June Frances Cary, age 87 years of Cassopolis, Michigan passed away on Thursday, April 26, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Cary, Esq. and by her brother, Rick Anderson. She is survived by daughters Karon (& Ronald Baker) Miars of Eau Claire, Michigan and Cynthia “Cy” (& Patrick) Werntz of South Bend, Indiana, and son, Steve (& Jane) Cary of Raleigh, North Carolina; grandchildren Lindsay Miars, Grant Miars, Marissa Miars, Ryan (& Megan) Werntz, Allyson Werntz, Cary Werntz, Robert Cary, Lauren Cary, Caitlin Cary, and Jenna Cary; great-grandchildren Dorr and Dylan Werntz; June’s sister Kay (& Jerry) Tiedt and brother Dorr (& Dana) Anderson; Bob’s brother, John C. “Tim” (& Pat) Cary; and many nieces and nephews.
June was born on May 22, 1930 in Saint Johns, Michigan to Dorr and Margaret (Nienaber) Anderson, and graduated from Saint Johns High School. She earned a Bachelors degree from Michigan State University (East Lansing). On August 13, 1955, she married Robert Cary while he was stationed with the United States Army in Bad Cannstatt, Germany. They returned to the US in 1956, settling into a home nestled in the woods in Niles, Michigan to raise their children. They bought a summer cottage on Diamond Lake in Cassopolis, Michigan in 1974, the home to which the couple later retired. June, as an active member of the Diamond Lake Yacht Club, was instrumental in founding the bridge and women’s sailing clubs.
June was well known for her broad, expressive and unique artistic talents. Her interest in art was sparked in her youth by a gift of a set of paints. Art became a family affair for June, her mother, and sister, carrying their traveling easels to paint landscapes in various settings. She continued to develop her artistic techniques at Michigan State, the Toledo Art Museum, the Stuttgart Art Institute, and at the University of Notre Dame. June pursued a career in fine art after successfully raising her children and seeing them off to college.
Over the decades, June’s style evolved. Her style began with acrylic abstracts, and then moved to floral landscapes. She called her work “contemporary impressionist” style. June also created unique stone and metal abstract sculptures.
Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Naples, Florida. She was also a featured artist at the South Bend Museum of Art, the Fernwood Botanic Garden and Nature Preserve, the University of Michigan, the Governor’s Mansion, Niles District Library, and many other venues throughout her career.
June’s major patron for her art is the high-end department store, Von Maur, Inc. Von Maur decorated twenty-four stores with her paintings, and created shopping bags and post-cards illustrating her work.
The late Robert A. Leader, former University of Notre Dame Senior Professor of Art, once described June’s award-winning work as having “a real sense of joy and light”. In a 1996 article about her show at the Bergsma Gallery in Grand Rapids, June made a statement reflecting the Professor’s remarks on her art, “I’m painting in a way I never originally imagined, but it’s fun. I enjoy the pleasure it gives other people.”
The family of June Cary will gather with relatives and friends to share memories and celebrate June’s life from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at the Visitor’s Center of Fernwood Botanic Gardens and Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, Michigan 49120.
The “June Cary Retrospective,” an exhibit demonstrating June’s life-long passion for art and creativity, is scheduled from August 3, 2018 through September 30, 2018 in the Clark Gallery at Fernwood. Family will be present at an open-house on August 5, 2018 from 2-4:00 p.m.
Contributions in memory of June may be made to Fernwood, http://www.fernwoodbotanical.org/; or to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, Indiana 46637, http://www.centerforhospice.org/. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Online condolences may be left at: