Obituary: June Elborn

IT WAS with such sadness that family, friends and neighbours heard of the death of June Elborn, who passed away at her home in Wragby on February 18.

June, aged 75, was born in Trentham, Staffordshire on June 6, 1936, and was the third of four sisters.

She passed her 11+ exam, but in 1948 her mother took the girls down to live with their aunt in Chelsea, London.

There, at her new school, she found that academically she was ahead of her year in all subjects (the war had set a lot of children back particularly with the bombing).

During her last year, much to her amazement, she was made head girl and her first role was to make a speech in front of more than 500 parents on the annual parents day – and some say she had not stopped talking since.

June married when young and lived south of the Thames in Balham, having her first child, John, at 18 years, then moving to South Oxley, where David was born, and on to Slough, where Beverly and Kevin were born.

The estate she moved on to with her family was in the throes of completion and she immediately set about improving everyone’s lot.

She was both a fighter and pioneer, persuading the developer to provide a community hall and then set about creating a play school which was different.

She organised a mixed special needs charity, which at the time, when each disability had its own specific charity, faced strong opposition. Now we see many such charities around.

She organised many outings for the group and their parents along with a summer fete on the estate with a visiting fairground, which is still an annual event.

Amidst all that she never neglected her own children and took them out for days and on holidays, as well as holding down two jobs. For relaxation she developed a taste for ballroom dancing and making clothes.

Following a move back to South Oxley Yvette and then Mark were born. Sadly only five of her children are now living, one locally and the others distributed between Hatfield and London.

The marriage ended in divorce in 1968, and during this period she had many jobs, including civil servant, shop manager and shop owner, and rebuilt a life for her children and herself.

She eventually moved to Watford.

June met Ron, and when they married they moved to Sotby in 1986.

This was an easy choice for them as June had been brought up in the country and Ron had flown in Lancaster bombers as a flight engineer out of Lincolnshire.

They spent a lot of time and effort restoring the mud and stud cottage they had purchased along with looking after the goats, geese, chickens, cultivating the large vegetable plot and nursing abandoned new-born lambs, very often taking them on a permanent basis. June became active in the anti-M11 extension group.

She then became embroiled in a campaign to stop a local farmer setting up a clay pigeon shooting centre with parking for 1,000 vehicles.

As a result of those activities June then became the organiser of the local parish meeting.

When her husband Ron passed away there was far too much work for one person to cope with so, once again she upped roots and moved to Wragby.

Not able to settle to sitting around all day she joined the volunteer ambulance car drivers group and the Community Advisory Group at the former Wragby Resource Centre.

From there she became a parish councillor and within a month was elected vice-chairman and a month later chairman of the council, a post she held until her resignation in May 2011.

She also represented the council at area district meetings and on training courses, and was involved in the production of the Parish Plan.

In September 2009 June joined the committee of the Wragby and District Swimming Club, becoming secretary and then chairman the following March, a position she held until her death.

Both the roles became 24/7 activities which only aggravated her health problems.

As a child she had contracted TB, which later developed into asthma and bronchitis.

This condition was aggravated by proximity to rape pollen and eventually developed into COPD, which meant her lungs were deteriorating to become only 10 per cent effective.

She also had an aneurysm of the aorta but was told surgery was out of the question.

Beside those conditions she suffered angina, diabetes and sciatica.

The last six months saw June permanently connected to an oxygen machine.

Despite all her ailments June’s indomitable spirit led her to look on the brighter side of life.

June now survived by five children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and will be sadly missed by them and many friends and neighbours.

Family mourners were John Summers, David Summers, Yvette Defoe, Mark Summers, Kevin Summers – sons and daughter – along with their families.