June Erna Steves, the mother of world renowned Edmonds travel expert Rick Steves, died on Dec. 29, 2011, from complications of a heart attack. She was 80.
Mrs. Steves, whose last years were afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, was surrounded by her family and pastor.
An Edmonds resident since 1967, Mrs. Steves was born to Norwegian immigrants Harold and Erna Fremmerlid on June 29, 1931, in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada.
The following was provided by Rick Steves:
“June grew up skiing and enjoying family, friends and the great outdoors as a child in Edmonton; she left the homestead and moved to White Rock near Vancouver, where she went to high school. Her family then moved to Seattle, where her father started and ran Oslo Electric Company and she lived with her mother and siblings, Harold, Sylvia and Norman.
“Once in Seattle June soon met Dick Steves—nearly knocking him off his skates at a local roller rink. They were married in 1951. June supported Dick as he finished his university studies, taught band in public schools and tuned pianos. June ran the home front in Crown Hill, Kenmore and Edmonds with love and energy, raising with Dick three children: Rick (born 1955), Janis (born 1956) and Linda (born 1958).
“The Steves moved to Edmonds in 1967, where all three children attended Edmonds High School. June was a founding member of St. Peter by The Sea Lutheran Church. And it was in Edmonds that June and Dick Steves founded and ran 'Steves Sound of Music,' their store in which they brought the world’s greatest pianos from Europe to Edmonds and then from Edmonds to music lovers throughout the Puget Sound area.”
(Editor's note: One of those pianos is now inside the new Jack Murphy's bar on Fourth Avenue North, on the same block where is headquarted.)
“Each weekend for decades, June organized camping and boating excursions. She harvested the sea and cooked it up expertly. She was a traveler, a skier, a parent, a partner and friend who complemented Dick as if a match designed in heaven. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, first mate of the good ship 'Junie,' and friend who provided a Christian foundation for an entire family. Those who survive June—her husband, three children, six grandchildren (Cayleigh, Nicole, Tyler, Kelsey, Andy and Jackie) and brothers Norman and Harold, will remember her with thanks and love.
“Those mourning the loss of June celebrate her eighty years on this earth as a lifetime well lived and filled with adventure, a passion for life, and love. A service to remember the life of June Steves was celebrated at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood on Dec. 31.”