June 22, 1928 – Oct. 29, 2019
June Engstrom was born in Portland, Oregon in 1928 and died peacefully Oct 29, 2019, in Seattle at the age of 91, following a brief illness, with family at her side.
She was the first child of four children born to her beloved parents, Herb and Elsie Engstrom. She lived a good portion of her life in Nome, Alaska as her father was a gold miner there. She was an independent frontier woman who, following a divorce, went to college at the same time her four children were high school and college students. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from University of Washington in 1971, and Master of Education from Western Washington University in 1979. She worked as a public school teacher in Nome, Alaska, for years, retired from teaching, and became the owner of June’s Bed and Breakfast, which was located in Nome, Alaska.
As a resident of Nome, she saw things that needed improvement, and rather than complain, she ran for public office and won, serving on the Nome City Council to try and make a difference in her community. After many years in Nome she had had enough of the Arctic winters and bought a beautiful glacier view home in the warmer Homer, Alaska. She worked as the owner/proprietor of June’s Bed and Breakfast there and lived independently, hosting guests in Homer until she was 85 years old. June belonged to the Bed and Breakfast Association there and also again was elected to the city council in Kachemak City. During her time in Homer, she also managed to self-publish a book about her life and times as a gold miner’s daughter, titled “It’s Still September,” so her tales of her life in Alaska and beyond will live on forever. Her breathtaking lodge remains a thriving bed and breakfast with new owners who named it “Juneberry Lodge” in her honor.
June was preceded in death by her cherished parents, Herb and Elsie Engstrom; her beloved husband, Kip Wardle; and infant brother, Danny.
She is survived by her four children, and six grandchildren, Gary Tennesen, David Tennesen (Susan), and their twin sons, Marc and Eric Tennesen, daughter Lis Hach (Jon) and their sons Tyler and Geoffrey Hach, son Reidar Tennesen, (Pam) and Reidar’s daughters, Kristina and Hanna Tennesen, and former daughter-in-law Dina (Scott) Hime; sister, Joan Salzwedel; brother, Ron Engstrom; niece, Elisa James (Gary); nephews, Michael McGinley, (Rhonda) and Pat McGinley and their families.
After moving to the Hearthstone in Seattle to be closer to family, she enjoyed singing in the choir and being a part of the community there. She never met a stranger. The family wishes to thank the staff and residents at the Hearthstone for their wonderful community and support over the past five years. Her faith remained strong until the very end: her last communication with family she announced she was going to see Herb and Elsie. Services were held at the Hearthstone in Seattle.