Our Mother, June Van Brunt, passed away the evening of April 12, 2011 at age 95.
June was born in Biggar, Saskatchewan to Art and Kate Bryden on June 1, 1915. She had two brothers: Arthur and Clifford and two sisters: Margaret and Dorothy. All the children were born in Biggar.
After three years of drought and losing their homestead on the prairie, the Bryden family began their migration west in 1921. They made their homes in Pouce Coup and Hudson Hope, B.C. In September 1924, Art heard there was plenty of work in Omak; so, he bought supplies, horses and with an Indian guide, the Bryden family followed a newly blazed trail being the first white family to travel this route. They arrived in Omak on Thanksgiving Day in 1924.
June attended school in Omak graduating with the class of 1934. June played basketball on the Omak High School Girls team. Two weeks prior to her graduation, on June 1, she married Harold A. Van Brunt in Davenport, Wash. In 1936 at the age of 21, June became a U.S. Naturalized Citizen. To this marriage three children were born: Art, Judy and Cindy. Their first home was at Disautel, followed by Seattle, Chehalis, Disautel, Omak, Manson and Tonasket.
June began her working career at an early age following the death of her father in 1929. During summer break from school, she worked at the Monse General Store and lived with the proprietor’s family. In 1934, June learned to pack apples in Omak and continued this seasonal work at Methow, Tonasket and Manson. June and Harold owned a ranch within a mile of Disautel. Mom was a member of the Disautel Hobby Club, learning the art of crocheting, sewing and knitting. Harold worked for Biles-Coleman Lumber Company, Web Tractor in Seattle and Chehalis, owned and operated his own logging truck haling for numerous lumber companies in the county. When he retired they owned and operated Don’s Drive-In at Tonasket from 1967-73. Our parents enjoyed trips to Alaska, the East Coast traveling the Trans Canada Highway and Hawaii. They lived in Arizona for nine winters. They loved their summer boating, camping, picnics and country drives in Okanogan County.
On June 1, 1984, Harold and June celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. After Harold’s death, June traveled a lot visiting family and friends in the states and going to Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Upon selling the Drive-In to Cindy, June moved to the Hillside Apartments and enjoyed many years at the Tonasket Senior Center with friends. She loved playing pinochle. June moved to assisted living at Columbia Heights in Wenatchee in 2006. She loved her family and enjoyed their activities.
June is survived by her children: Judy (Mike) Timm of Omak and Cindy Weller of Wenatchee; her grandchildren: Heather (Eron) Voldberg, E. Wenatchee and Shawn Weller, Coeur d’Alene; Mick (Leanne) Timm and children Olympia and David (Val) Timm and children, Aberdeen; her great granddaughters Chanel and Dominique Voldberg; by her grandsons Jeff and Jon Van Brunt; by her granddaughters Jennifer Baker and Jayne Sanford and their families; by her sisters-in-law Burne Bryden and Liz Van Brunt; by her brother-in-law Jack (Mert) Van Brunt; and by numerous nieces and nephews.
June was preceded in death by her husband Harold; by her son Art; by her parents; by her brothers Clifford Bryden and Arthur Bryden and by her sisters Dorothy (Ron) Danzl (Steve) Skylstad and Margaret (George) Dougherty.
A memorial service will be held at the Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel on Elmway, Okanogan, followed by burial at the Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens on April 30 at 2 p.m. Donations may be made to the Tonasket Senior Center, the Okanogan County Historical Society or a charity of choice.
Arrangements are by Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel, Okanogan, Wash.