As far back as I can remember, my Aunt June played an important part in my life. We spent many holidays at her home where I ate several helpings of her homemade lemon meringue pie and Strufoli (Italian honey balls covered in rainbow sprinkles).
Growing up, Aunt June came to every recital and school play. As my sister and I grew older, she was present at our graduations and weddings. Then when my children came along, she was there to celebrate their births, christenings and recitals too.
Aunt June, a beautiful and tough woman, had a hard life raising five children and caring for a husband with MS. But somehow in the midst of it all, she started a hair salon out of her home. As her business grew, she moved her salon out of her garage, found an office space and a new home for her salon appropriately named June’s Beauty Salon. Then a few years later, she opened a second salon while working nights as a cleaning lady to put her youngest son through college. She never saw it as a sacrifice, but simply a new challenge for the well-being of her family.
A true woman of strength and courage, Aunt June repeatedly tried new endeavors. She studied and trained to become a travel agent and then an LPN. As the years passed, her health declined due to years of smoking and she began losing her hair. What seemed like unfortunate situation had a positive outcome as it led her down a path where she found a new niche and opened a wig shop.
As a child, I spent countless hours spinning in her hairdresser chairs until I became dizzy. As a teen, I would look for any excuse to drive my car. I would soon find myself at her hair salon because I was in the neighborhood, but really I loved visiting with her.
When I told my daughters that Aunt June was dying of cancer, Allana remembered her great aunt with the her fiery red hair and her wig shop, particularly the hot pink wigs on display. When I remember my Aunt June, I will also remember her for her fiery red hair and a feisty wit and will to match.
September 5, 1939 – September 10, 2010