June J. Spornitz of Sioux City, passed away peacefully on June 18, 2023 at her home. A celebration of her life will be held on July 1 at 11:00 a.m.at Grace United Methodist Church, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment at Memorial Park Cemetery will take place at a later date.
Maria Finnbjorg “June” Johnson was born at home to Victoria and Gunnlauger Johnson on
June 1, 1920 in an Icelandic immigrant farming community near Gardar, North Dakota. She grew up there and was valedictorian of her high school graduating class in Hensel, North Dakota.
After the death of her brother, Mayo Johnson, at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, June enrolled in the Nurse Cadet program at Northwestern University in Minneapolis. The program trained young women to replace RNs at home so that more experienced nurses could treat wounded troops overseas. The war ended before she completed the coursework. Her high school sweetheart, William “Bill” Spornitz, came home from his service as a paratrooper in the Pacific in December of 1945. He brought home a parachute and June used the silk to sew the skirt for her wedding dress. They were married in February. They lived in Grand Forks while Bill earned his college degree on the GI Bill, and then moved to Sioux City, where he began his teaching career at Morningside College. They raised their family in Sioux City and when the children were grown, June resumed college classes, graduating in 1971. She then taught second and third grade at Roosevelt School, retiring in 1984. Her retirement years were spent volunteering, enjoying her PEO Chapter GR, and doting on her grandchildren. She was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
June is survived by a brother, Robert Johnson, her children and their spouses: Bill (Nancy) Spornitz, Tom (Jayna) Spornitz, Mary (John) Daniels, and Anne (Tom) Olerich, grandchildren and spouses: Eric Spornitz, Anna ( Kris) Skidmore, Paul (Beth) Spornitz,Abby(Adam)Ratcliffe, Joe (Kelsey) Olerich, Adam (Ashley) Olerich, Leanna (Clayton) Whipple, Ben (Tessa) Daniels, and Anthony Osborn, fourteen great-grandchildren (one more due in September), and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, sisters Joyce Hermann and Betty Everson, brothers Mayo, Tryggvi and Floyd Johnson, and granddaughter Ellen Daniels Osborn.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests offering a memorial in her name to St Croix Hospice, Special Olympics or Wounded Warriors.