Mrs. June Mowers of Lethbridge, passed away at St. Therese Villa on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the age of 92 years.
June was born on June 6, 1927, in Folkestone, England. She was the daughter of Albert and Constance Baumann and step-sister of Harold Philpot. Her father was a veteran of the First World War, who became a firefighter. Her mother was a milliner who worked outside of the home so June was often left in her father’s care.
In 1939, June was evacuated from Folkestone to Wales for the duration of the war. It was a wonderful, peaceful place that was far away from the bombing. The day the war ended the school children were given oranges by American servicemen. It was such a treat after years of rationing.
When June returned to Folkestone, she studied anatomy, physiology and hygiene at a technical college. She went on to study nursing at King’s College Hospital in London, England. The nursing students in her “set” remained close friends even after they married and settle many miles from one another.
June met her first husband, Terence Bassett, when she was the head nurse in the operating room at the Royal Eye Hospital in London. They were married in the chapel of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital where Terence had qualified in medicine before the war. They lived in London, briefly, before leaving England.
In February 1952, June and Terence set sail for Canada aboard the Franconia. During their voyage, King George VI died and Elizabeth became queen. They entered Canada at Pier 21 in Halifax and took the train to Lethbridge, after stops in Toronto and Winnipeg.
They were part of a wave of British families who settled in Lethbridge after the Second World War. Long-time friendships were forged during those early days. Even though there were no family members close by, these newcomers to Canada quickly established themselves and contributed greatly to their community.
After earning her Bronze Medallion, June became a swimming instructor at the YMCA where she taught for 10 years. She had many graduates of her “Scared Stiff” classes during that time. It gave her a great deal of satisfaction to help them to overcome their fear of the water.
Raising animals came naturally to June. It began with Cocker Spaniel puppies and expanded into breeding exotic finches. Many people would seek her assistance if they found an injured bird which she would nurse back to health so that it could be returned to the wild.
Bird-watching consumed a large portion of June’s time, both at home and abroad. She was an active member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. June represented Canada at more than one of their annual meetings. She also participated in some of their bird tours.
During the time that June was married to Terence she traveled with him to many places in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America. On those trips she diligently took 35 mm slides with her Pentax camera as well as several reels of 16 mm film. These have been donated to the Sherman Hines Photographic Museum.
June was a member of St. Mary’s Anglican Church until the parish amalgamated with St. Augustine’s. She was an active member in the St. Mary’s Altar Guild. Not too many years ago the Anglican Church Women recognized June for her contributions to the church by awarding her a Silver Cross.
When June married her second husband, Cleo Mowers, she became a member of Southminster United Church. In the 1990’s, she volunteered her time to assist an El Salvadorian family. The father had been killed suddenly. Many years later, she was introduced to a member of this family who expressed her gratitude to June.
June was pre-deceased by her father, Albert, mother, Constance, brother, Harold, first husband, Dr. Terence Bassett and second husband, Cleo Mowers.
Surviving June are her son, Anthony (Toronto, ON), daughter, Jennifer (Reg) (Middle Sackville, NS), grandsons Ron (Tracy) (Stettler, AB), Galen (Halifax, NS), David (New Plymouth, NZ), granddaughter, Clare (Toronto, ON) and great-granddaughters, Remi (Stettler, AB) and Eboni (Stettler, AB).
It was the wish of June that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to an organization that is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of wild animals.
Cremation has been entrusted to Martin Brothers Funeral Chapels.
To send flowers to June's family, please visit our floral store.