June Mehal, 90, of Pompano Beach, Fla., passed away Feb. 2, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla., where she had been a resident for the past year at the Summerfield Assisted Living Home.
June was born June 28, 1922, to Gordon and Sylvia (Kouba) MacDonald in Detroit, Mich. She was in the first class that attended grade school at Parker Elementary, later graduating from Mackenzie High School. June loved to dance and while in high school she performed with the Shrine Circus. Practices and performances took up a lot of her time and she missed too many days of classes to graduate with the rest of her classmates in June of 1941. She had to put in an extra half year to receive her diploma in January, 1942.
Following graduation she married her high school sweetheart, Arthur Carl Repke, Jr. Feb. 14, 1942. With WWII in progress, Art was drafted into the Army. For the next two and one-half years, the couple moved around the United States, living on various Army bases.
In October 1944, two months before Art was shipped overseas, June returned to Detroit to give birth to their daughter, Carol Lynn Repke. Only weeks after the birth of Carol, the family received word that Art was missing in action. His remains were never found and, in January, 1945, he was declared killed in action. June and Carol spent the next years living with family in Detroit.
In September 1947, June was united in marriage to Emil Francis Mehal, a WWII veteran, having served in the Army Air Corp in England and France. To this union was born another daughter, Marcia Louise Mehal. The family made their home in Lathrup Village, Mich., where Emil had a very successful career in building residential homes, which he custom designed and June helped decorate. During this time Carol graduated from Mackenzie High School, Marcia from Southfield High School and both girls earned degrees from Michigan State University.
By the late 60’s, the family had taken several vacations to Florida and decided it was time to give up the dreary, snowy weather in Michigan for the sunny shores of southern Florida. Under construction at the time, Barcelona Gardens in Pompano Beach seemed the perfect place to relocate, which they did in 1974.
June’s mother, Sylvia MacDonald, purchased the unit next door to June and Emil, where she lived until her death in 1989. Marcia was also able to move to Florida with her job at Jacobson’s Specialty Stores, a Michigan based company that began opening stores in Florida in 1972. Carol was married by this time and busy moving with her family from Michigan to Indiana, finally settling in Nebraska.
Following Emil’s death in September 1986, June continued living at Barcelona Gardens until January 2012, when health conditions made it necessary to move closer to Marcia. June loved the Pompano/Ft. Lauderdale area and was quick to tell everyone there was no other part of Florida that could compare.
June led a very active life while living at Barcelona Gardens. Over the years she served several terms in both the offices of President of the Board and Treasurer. She was never afraid to speak her mind or voice her opinion. She always maintained everyone was entitled to her opinion. In recent months her motto was, “I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara I could save the world.”
June was employed at J.Byron’s Department Store for many years, working in the jewelry and cosmetics departments. Later she joined the sales staff at Chico’s. Both of these were great jobs for her because she could never get enough of her favorite pastime - shopping. Her other great joy in life was taking trips with her daughters, nieces, and sister-in-law. Her favorite places were Baltimore Inner Harbor, Maui, and the Florida Keyes.
Until the time she had to move, she was in very good health, exercising regularly at Holy Cross with her Silver Sneakers Class, where she loved her instructor and having lunch with friends. Her other favorite hang out was the Nook Café, where they knew exactly how she liked her pancakes and took very good care of her even after she could no longer make the walk from her apartment to the restaurant.
Besides both husbands and her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Keith MacDonald.
June is survived by her two daughters, Carol Jaskierny-Fritzler (Ken) of Broken Bow; Marcia Brewer (long time partner, Jim Lavaty) of Anna Maria Island, Fla.; three grandchildren, Dr. David Jaskierny, Jr. (Jean), Paul Jaskierny (Shari), and Kristin Bielski (Paul); six great-grandchildren; nieces, Kim MacDonald and Maria Chomyszak; and sister-in-law, Lois MacDonald. In addition, June is survived by many good friends at Barcelona Gardens, Silver Sneakers and the Nook.
At June’s request there will be no services and no visitation. June chose cremation and made arrangements for her final trip several years ago with Edwards Cremation & Funeral Services, Wilton Manors, Fla. A memorial luncheon to celebrate June’s life will be held at a later date in Pompano Beach.
Condolences or personal reflections can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org . Memorials can be sent to the Broken Bow Library Foundation, 626 South D Street, Broken Bow, NE 68822.
Published in Custer County Chief, Feb. 7, 2013