University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering June Piper

272184_profile_picJune Elaine Piper, administrative assistant and office manager, NDUS Advanced Learning Technologies on the UND campus, passed away Nov. 9, 2010, at Valley Eldercare Center.  She was 71.

June Elaine Piper was born to Wilfred and Laurine (Birky) Koehler on Dec. 13, 1938, in Valparaiso, Ind.  She was the oldest of seven children. She lived near Kouts, Ind., until she married Donald L. Piper in Valparaiso on Nov. 30, 1957. She and Don lived in several places in Illinois and in Rochester, N.Y., and they spent the past 37 years in Grand Forks, where both worked at the University of North Dakota.  Don is associate vice president emeritus and professor emeritus of educational leadership at UND.

June earned her bachelor's degree in fashion design and merchandising from UND in 1986. For nearly eight years she owned and operated the Romantic Beginnings Bridal Shoppe in the Grand Cities Mall, where she delighted in helping young brides choose wedding apparel and preparing for a beautiful service. As a consequence, she was invited to (and attended) many weddings. She worked in several capacities at UND for many years, including teaching part-time in what was then home economics and nutrition.  Her most recent position was as administrative assistant and office manager for the Interactive Video Network (IVN) at UND, which serves all North Dakota institutions of higher education as well as state offices and some public schools. She held this position for almost the entire existence of IVN and until her death. June was very committed to her work and was devoted to her co-workers and to the IVN clients.

A member of Faith Evangelical Free Church, June served tirelessly for nearly 37 years. Perhaps her most notable and recent service was as coordinator of numerous church-sponsored food events and celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Probably the shortest and most accurate description of June's many roles in and out of the church was, "She spent her life helping people."

Even though six of her eight grandchildren lived far from Grand Forks for most of their lives, she was an amazingly devoted grandmother.  One of Don's most proud and treasured memories of their family is that all four daughters-in-law treated June as though she actually was their mother.

She is survived by Don Piper, her husband of 53 years, and four sons, four daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren: Scott and Judy Piper and sons Michael and James of Bothell, Wash.; Kevin and Barbara Piper and sons Daniel and Kyle of Wallingford, Conn.; Randy and Vicki Piper and daughters Kirsten and Samantha of Champlin, Minn.; and Ron and Sheila Piper and sons Tyler and Tanner of Grand Forks. She also is survived by her father and step-mother, two sisters and four brothers, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her mother, grandmothers, and grandfathers.

If anyone prefers to do so, memorials may be made to the Grand Forks Salvation Army, the Grand Forks Northlands Rescue Mission, or any other charity of your choice. -- Courtesy Grand Forks Herald.