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Obituary: June Grammes Butler Kemper, 94, Waukesha, WI

She was a major figure in Adair County during her 20 year residency here, writing the popular column, "Joy out my window," for the Daily Statesman here over most of that period. She was highly educated naturalist, a staunch conservationist, and a champion of the environment well before that position became mainstream in Adair County, as it is today with much thanks to the pioneering impetus she gave the movement

June Grammes Butler Kemper, 94, a longtime resident of Adair County, died peacefully on January 22, 2011, in her home in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with her family at her side. June lived for almost 20 years on Harrods Fork Creek in southern Adair County. She was well known throughout the county as a nature enthusiast and wrote the popular column, "Joy out my Window" in the Adair County Daily Statesman newspaper.

June Kemper was born on May 16, 1916, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Harry and Blanche Grammes. She graduated from Cedar Crest College and continued her schooling in veterinary science at the University of Pennsylvania - an extremely unusual situation for a woman in the 1930s. She married Bob Butler from Waukesha, Wisconsin in October 1941 and had six children.

June and her second husband, Jackson Kemper, moved to Adair County in 1975, after refurbishing a beautiful farm on Harrods Fork Creek. They raised Morgan horses and collected antique carriages. Although her husband passed away within a few years, June so loved the people and environment of Adair County that she continued living on her farm until, due to advancing age, she moved to be closer to her family in Wisconsin. She visited Kentucky often.

June Grammes Butler Kemper is survived by Merrily Butler of New York City; Linda Butler of Washington, DC; Morgan Butler of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Wendy Butler Burt of Columbia, Kentucky; Harry Butler of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Brian Butler of Olympia, Washington; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Tributes in her honor may be made to the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, 642 Main St., Lexington, KY 40508 or The American Chestnut Foundation, P.O. Box 4044, Bennington, VT 05201.

This story was posted on 2011-01-22 16:10:35
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