July 1, 1919 – December 27, 2020
June was born July 1 and as she put it “has been running late ever since.” First child of Carl and Emma Wigen, born in Wynndel, BC, June was predeceased by her brothers Syd and Rae.
June had many happy memories of childhood on the family farm. She was a bright student whose proudest moment was to receive the Governor General’s Medal in 1932 for 3rd highest marks in BC, and the $5 prize for top Grade 8 student in the region. She graduated from high school in nearby Creston.
June took teacher training at the Provincial Normal School in Victoria, and for one year taught twenty children in seven grades in the one- room school at Horse Creek near Golden, BC.
In 1941 she married her high school sweetheart, Edward Argyle but five months later his regiment was sent to England. June worked in Creston until 1945, when they moved to Vancouver so Ed and his brother Sid could attend UBC.
In 1950, Ed began his career at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory north of Victoria, BC. In 1959, the family moved to Penticton BC, when Ed was transferred to the new White Lake Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory. June was always interested in science and space through her connection with Ed.
June soon joined Penticton groups related to her love of music and the arts. She was a long time member of the Summerland Singers and Players, performing in decades of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. She sang with the Mixed Choir, the Madrigal Singers and the Golden Echoes well into the 1990’s.
For over 40 years June was an enthusiastic volunteer for many local arts organizations including 27 years as Entries Secretary for the Okanagan Music Festival (later the Kiwanis Music Festival.) She was director of school exhibits at the Harvest and Grape Fiesta for many years.
She received many community awards for her dedication including the Penticton and District Arts Council Award, Distinguished Service Award from the BC Association of Performing Arts Festivals and Honorary Life Membership in the Penticton Art Gallery.
June felt honoured to be included in the book “Celebrating Penticton Women 1908-2008 Book Two”. She said she wanted to make her corner of the world a better place, and she succeeded.
She had a sense of adventure and travelled to Norway, England and walked on the Great Wall of China. She had a green thumb, and could turn any patch of ground into a flourishing vegetable or flower garden. She was honoured along with other “Guerrilla Gardeners” who turned waste bits of land into spots of beauty. Overall, June was a person very content in her own company. She could sing harmony, play the piano, draw and paint, identify and grow plants and make a Hallowe’en costume in a few hours.
Her favourite book was her huge Dictionary. She sold her needlepoint at Heritage House craft store in Penticton and sewed quilts to benefit women in need. She had spunk and humour, and was warm, caring and generous with her time.
June moved to North Vancouver in 2016, where she delighted the residents and staff of Cedarview Lodge with her ready wit, poetry and song. She said near the end “I have a feeling of happiness about my life. I want to say thank you to the world, for making it a pretty good place.” June passed away peacefully on December 27, 2020 at the age of 101 and a half.
June is survived by her two loving daughters Georgia (formerly Janice) in Petaluma, California and Phyllis in Halfmoon Bay, BC, plus extended family in Creston and Norway.
Please visit www.AffordableCremationAndBurial.ca to share your memories with the family. June would be delighted if you wished to make a donation in her name to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society at www.sowins.com.
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