June was born June 4, 1932, to Frank and Nettie Mawesky Swirski.
June graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1948, two years early. At the time, she had a scholarship offer to go to nursing school but her parents felt she was too young to leave home. So at 16, June became a telephone operator for Indiana Bell. She held many jobs while raising her family, but her dream was finally realized in 1981 when she received her R.N. from Purdue and later her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Valparaiso University. June worked at both St. Anthony and Memorial hospitals, as well as home health care. Until the age of 80 she still took care of friends and neighbors, checking blood pressures and medicines daily and getting them to medical appointments in Michigan City and Chicago.
Grandchildren were June’s greatest passion. June and her husband Jim both felt it was their most important role in life to make every grandchild feel very secure, special and loved. June enjoyed dancing and playing cards. She was a master baker. She was a wonderful listener and she loved to laugh. Many hearts are saddened with her passing.
On June 17, 1950, she married James Downs, who preceded her in death Feb. 15, 2014.
Surviving June are six children: Kathi (Ron) Dean, Bonnie (Dallas) Dowden, Jerry (Sue) Downs, Tina (Walt) Nichols, Marybeth (Robert) Wright, and Matthew Downs. A son, Michael, and a daughter, Debbie, are deceased. June had three siblings, Frank (Donna) Swirski, Mary (Ted) Stanczak and Agnes (Ed) Scezniak, who are also deceased. June is also survived by 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A time of remembrance will be held Tuesday, April 18, at St. Mary’s Church in Otis, IN, from 9 to 11 a.m. A memorial Mass celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. at the church. Root Funeral Home, Michigan City, is handling arrangements.
Messages of condolence may be posted below on WNLP as well as at www.therootfuneralhome.com.