June Lee Newirth
June Lee Newirth
  • January 24, 1934 - January 15, 2018
  • Santa Rosa, California

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Novato, California
June Lee Newirth, 83, of Novato, California - gifted artist and teacher; beloved wife, mother, and friend - passed away Monday, January 15, 2018, just nine days prior to her 84th birthday. Admired and adored by many, June overcame an innate shyness to offer warmth and kindness, inspiration and insight, guidance and encouragement to those around her. She carried herself with a quiet strength and radiated a natural joy. Books were among her favored companions; she craved truth and knowledge even more than fine chocolate, and she loved sharing what she was learning with others.
Born in Los Angeles, California, June graduated from Brigham Young High School in Provo, Utah, and then accepted a clerical position with the district attorney's office in Phoenix, Arizona. In November 1963, she moved with her husband and their five children to the Marina District of San Francisco and then to Daly City the following spring. June had worked as a secretary throughout her marriage; but it was while living in Daly City that she also began teaching early morning seminary classes to high school students. This became her passion.
In 1969, June bought her first home, divorced her first husband, and settled with her children in Novato. Within this uplifting community, she strengthened her commitment to religious and philosophical studies, instructing both students and teachers of seminary (high school) and institute (college) curricula. While continuing her work as an executive secretary in the insurance industry, she soon became regional coordinator for seminaries and institutes throughout Northern California. This passion for teaching inspired her to improve her credentials; and in 1974, she graduated from Brigham Young University with honors and a degree in special education. Unfortunately, recent California legislation had eliminated most specialized teaching posts; so when she returned to Novato, June also returned to the insurance industry - first as an executive secretary and then as a computer programmer. It was while working at Fireman's Fund that she met the man who would become her true husband, Dr. Frederick J. Newirth.
Ever a student of life, Mrs. Newirth left her religious teaching behind her to blossom into an artist, a cultural anthropologist, an avid genealogist, and a world traveler. She became a photographer; she learned to hunt and fish; she painted detailed landscapes and awe-inspiring portraits; she fashioned ceramics and she quilted and "thread painted" textiles which were featured in Marin craft fairs; and she traveled extensively with her husband. The people she met along the way were far more interesting to her than the places she visited or the talents she developed. She found people fascinating and always worthy of love. In the wake of these gifts, it was difficult to watch the slow ebb of her memory, her curiosity and creativity, and her sharp mind by vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease during the last fourteen years of her life. Her warm and gentle soul remained, however, along with her sense of humor and her ability to teach others by example.
Mrs. Newirth is predeceased by her beloved husband of forty years, Frederick John Newirth II, who left this earth less than seven months prior to her own passing. She is predeceased by her daughter, Jennifer Lin Johnson, and survived by her other children: Kathi Troy, Julie Hutchins, Steven Johnson, and Christina (Richard) Bond. She is also survived by her stepchildren: Frederick John Newirth III (Mary), Dianne (Ken) McKay, David (Edith) Newirth, and Nancy (Kent) Lockmiller; by her grandson, Patrick Johnson; and by her great-granddaughters, Olivia and Shaylyn Johnson.
To honor Mrs. Newirth and to celebrate her life and the enduring love she shared with her husband, Fred, a memorial service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Alzheimer's Association.