June Slater Borotz, who made the minutia of family life her vocation, died at 96 on April 26, 2018.
She was a woman of courage, patience, wisdom and modesty. She looked for the best in people and was her family's greatest cheerleader.
The world seemed smaller when she was born on June 5, 1921 in St. Paul. Full days were spent roaming along the Mississippi. Kids walked home from school for lunch. The ragman and the iceman still drove the streets using horses and carts. June loved taking weekly walks with her dad and was close to her 3 sisters and 2 brothers.
And then the Depression came with its decline of fortunes and many hardships. She often hungrily ate green apples and hoped her friend with a job would bring her a White Castle hamburger. She supported herself from age 16 on by working as a nanny and other jobs.
During WWII, June was part of the army of women who stepped up to work in positions formerly thought to be appropriate only for men. She rode the streetcar to Minnesota Mining and was at first scared of the huge, loud machine she operated. Those were fulfilling days. June enjoyed her job and spent evenings dancing with the army boys across the river at Fort Snelling.
After the war, June married John Borotz, who built her a home just a block from her birthplace. She treasured living there and loved her West Seventh and Highland Park neighborhoods. They had 4 children: Kathleen Huls (John), Richard (Char), Mary Jo Franzen (Michael) and Susan (Kevin Leveret). She worked to give her children a taste of the comforting family and neighborhood life that she experienced growing up.
She was so excited to have 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild. She loved them deeply. She had a thread of adventurism that she displayed as she scrambled down bluffs, rode small planes and traveled in pursuit of being involved in loved ones' lives.
June's fundamental philosophy was that people were good. Despite the hardships of her life, she focused on moving forward in a positive way. She loved flowers and cats. Her interests included choir singing, tutoring reading, knitting and chatting with people. She was a founding member of St. Therese parish and her faith was deeply important to her. In her last years, she lived at the Homestead in Anoka. She led by example, showing perseverance, dedication and love. We will miss her.
Visitation Wednesday, May 2, 4-7 p.m. at Kessler & Maguire Funeral Home, 640 W. 7th St. and 9-10 a.m. Thursday at church. Mass of Christian Burial 10 AM Thursday (May 3) at Lumen Christi Catholic Church, 2055 Bohland Ave. Luncheon follows mass. Burial at Roselawn cemetery follows lunch. Memorials preferred to Our Lady of Peace Hospice or your favorite charity in June's name.