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Tribute to June Humphreys

JUNE HUMPHREYS (1927–2016)

June smJune Humphreys, a longstanding member of the Society and its former secretary, died in April 2016. The Society offers the following tribute.

June was born in 1927 in Toxteth Park, Liverpool, the daughter of William and Hannah Wilson. She was 12 years old when the war started. She remained at home with her family throughout the war, unlike many others from her school who were evacuated.
The disruption of war restricted the opportunities for education that she would have liked. She took commercial classes at Skerry's College in Liverpool and became proficient in shorthand and typing, skills that she put to good use throughout her life. She found her first job with a leading firm of Liverpool solicitors at the age of 15.
After the war she began a pen-friend correspondence with a young man called Eric from the Lake District who was then serving in the army in Egypt. Two years later, when Eric returned to England in 1948, they met for the first time, both aged 21, and they soon fell in love.

Eric trained as a teacher and gained his teaching qualification at the end of 1950. His first post was at Upper Wortley Junior School in Leeds, where he taught from 1951 to 1957.
June and Eric were married in August 1951. They set up home in Calverley, a village near Leeds. Here their two children were born, John Brett in 1952 and Nicola in 1957.
In 1957 the family moved to Scunthorpe, where Eric took up a post at Henderson Avenue Junior School. They bought their first car and Eric taught June to drive, an activity that she took to instantly and thoroughly enjoyed for the rest of her life, valuing the independence and freedom it gave her.
In 1962 the family moved to the Midlands when Eric obtained the post of Deputy Head at the Ipsley County Primary School in the then model new town of Redditch. June took up a secretarial post with the British Cast Iron Research Association a few miles away at Bordesley Hall in Alvechurch.
In 1965 Eric became the Head Teacher of Caslon Primary School in Cradley. It was at this time that the family moved to Romsley, conveniently located midway between Alvechurch and Cradley. June and Eric loved the area and remained there for the rest of their lives. June later took a job closer to home in the Social Services department in Bromsgrove, retiring in 1987.
In the early 1980s June and Eric joined the Romsley and District History Society (now the Romsley and Hunnington History Society). Eric became Secretary of the society in 1986 and June succeeded him in this role in May 1992 when he was elected Chairman. Together they undertook several important projects for the society, including transcribing monumental inscriptions in the older parts of St Kenelm's churchyard and publishing a series of booklets written by local historian Joe Hunt. Following Eric's unexpected death in February 2001, June continued as Secretary, organising all the society's events and later also its website. She was still an active member of the society when she died.
June and Eric were involved in a number of other local organisations, including the Halesowen Rotary Club and later the Probus Club and the University of the Third Age. After retiring from paid work, June spent many years as a volunteer with Age Concern (now Age UK) in Bromsgrove. She was a trustee of Age UK Bromsgrove and District from 2007 to 2011.
Her youthful outlook on life continued into old age. She readily embraced new ideas and new technologies such as online shopping and banking. She was a keen gardener, employing others to help keep her garden looking good when she became too frail to do it all herself. She loved travel, enjoying regular caravanning holidays with Eric during his retirement, and overseas trips with friends after his death.
June especially enjoyed many happy visits to France, where her daughter Nicky and family moved to live in 1992. Her three grandchildren, Nadine, Jenny and Patrick, were always very dear to her. In more recent times she kept in regular close contact with them through family messages on social media. She was looking forward immensely to a big family gathering when Jenny and Nico get married in France later this year. She lived to see her first two great-grandchildren, Liam (born in April 2013) and Lucy (born in April 2015).

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