was a long-time owner of Our Tavern. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Sunday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM, with a vigil at 7:30, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes 2120 Lake Michigan Dr N.W. Contributions in her memory may be made to West Michigan Humane Society. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read June’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.