June Graham Spencer
Aspen, CO ColoradoJune Graham Spencer departed this planet on Saturday, Aug. 4. She was known to most as the June of “June & Jim.” She entered this world on June 14, 1925, and experienced the radical changes from the Great Depression Era right into the technology era. June was proud to say, “Jim and I are techno-tards. That means we start the day with nothing to ‘delete.'”June began life in St. Louis. She graduated high school at 16 and remembers the impact of Pearl Harbor, watching her friends rush off to enlist. June married at 19 and soon began a family with daughter Nancy, followed by son Chris. With her military husband, she moved to Great Falls, Mont., and jumped right into nursing. After the war, June divorced and took her two children with her to New York City, “with $99 in the bank and the world to make a living in.”June was gifted with beauty, a quick wit, keen intelligence and an insatiable thirst for discovering. The beauty aspect had opened the doors into jobs modeling. Add the wit and intellect, and she became a pioneer in the era of “live television.” June performed in over 5,000 on-camera commercials on such programs as “The Jackie Gleason Show,” “Playhouse 90,” “The $64,000 Question” and dozens more. June worked with such notables as James Earl Jones when she was a leading lady on “Guiding Light” for seven years. She breakfasted with Eleanor Roosevelt the day she nominated Adlai Stevenson for president of the United States at the 1956 Democratic Convention. She was so curious, aware and intelligent that very event fed her appetite to discover what makes people tick.June performed on television from 1953 until 1971. At the time her thirst for discovery led her into the then cutting-edge world of meditation, visualization and the power of positive thinking. As a seminar leader for the Silva Method, she soon became one of the top three instructors in the world.Late in 1975, she faced the challenge of breast cancer and a radical mastectomy. June’s comment was “I’ve had hangovers worse then this!” However, she re-evaluated her priorities and opened her heart. Three months later, Jim Spencer walked into her life and into her heart. June said, “I discovered my soul mate in a body of man 24 years younger then me, and we had to let go of our preconceived ideas from the start.”June and Jim began teaching seminars together and went on to form a nonprofit organization, Let Go & Live. Letting go of emotional blocks became the mainstay of their counseling/seminar programs. As inspirational speakers, June and Jim were invited to dozens of organizations, including the United Nations and the American Cancer Society. June’s quest for insights and discovery took them to the Communion of Souls Seminary. After four years, she and Jim were ordained as interfaith ministers.In 1992, June and Jim left NYC for the quiet of Redstone. June immersed herself in community works that allowed her to share her talents from theater, counseling and public speaking. June took great joy in performing weddings for couples of differing religious backgrounds.In 2000, June and Jim moved to Chaffee County to lead more of a “retreat lifestyle.” Now June had the time to finish a fourth book and began two others in the realm of philosophy/self-help/spirituality. Her newest passion became the creation of mineral angels (www.angelsmadefromgemstones.com).June’s health became severely compromised by a drug reaction in 2003. Since then, she had persevered with a painful autoimmune syndrome and spinal compression. While scheduled for spinal surgery in a few weeks, her body deteriorated rapidly and with great pain. Her body could no longer keep up with her indomitable spirit. Unable to digest or stand for more than three minutes, on Saturday, Aug. 4, she summoned her energy and performed a wedding at a local bed-and-breakfast. She was radiant! Minutes later she dropped her body and returned to spirit. Her love shines on.For those who would like to preserve her memory, Jim suggests donations to your favorite charity in her name. Or, since June was president of the nonprofit educational organization “Let Go & Live Institute,” you may send tax-deductible donations to “Let Go & Live” c/o Spencer, 13060 CR 261-B, Nathrop, CO 81236. The institute will use such funds for publishing and promoting June’s latest two manuscripts so that her insights might inspire others.A celebration of life will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Steam Plant Theatre in Salida. The celebration is open to everyone – just as her life was.