June's Story

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Junebug S. Venne, 87, of Willsboro, formerly of Cadyville, died Monday, December 11th, at Champlain Valley Senior Center, surrounded by her loving family. June's children sang and played music for her during her last day on earth.
She was born in Plattsburgh on June 22nd, 1930, the daughter of Lester and Catherine (Bichon) Desrocher. She always spoke of how she weighed a little over a pound at birth and was put in a shoebox, inside a dresser drawer as an infant. Despite the odds at that time, Junebug survived and grew into a small but spunky woman!
Junebug is most well-known for her singing and accordion playing. She began playing music with her husband Victor, better known as Clem Hawkins, from 1949 until around 1991. Many of her happiest moments were playing music with her husband and children in their family band! After they retired from the Clem Hawkins Band, you could usually see Junebug getting up with her kids, Tom and Julie, in their band Beartracks. The audience always loved her singing, feisty spirit and dancing on stage. Her joy of music was obvious to all who watched her perform.
Although she had high energy on stage, off stage was a different story. It would take her an hour to make two sandwiches and she was always the last one to finish eating. Tom would always joke it took her an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes. Washing and setting her hair was a full day's work for her! She believed in taking her time to make sure everything was perfect and there was no rushing her.:) She was able to laugh at herself and her slow pace.
Aside from music, June loved to do crossword puzzles, watch the Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, play pinochle with her friends, and in earlier days she was Captain of her bowling team "The Swingers." Those who knew her well were aware of her love of Coors Light (in a ginger ale bottle) and her daily smokes!
Juney always said how lucky she was to have a warm house, food to eat, music in her life and her family. She was happiest spending time with her family and playing music. She would always brag about her four children to those who would listen and was very proud of them. We are sure Junebug is up in heaven with our father, playing accordion and singing "Leavin on that New River Train."
Thanks to everyone who loved and supported Junebug throughout her time on earth. A special thanks goes out to Champlain Valley Senior Center staff for going above and beyond in their care for our mother. We could not have asked for a better place for her to spend her last year. We love you tons and will miss your laugh, your smile and your singing and dancing li'l Junebug.
June is survived by her daughters Deborah C. Venne, Julie A. Hogan and her husband Michael, and her son Tom and his wife Kameliia. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Frank (Courtney), Eric (Samantha) and Kristina Bretthauer and Tim Dufrane; Eldric (Beth), Jason (Olga) and Roland (Jamie) Venne; and Patrick, Anna and Colin Hogan. As well, she is survived by a sister, Arlene St. John and a brother, Earl Desrocher, several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Victor J Venne Jr., her beloved son Roland H., her parents, sisters Catherine and Thelma, and brothers Lester and Harold.
Calling hours will be held Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at 1 p.m. at St. James Church in Cadyville with Monsignor Lawrence M. Deno, celebrating. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery.
Donations in her name may be made to Champlain Valley Senior Center, Willsboro, N.Y.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, 643-9055. To offer an online condolence, share a symbolic gesture, or share a photo in memory of Junebug please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com
Published on December 13, 2017
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