August 28, 1931 – April 21, 2013
June Kalsem, 81, passed away very peacefully on April 21, 2013. June was born in Buffalo Center, Iowa to Jeanette and Henry Torkelson. She attended Waldorf College for two years where she enjoyed performing in several plays and she graduated from St. Olaf College with majors in English and German. In 1957, June married Kenneth Kalsem of Des Moines.
Her first teaching job in Algona, Iowa was followed by a move to Des Moines to be librarian at North High School. Later, she was librarian at McCombs Junior High before becoming head librarian at East High for the final twenty years of her career. Her family takes comfort in her favorite quote, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” (Jorge Luis Borges).
June loved to travel, her favorite destinations being Norway and England. In 1954, June was the first in her family to visit Norwegian relatives that her mother had been corresponding with for years. June and Ken honeymooned there and, in 2007, they returned with their family for a joyous fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration.June and her daughter both Anglophiles, have enjoyed several self-designed literary tours of England. June also loved to read, play Scrabble with her grandsons, and spend time with her cherished friends (chatting over many cups of coffee and tea).
June was a long-time member of Capitol Hill Lutheran Church. She also belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma, Des Moines Education Association, Iowa State Education Association, National Education Association, American Association of University Women, and Sons of Norway.
She will be greatly missed by her husband Ken; daughter Kristin Kalsem and grandsons Cole and Andrew of Cincinnati, Ohio; sister-in-law Dorothy Torkelson of Buffalo Center, Iowa; her nieces and nephews;and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers Nerlyn Torkelson and Gerald Reisem.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at Iles Funeral Homes, Westover Chapel in Des Moines. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (ADPA) Iowa Chapter PO Box 507 Waukee, Iowa 50263.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ WESTOVER CHAPEL.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Westover Chapel 6337 Hickman Road Des Moines, IA 50322 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com