June Pugmire Martin Mabey returned to her heavenly home, passing peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday July 20, 2021 at the age of 98. Her vibrant spirit was always full of hope, cheerfulness, laughter and enthusiasm. Always positive, she loved people, new adventures and learning. But most of all she loved God and her Savior Jesus Christ, and she shared her faith in them with all she knew. She often spoke of her trust in the Lord’s plan as she patiently waited to reunite with her family and loved ones gone before. What a joyous reunion it must be!
She was born in Paris, Idaho on June 11, 1923 to Laura Richards Pugmire and Leslie Edward Pugmire. She was the last of four children and the only girl. She is preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers, Lloyd, F. Richard, and Russell Pugmire.
Six weeks after her birth her family moved from Idaho to North Ogden and then to Salt Lake City when she was 4 years old. They lived near Liberty Park in Salt Lake, which provided many pleasurable days. She attended Liberty Elementary School.
She said her family was the poorest family in her ward and neighborhood during the great depression, but she enjoyed her childhood immensely in Salt Lake and took no notice of their financial circumstances.
In 1936 when June was 13 years old her family moved to Stockton, California. She attended Stockton Junior High and Stockton High School where she was an excellent student, especially in English, Speech, and writing (but not so much in math, she said), and she loved being in the high school chorus.
Her father died of cancer when she was 17 years old and a senior in high school. The strength and faith of her mother, Laura, helped dispel her fears and gave her strength and direction in her life. She graduated from high school early as an advanced student and immediately started studies at College of the Pacific and then at Utah State University. After a couple of years of college she and her mother moved back to Salt Lake where June worked at the Beneficial Life Insurance Company for two years. In 1943 she went back to college at the University of Utah. June loved music and during college she sang in various choirs and took private vocal lessons.
Her music interest soon took her back to California—but she would not leave her mother alone and so both of them moved to an apartment in Oakland. June worked for KLX Radio and continued her musical studies taking voice lessons in San Francisco, where she met a fellow vocal student, James Martin. They did musical performances around California together and eventually fell in love and married on December 30, 1948. James Martin was from Glasgow, Scotland. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 19 years old. June and Jim performed many times at the Scottish Rite auditorium in San Francisco. The first years of marriage they lived in San Francisco, California but eventually moved to Palo Alto. They had three children, all of whom survive June: Doug Martin (Debbie) of Provo, UT; Laurie Broadbent (Phil) of Eagle, ID; and Betsy Lark (Cliff) of Riverton, UT.
After 15 years of marriage, James Martin died unexpectedly of a heart attack on August 23, 1963 while the family was living in Palo Alto, California. While there June completed her college education at San Jose State graduating with a teaching degree In English and Spanish. After Jim’s death, she taught Junior High In Cupertino, Mountain View and Palo Alto school districts. Her love of travel began during those years as she took student groups to Europe.
A few years later she was introduced to a widowed BYU college professor, Melvin P. Mabey. Although she was reluctant to meet a man with nine children, she eventually did, and they fell in love and married on June 3, 1966 in the Oakland Temple. So June, her mother Laura and her three children moved to Provo, Utah where she and Mel became parents to a family of 12 children. June’s life was very busy helping Mel raise 12 children ages 2-15. Mel’s children are Tanya Hernandez (Arnold) of Geneva, Florida; Lynne Lockhart (Chuck, deceased) of Spanish Fork, UT; David Mabey (Linda) of Shelton, WA; Paul Mabey (Jennifer) of Amanda Park, WA; Richard Mabey of Provo, UT; Mark Mabey (Mary) of Bonanza, OR; Eric Mabey (Linda) of Orem, UT; Stephen Mabey (Tanya) of Spring City, UT; and Becky Mabey. All their children are living except Becky, who passed in 1986.
June and Mel were able to travel to many foreign countries during his teaching career at BYU. They were the directors of BYU semester abroad programs in London in 1976 and 1980 and again in 1992. They also lead around-the-world tours for BYU travel. And they spent a year in Laie, HI teaching at BYU Hawaii. They also spent a year in Oxford, England. To say that June enjoyed traveling is an understatement. She thrived on meeting new people and making friends all over the world.
When they retired they moved to Arizona, and lived in Chandler and Gilbert. They enjoyed their 17 years in AZ and made many close friends there. During that time they served 2 missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: in Cape Town, South Africa and Namibia in 1989 and Prague, Czech Republic in 1994. They loved serving the Lord.
In 2002 June and Mel felt inspired to move back to the Provo/Orem area. It proved to be the right place for them to live their golden years. They loved being near BYU again and enjoyed campus activities and taking night classes from some of their favorite teachers. They again made many new friends and reunited with old ones. And Utah was the right location to receive many visits from children and grandchildren. It was always a party at Grandma and Grandpa Mabey’s house!
In their final years, they moved to Highland Glen assisted living in Highland, Utah.
And once again made new friends and enjoyed living where they felt secure and well cared for. Mel passed away on March 7, 2016 at the age of 93. June’s family is very thankful for all the staff who lovingly cared for them in their final years.
June’s final words to her family:
“I fell madly in love with a good man . . . and was blessed with a wonderful marriage. Mel and I are looking forward to our move to the next life—another great adventure. It has been a long and glorious life. I trust the Lord, His timetable and His agenda for us. We hope to endure to the end with the grace of the Lord by true prayer, which are my words to Him, and the scriptures, which are His words to me. I feel such closeness and trust. This has removed the fear of events of this life. For those of you who read this, I hope you can find this peace in your life sooner than I did. Remember dear ones, nothing in this life is for sure, except the gospel of Jesus Christ and its promises. That we may all be together in the next life is my fervent prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 11:00 am at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street in Orem, with a viewing held that morning from 9:30-10:30 am prior to the services. Interment will be in the Utah Veterans Cemetery. Condolences for family may be left on this page.
For those unable to attend, the services may be watched