Obituary: Stella ‘June’ Gansberg, 1935-2019
Stella “June” Gansberg, born June 11, 1935, was the third of six children born to Irene and Clarence Shindlebower and was called Home to Heaven by her Savior Jesus Christ on December 19, 2019.
At age 16, June realized her need for a Savior, began following Jesus and studying the Bible. A bit of an overachiever, Stella June was an honor student; the Valedictorian for her senior class at Ramona High School in Ramona, California; an officer in California Scholarship Fellowships; involved in Girls’ Glee Club, girls basketball, and the school band; editor of her high school’s paper and on the yearbook staff. She turned down a college scholarship to marry her high school sweetheart William “Bill” Bert Gansberg on June 14, 1953.
Stella June raised four daughters while working at various occupations: banking; telephone service representative; setting up the first telephone office in Palm Desert; bookkeeper, a substitute teacher, cook, and librarian at Riverside Christian High School in California. She retired from the County of Riverside as Senior Clerk.
For much of June’s life, she served children and taught Good News Clubs with training from Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). When Bill retired from the California Highway Patrol, he was called into full-time ministry as State Director of CEF for Arizona.
Empty-nesters, Bill and June moved to Phoenix, beginning June’s nearly forty years as an Arizonan. In September 1988, Bill and June moved to the Verde Valley and accepted an opportunity to minister and spread hope in rural areas as missionaries with American Missionary Fellowship (AMF). After just two and a half years, Bill lost a battle with cancer. June continued to conduct Vacation Bible Schools in pine groves in Mountainaire or beside Oak Creek in Cornville, to teach Sunday School during the summer in Walker and to serve as a volunteer at Verde Valley Medical Center.
As a member of Verde Baptist Church (now Verde Community Church) since 1990, June taught teacher training sessions for children’s ministry leaders and helped with church services at Cottonwood Village.
While attending a bereavement group, June met Erik Jensen, who came alongside her and helped her load the trailer and set up the equipment for her various rural ministries. On February 12, 1994, they married and then navigated her long journey with Alzheimer’s Disease until Erik’s death on December 2, 2015.
June was also preceded in death by her parents, Clarence Lee and Irene Thelma Pemberton Shindlebower, brother, Buddy Shindlebower, sister, Nellie Mae Herring, nephew, Merle Nipper and niece, Irene Nipper. June is survived by her four daughters, Mona June Hodgson (Bob), Cindy Gathe (Leo), Tammy Haydon (Sterling), and Linda Keiper (Wayne); eight granddaughters, one grandson and 21 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, plus three sisters, Marion Nipper of Corona, CA; Pauline Walley of Olive Branch, MS and Alma Walker of Kingman, AZ. She is also survived by many beloved caregivers who served her so well at Carefree Assisted Living and Valley View Care in Cottonwood.
Saturday, January 4, 2020, family and friends will gather at 11 a.m. in the chapel at Westcott Funeral Home at 1013 E. Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood, Arizona, for a public celebration of June Gansberg’s inspiring life.
An online guestbook is available to sign at www.westcottfuneralhome.com.
Information provided by survivors.