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Helen June Harting

January 12, 1944 October 9, 2020
Helen June Harting
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Obituary for Helen June Harting

Helen June Niemira, a twin, was born on January 12, 1944. She was a twin daughter of Thadeus Felix Niemira and Doris Gann Niemira. The twins, Helen June and May, were born in Fairbury, NE, and baptized by their maternal grandfather, Rev. Barton A. Gann, Minister of the First Church of Christ in Rock Rapids, IA.

The name “Helen,” to honor her paternal grandmother, means “bright one” in Greek. “June” means “from June” in Latin.

Helen June Niemira was interested in music since birth, due to the delightful talents of her mother, Doris Gann Niemira, and her grandmother, Bertha Mae Knight Gann. Both of these influential ladies were wonderful musicians and inspiring music teachers. Music was a family activity that was entwined with social life in their religious family, and many of events happened at church. After enjoying piano lessons with her mother and grandmother at an early age, June learned how to play the trombone at age eight. She played trombone in school and community bands and orchestras and continued playing well into her adult life.

She earned the Bachelor of Music Degree from The University of Michigan and the Master of Music Degree from West Chester University. She worked part time as a secretary and worked summers for the J. C. Penney Company. After her college graduation, she directed bands, vocal choirs, and handbell choirs and taught music in grades 1 through12. (Huron Valley Schools of Milford, MI; West Bloomfield Schools, West Bloomfield, MI; The Independence School of Newark, Delaware, and The International Primary School of Zurich, Switzerland). She taught her four children music and they excelled in their respective schools and towns. Her wonderful husband, Ralph John Harting, Jr. (9/22/1944), whom she married in Michigan on April 15, 1974, encouraged and enabled her to be a homemaker who led creative activities. Ralph and June celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary in April 2020.

June felt fortunate to meet adult step siblings and relatives by marriage who had become her loving friends, and she saved their addresses and eagerly looked forward to receiving their annual Christmas letters and photos! While it isn’t possible to list everyone, some of the names often mentioned include:

Caroline Niemira, Peter Niemira and his wife Helen, Thadeus Niemira and his wife Helen; the late David T. Badgley, Lawrence T. Badgley and his wife Sharon, Patricia Badgley Collins, Jacqueline Badgley Jones and her late husband Ernest, Carl S. Badgley and his wife Betty, and Jonathan Badgley; the late Ralph John Harting and his wife Rose Koss Harting, Mary Elaine Harting Bilyk and her late husband George Bilyk, Joseph William Harting and his late wife Veronica, Joseph Harting and family, Scott Harting and family, Amanda Harting Fitzgerald and her husband Stephen and their children Jack, Lucy, and Thomas, Michael Harting and his wife Darlene and children Michael and Erin Harting Fannin; Brian Buckley and his family.

She is also grateful for her sister, May Niemira Sisson, her husband Gary Sisson, their children David Sisson and Amy Sisson Strutt, and David and Amy’s respective families.

Her pride and joy were her four children! They were greatly loved, disciplined, praised, and taught that if they worked hard enough, they could achieve all their goals.

Ralph John Harting III (8/19/1976 – 4/29/2005), his wife Jennifer Nazworth Harting Buckley, and their three children, Ralph John Harting IV, Adeline Rose Harting, and Warren Chiever Harting.

William Jerome Harting (5/10/1978) and his wife Lisa Katherine, and their three children, William Jerome, Jr., Samantha Frances and Olivia Jane.

Lawrence Joseph Harting (2/12/1980) and Dana Bova, and their two children, Edward Sebastian and Isla Blake.

Sarah June Harting (9/26/1981).

June’s four children were baptized in the church where their parents were married—Orchard Lake Community Church, Presbyterian, Orchard Lake, MI. After living in Delaware and Switzerland, June and Ralph returned to Orchard Lake Church in 2000.

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