June A. Sangwin

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June A. Sangwin

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June Sangwin
June Sangwin

June A. Sangwin passed away peacefully in her daughter’s home on the afternoon of November 21st, 2014, going to be with her husband of 57 years, Charles, who had died one year earlier on November 27th. Many in her family and friends had been by to see her. June Arlene Whitmer was born on July 14th, 1936, in the Montana town of Glendive, to McKinley and Julia Whitmer. June grew up mostly in Billings, and she loved to take care of her family, many brothers (Bob, Jerry, Duane, Warren, and Tom), and two sisters (Lois and Maxine), the latter who died quite young from polio. Mom was devastated to lose her baby sister, and kept her in her heart every day. By all accounts, Mom was, even at a young age, a true champion for others, standing up for the underdog and pitching in to help with any chore or job. Charles and June became Catholics while their three children were young, raising Julie Ann (Wilson), Stephen Charles, and Michael Lloyd; a son-in-law Scott, and husband to Julie, a daughter-in-law, Kelly, and wife to Michael. June’s 12 grandchildren include Scott and Julie’s: Julia and her baby Jennilyn Maxine (great granddaughter), Gabriella, and Johnathan; Stephen’s daughters: Charlie (and her husband Zack), McKinley, Jimi, and Paddy Jo; Michael and Kelly’s: Kimberly (and her husband Adam), Rebecca, Nicholas, Benjamin, and Hannah. June is survived by her siblings Lois Ludwig of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey; Duane and Lynn Whitmer of Cody, Wyoming; Warren and Donna Whitmer of Poplar, Montana; and Tom and Nancy Whitmer of Billings, Montana. June was active in the Catholic Church, starting with Father Daily and continuing with Father John Linehan in Billings Heights. Later in life, she attended daily mass at St Pius, where Father Wayne is the priest. She belonged to St. Vincent DePaul, St. Anne’s Circle, and taught Catechism. Mom was an operator for Mountain Bell when she graduated from high school. She cherished her many cousins and lifelong friends that she remained in contact with.  She stayed home as her children were born, and, later, when their youngest was in 6th grade, she began working at St. Vincent’s Hospital in the kitchen for the early morning shift and then in later years in the business department until her own mother became ill. At that point, she left to stay home and care for her mother, Julia. In the intervening years, Mom cared for many family members in her home and many grandchildren as they grew up. All these years, if you were one of Mom’s kids or grandchildren and visited her, she might slip a $20 or more in your pocket to help out with gas, buy a snack, or “just in case.” She always sent you home with food she’d made. Her home was a soft place to land for family and friends; you always left with more than you showed up with. Mom sent care packages to all her children and many grandchildren, wherever they were, might it be in college or their homes in different cities. Her kids think this is part of her Norwegian heritage, her upbringing, and then her generous spirit which continued throughout her life. Mom’s strong faith and spiritual connection to God, Jesus, and Mary helped her achieve many lifelong goals, none the least of which she passed along to her children: to love one another, to support one another, and to find kindness in one another every day. Charles and June taught them all to love one another and their fellow humans as Jesus did. One of her last comments was that she was so happy and proud that her children live this way. Our family wishes to extend a special “Thank you!” to Donna Meyer, who brought communion to Mom, Dr. Gardner, The Riverstone Hospice nurses and staff who helped with her care. Visitation will be 4-6pm Wednesday, November 26th  at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Services are at St. Pius Church at 11:00 A.M., Friday, November 28th with a graveside service at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park and a get-together at the church after that.

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  1. Worked at St.V’s with June for many years. She was universally beloved by everyone who came in contact with her. She was consistently kind, considerate, up-beat and made the hospital a better place while she was there. I know she was a good mother, because I worked with her son Steve in the pharmacy for a number of years and he was a lot like his mother, a million dollar guy.

    Mark Warfield

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