Obituary of June C. Rupnow
June Borresen Rupnow of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at home on September 7th, 2023.
June was born on October 5th, 1931 and grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While attending Valparaiso University in Indiana, she was introduced to Bob Rupnow by his sister, Linda Rupnow - a blind date that culminated in a long and loving marriage.
They had 4 daughters Sandy Neher (Brian), Pamela, Kris Blevons (Michael), and Lisa Zalewski (Ron). Tragically, Pam died in the summer of 1966, at a swim birthday party on a Lake Michigan beach in Muskegon, Michigan. Three little girls were caught in the deadly undertow. She mourned Pam deeply but joyfully greeted Lisa into the family the next year.
The search for deeper meaning and answers after the loss of her daughter led to a life long spiritual journey. She delved into the many religions of the world, finding the universal truth of kindness, acceptance, and love in each. She believed there was no one religion that should surpass any other.
She loved to read and write (she had booklets of her poems), and the Fort Atkinson Library was one of her favorite places. She enjoyed her years working with the library staff as a volunteer, and the library book club was an activity she looked forward to each month.
She and her family also enjoyed many vacations, throughout the years traveling the country. Closer to home, she enjoyed planting and puttering in her garden, canoeing on the Rock River, and appreciating the beauty of it from her house. Her bike was a favorite possession, and she carried her childhood love of biking well into her adult years. (We think this might be how her legs remained so beautiful, even into her 90’s!)
June was a gifted textile artist, with a passion and love for thread and needle that manifested itself in unusual and striking works, her stitcheries. She created these museum worthy pieces nonstop for decades, from the 1950’s through the 1990’s, only stopping when she became caregiver for her husband in 2008 until he passed away in 2010. Sadly, after his death she succumbed to Macular Degeneration and could no longer see to thread a needle.
Her other intense interest was politics and current events, evidenced by her many spirited letters to the editor of her hometown paper. She loved nothing more than stirring up a political debate. (If you’re wondering, she loved the color blue!)
Her family and friends knew June as a gentle soul and artist. But those closest to her also knew she had a flair for the dramatic, zest for life, and an ear for all kinds of music from classical to folk to jazz and anything that made her toes tap and her shoulders shake. Her radio, always tuned to NPR, Wisconsin Public Radio, and later in life her audiobooks and audio player (Her Google) were her favorite things and kept her connected to the world even as her sight failed.
June Rupnow lived her days with grace and a kind smile for everyone she met. This gentleness of spirit will be her most lasting legacy, and a celebration of life honoring her sweet soul will be held at a later date.
The family wishes to thank Rainbow Hospice, Visiting Angels of Fort Atkinson and Pewaukee, the staff of Saint Mary’s Hospital in Madison, and Destination Fitness for providing compassionate care during the last chapter of a remarkable life. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to BrightFocus Foundation, Rainbow Hospice, The Nature Conservancy, or a similar charity of your choice. Or, if you knew June, raise a glass to her memory.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of June Rupnow, please visit Tribute Store