June Gustafson, age 92, of Lincoln, formerly of Aurora, passed away on Monday, September 28, 2020, at Hillcrest Firethorn Health Services in Lincoln.
Funeral Services will be held 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, October 6th at the Evangelical Free Church in Aurora. Rev. Vance Christie will officiate. Interment will be at the Monroe Evangelical Cemetery of Phillips. Visitation will be from 5 - 7 P.M. on Monday at the Higby-McQuiston Mortuary. Current CDC guidelines will be followed. Face masks are recommended. The service will be livestreamed on https://www.facebook.com/111760243627085/live/ Memorials may be made for June Gustafson in care of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015 or by online tiu.edu/giving. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
OBITUARY: JUNE GUSTAFSON
June was born in Princeton, Minnesota, on June 24th, 1928 to Reverend Carl and Mrs. Signe Carlson. The family also lived in Wolverton, Minnesota, Rockford, Illinois, Gothenburg, Nebraska, Los Angeles, California and East Chain, Minnesota where June's father served as Pastor.
June graduated from East Chain High School, attended Northwestern College and Augsburg College in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1949 with a degree in Music Education. She taught in Westbrook, Minnesota from 1949 - 1951 and then enrolled in the Missions Course at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. She and Phil Gustafson were married in 1953 and spent the following year in Brussels, Belgium studying French and other courses they needed in order to work as missionaries in the Belgian Congo, now Zaire.
June taught French in the boys school at Tandala, helped the Congolese women with sewing projects (all by hand) made possible by "feed sacks" being sent by friends in the US. June also held Bible studies with the women.
After a year of furlough in the U.S., June and Phil returned to Congo and lived in Gemena. June held Bible studies with the women and directed a boy's choir. In addition, she taught French in the school for children of Belgian officials.
In 1960, they were evacuated, as well as other missionaries, from the Congo during the beginning of a revolution, as directed by the State Department, and returned to the U.S. They moved to Griffin, Georgia, where Phil's brother Milton invited him to join him in his home manufacturing business. June gave many piano lessons and was active in the church they attended.
In 1965, Phil was asked by Dr. Harry Evans to come to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, to serve as Chief Financial Officer. They moved to Prospect Heights where June taught French in the Deerfield Junior High School and gave many piano lessons in her home. The family attended the Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church where June was involved in women ministries and music.
In 1970, Phil's brother Mike asked him to join him in his business in Aurora when his partner, Art Anderson, retired from Anderson-Gustafson Real Estate, Farm Management and Insurance.
June taught French at Aurora High School for many years where she was highly respected by her students and staff. She initiated and led a chapter of "Fellowship of Christian Girls" at the High School until she retired.
June was active in the Aurora Evangelical Free Church for many years, playing the piano and organ, leading bible studies, serving on the music committee and in women's ministries, and actively playing roles in AWANA and Vacation Bible Schools.
June performed with the Liberty Bells, a local patriotic women's choir, was a member of the Aurora Arts Counsel and served actively in other leadership roles and community activities.
After retiring, June worked part-time for many years at Mo-Nets gift shop and as a volunteer at the Aurora Thrift Shop.
June was preceded in death by her husband Phil and their eldest son Rick.
She is survived by her son Ron and his children Anna and Kyle, great granddaughter Zoey (Kyle), Randy and his children Chloe and Erik, brother Dwight Carlson of Iowa Falls, Iowa, brother La Rue Carlson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and sister-in-law Leone Gustafson of Aurora, Nebraska.