June J. Donahue died on May 17, 2020.
Born in Scotland on Aug. 14, 1929, June was adopted by Cnute and Janet (Richardson) Beckman and had no siblings. The family settled in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where June graduated from high school in 1947. After attending the Kathryn Gibbs School, she worked at the offices of Bethlehem Steel in Manhattan.
June met her husband-to-be — John T. Donahue, a farmer and native of Calverton — while attending a softball game in Wading River, where her family had a summer bungalow. John won over June’s parents by bringing them fresh vegetables — June’s mother said she had never seen cauliflower that was such a bright white. June and John married in 1950 and settled in Riverhead, in a house that John helped build during a winter break from the farm.
June was predeceased by her husband of 63 years in 2013. She is survived by her daughter, Joyce, and her husband, Bill Sickles; son John and his wife, Linda Donahue; and son Jim and his husband, Will Feinberg.
While mostly a homemaker, June enjoyed working part-time in the Riverhead Town Hall for many years during tax season. She was a voracious reader, and for decades she volunteered to help with the book sale held in the Yellow Barn in back of Riverhead Free Library. Although she donated many books to the sale, she probably brought just as many — or more! — back home.
June loved to swim in the summer, especially at the Jamesport beach on the Peconic Bay and the Iron Pier beach in Riverhead on the Long Island Sound. June enjoyed cooking and baking, a skill she picked up from her mother. In summer, June often made her mother’s recipe for peach cake, made with local fruit. She was also an avid gardener and loved to spend as much time as possible tending to her flowers.
But more than anything, she enjoyed spending time with her husband and children — her family was at the center of her world. She was at her very happiest when everyone gathered for birthdays and holidays and shared a meal, capped with dessert — her favorite part of every dinner. Truly, no meal was complete without at least a cookie afterward.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
This is a paid notice.