June Cunningham Gage, Janesville, WI (1920 - 2012)
April 15, 1920 - December 5, 2012
June Cunningham Gage, died peacefully in the early morning of Dec. 5, 2012, at Skaalen Nursing Home in Stoughton. She was 92 years old. She had been a life long resident of Janesville, but spent her last years at Skaalen. Many thanks to the wonderful staff, who took her in as one of their own and gave her excellent and loving care. However, she never really did get used to their nickname for her, “Junebug.”
June was preceded in death by her husband, Louis “Chick” Gage; and is survived by her children, Linda (Mark) Schwartz and Robert (Janine) Gage. She has six grandchildren: Theran, Brie, Emily and Rachel Gage, Carrie Jacobson and Jeff Schwartz. She has five great-grandchildren, Aidan, Ellaina, Preston and Layla Gage and the latest arrival, McKenna Jacobson.
Except for her years in college at the University of Wisconsin, she had lived almost her entire life in Janesville. She was born April 15, 1920, graduating from Janesville High School in 1938, as her class’s salutatorian. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a bachelor’s degree in French with minors in Spanish and English, and was honored with many awards, among them Sigma Epsion Sigma, Pi Lambda Theta, Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa. She served as president of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She went on to receive her Master’s degree in Spanish. She taught English and Spanish at Lake Geneva High School for two years before returning to Janesville. She was a life-long member of the Janesville First Baptist Church, and the church and its activities were a major part of her life. However, the most important driving factor in her life was music.
An accomplished musician on the marimba, she had taken lessons at Northwestern University between getting her degrees in college. She played and taught the instrument for decades. An entire generation of Janesville youth grew up learning how to play the marimba. Combined with her mother, a talented pianist and piano teacher, they were an important part of the Janesville musical scene. For many years, they would rent the Woman’s Club for an evening and put on a recital by all of their students. It was a notable musical event, and was always written up in the Janesville Gazette. She was also a very important leader in local and state musical organizations. She had been president of the Fine Arts Club, president of the MacDowell Club, president of the Wisconsin Federation of Music Teachers 1st District and was state chairwoman of the Interlochen Scholarships awards. Her love of music was truly her passion in life, and she conveyed and imparted that love to her students and all who knew her. She enjoyed playing, but also thoroughly loved to listen to others play as well, especially her children, who benefited from her boundless enthusiasm, and were themselves musicians, playing several instruments. She also found time for other activities, and was a life long member of the church choir, member of the Janesville Woman‘s Club organization, worked with the Janesville Legal Aid Society and was a member of the Janesville Literacy Council, serving as a tutor. A life well lived, she will be greatly missed by all who knew and love her.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 3414 Woodhall Drive, Janesville with Rev. Jerry Amstutz officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be at the CHURCH from 9 until 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, the Salvation Army or the Skaalen Auxiliary Fund. The family is being assisted by HENKE-CLARSON FUNERAL HOME.