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June Wickre (Wickre) Oakins
June 7, 1931 ~ July 23, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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June Wickre Oakins, was born on her father’s birthday, June 7, 1931, to Jacob and Gertrude Wickre in Veblen, South Dakota. She attended country school for elementary education and graduated Valedictorian of her class from Veblen High School in 1948. June enrolled in Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, SD after high school and received a teaching certificate that allowed her to teach in country schools, which she did for two years.
Along with her sisters, June participated in all the activities necessary to keep the farm afloat, milking cows, hauling grain, feeding the chickens and pigs. She loved the outdoors and was happy to leave the cooking to other sisters.
Her great love was the piano, taking lessons while in grade school and high school, eventually becoming the church organist. In that role June played for many weddings, concerts and funerals in the community. Advanced piano lessons in college required a recital at the end of the term for which she played Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp from memory. Music was a focal point in the family and many after dinner hours were spent around the piano singing favorite songs and hymns.
In 1951 June moved to Minneapolis and was employed in the Health Service at the University of Minnesota. While working there, she responded to a newspaper advertisement for Northwest Airlines reservation agents and enrolled in their training program. Upon completion she was hired by the airline and continued with Northwest for 9 years. One night a reservation error resulting in an oversold flight led to meeting her future husband. Jim was the ground supervising agent for Northwest at the time and in that role was the person who had to solve the problem. He stormed into the reservation area and demanded to know what had happened. Whether June was responsible for the error or not, it led to dinners and dates, culminating in marriage March 26, 1955.
She subsequently worked for British Overseas Airways for 3 ½ years and when June and Jim moved to Florida, for Eastern Airlines. When they returned to Minneapolis, June applied for and received her license to be an import/export broker, which she did until her retirement in 1991.
June loved to travel and made several trips to Europe and a visit to Israel. A very special trip to Norway with her sisters culminated in a visit to the Island of Karmoy and the village of Skudeneshavn where her grandfather Wickre was born.
June was a member of Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and active in the Lutheran Womens’ Group (WELCA) serving as President from 1993 to 1995. Upon moving to Arizona, she attended Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church.
June died July 23, 2023, after a brief illness. She is preceded in death by her husband, Jim; parents Jacob and Gertrude; sisters Marilyn, Ardamae, Betty; infant sisters Arlis and Arlene; brothers-in-law Gordon Markley and Paul Gilbarg.
Survivors include her sisters Lois Markley, Lyla Dramise (Joe), Faye Gilbarg and Cynthia Cangley (Bill), nieces and nephews Jeff Markley (Lori), Jennifer Byrd (TIm), Joe Dramise (Mary), Angelina Vogt (Jim), and Tim Oakins. Survivors also include great nieces and nephews and many cousins and friends.
June was a loving daughter, sister and wife and was the primary caregiver for her sister Marilyn in her last years. Always there to help, no task was too big or small for her. She will be in our thoughts and memories forever.
Memorial services will be held Saturday 1100 AM, August 19th at Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church in Surprise, Arizona. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Nidaros Cemetery Fund, in care of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Veblen, SD; Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church Music Fund Surprise, AZ; and Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN.
Arrangements are by Camino del Sol Mortuary in Sun City West. AZ.
Interment will be with her husband Jim Oakins at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN