February 25, 1931 – July 21, 2013
“Tough times never last but tough people do.” That is the motto that exemplifies how June lived her life. She met her challenges head on and with courage. She leaves a legacy of a strong family, an example of the power of faith and a wealth of great stories and fond memories. She lived life to the fullest making the most of every day. She will be missed and remembered by all who knew her.
June was born on February 25, 1931 in Ankeny, Iowa and died peacefully with her family near her early in the morning on July 21, 2013. She was known by many names, Junebug, Grandma Dancing Bear, Great Grandma Juice, Popcan Lady, Cookie Lady and Aunt June. Many who knew her never knew that her real name was Naomi.
June and Wilbur were married young, had five children (AKA Fab 5) and were in business together operating the DX station in Ankeny before moving to a farm in Elkhart. Together they raised their family and enjoyed nearly 40 years together before Wilbur’s sudden and early death in 1988. In true June fashion she continued on and made a difference in the lives of many.
Her energetic, positive, can do attitude was an inspiration to all she met. Life was filled with family, church, friends, fun and adventures. She looked forward to her annual Christmas in July family reunion, making her famous Christmas cookies for friends and families and going to the Iowa State Fair every day! She loved trips to Prairie Meadows, weekends at Lake Thunderhead with her family, going to shows at the Civic Center, Cruises and parties. She absolutely loved get-togethers with both family and friends.
Her days were filled with volunteering at her church as greeter, “pew hopper”, clipping the rose bushes and anything else that was, needed. She was the hub of family activity keeping everyone up to date on family happenings, sometimes “stirring the pot” and was always there to help in any way offering her unconditional love and support. She was a fierce competitor when playing Sorry, Candy Land and Chinese checkers. She loved to win and would brag about beating Sandy.
She loved to perform with her niece “Poodles” the clown and was her manager. Together they performed over 300 shows delighting children and adults; especially when she put on the naughty glasses.
Her voice mail messages were ever changing. Depending on the season or day you could find out what was going by her messages informing you that she couldn’t come to phone because she was busy baking cookies, getting ready for Christmas or helping the Easter bunny with preparations and would hop right back to you when she could.
Visitation will be held at the Ankeny Funeral Home on Tuesday, July 23 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Assembly of God, Merle Hay, Burial will be at Highland Memorial Gardens.
June is survived by her children, Dennis (Diane), Ankeny, Janet Herron (David) Minneapolis, Shirley Burgess(Gregg Howell), Des Moines, Shelley Ponxs (Chuck), Des Moines and Joyce Evans (Richard Beason), Des Moines; grandchildren, Chris Herron (Sandy), Shauna Zimmerman (Doug), Sharon Crippen (Joe), Jason Herron (Shannah), Daniel Ponxs (Sarah), Michael Evans (Emily) and Timothy Martinson. Great Grandchildren Richard Herron, Nicholas Herron, Hannah Herron, Oliver Herron, Lillian Herron, Rachael Zimmerman, Nathan Crippen, Jeff Zimmerman, Jacob Evans, Lillian Evans, Joshua Ponxs and Emily Ponxs; great-great-grandaughter Grace Bacus; brothers Gerald Ballard (Marie) and Cecil Ballard (Marie).
She was preceded in death by her parents Erma and Frank Ballard, her husband Wilbur Evans, Great Granddaughter Stephanie Herron and her two brothers Duane and Orville Ballard. And her special pet dogs Heidi and Ginger.
Special thanks to the First Assembly of God family. Pastor Dave, Pastor Gregg, Pastor Beaman, Pastor Jeff, you all were her rock. Pastor Palmer you have been with her for the entire journey and we thank you and your family for that. Jerry and Karen Holte, your friendship was her most treasured. She so loved and admired you. Her unshakable faith and your friendship helped her and our family through many difficult times. Thanks to Dr. Craig Shadur. The “Bug” absolutely adored you. You are the best. Your expert knowledge, compassion, commitment and humor made the journey easier. Thanks to the incredible team at Davita, Brenda, Betty, Lori and Christine. You made the dialysis days comfortable and easy. To the Unity Point Powell 3 team you were terrific. We appreciated your guiding us through the final days. Your compassion and attention to our every question and concern was remarkable.
Memorial contributions can be made to First Assembly of God Church in Des Moines. Please visit www.ankenyfuneralhome.com to sign June’s guestbook and leave a memory.Information provided by: Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory 1510 West First Street Ankeny, IA 50021 515.964.4674 www.ankenyfuneralhome.com