In memory of
June (Barap) Roberts
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In memory of
June (Barap) Roberts
GREENFIELD - June Roberts née Barap was born on April 29, 1922 in Revere MA, oldest daughter of Joseph and Celia Barap. June could swim before she could walk. At age 11, she attended her fist opera with her dad, and fell in love with the music. June graduated from Lynn Classical High School, then from Radcliffe College with honors in 1943. June met Ralph Roberts, the love of her life and best friend, while working at the War Labor Board. They married on July 21, 1945. June and Ralph made their home, first in Brookline where they had 4 children, then in Springfield and finally settled in Fall River. June received her Master's in Education from Bridgewater State College and began teaching at St Ann's in Fall River. She taught history and civics at New Bedford High School for many years. June retired from teaching in 1988 and helped Ralph with his law practice as well as his two used book stores in Fall River. June worked for H&R Block as a tax preparer in the Swansea office. In 2008, June and Ralph moved to Greenfield to be near their two daughters. In Greenfield, June served as a volunteer tutor at The Literacy Project on subjects such as history and reading, and happily joined in a local Greenfield book group. For many decades, June and Ralph enjoyed their summer home on Cape Cod where the family and their many friends gathered. June always had a pot of chowder and fresh fish cooking. After a hurricane, June retrieved a Beatle Cat sailboat that had survived the storm, and patiently repaired it. June loved adventure. She sailed fearlessly and swam almost daily, regardless of weather and sea conditions. June was an ardent gardener and she maintained all sorts of rare flowering plants and trees both at her home in Fall River and on Cape Cod. She surrounded her homes with beautiful gardens. June's life was filled with social justice causes. She began her work life as a union organizer and always supported workers' rights. June marched for human rights and fair housing. She fought for improved services and against stigma towards the mentally ill. June was a long-time member of the Coalition against Poverty and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). An eager learner, June was an avid reader, she read and read and read, once saying that Franz Kafka was her favorite fiction author. She loved to dance with Ralph, and together they took tango lessons. They continued to play tennis into their 80's. June and Ralph took many wonderful trips together including driving on the Pan American Highway from Costa Rica to Texas (when it was still a dirt road in many places) with friends Katey and Frank Lyons. They spent winter vacations camping at Boquerón, Puerto Rico. June had a passion for music and played the piano and sang her entire life. For many years, she sang with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale, with a favorite role as a gypsy in Bizet's Carmen. She attended opera and classical concerts where-ever and when-ever she could. June never stopped singing. June had a passion for people as well as music. Family gatherings were always filled with singing and dancing and delicious food made by June. June took great joy in her family and in her many dear friends. She loved a good party, and she brought family and friends together. June lost her dear husband Ralph in 2009 after 64 happy years together and her darling sister Mimi in 2015. She is survived by her 2 daughters, Jill Roberts of Leverett and Judith Roberts of Colrain; her 2 sons, Peter Roberts of Berkeley CA, and Michael Roberts of Fall River; sons-in-law Rick Pivirotto of Leverett and Jonathan Lagreze of Colrain and a daughter-in-law Miriam Nathan-Roberts of Berkeley CA. And sons- in-law Scott Salzman and Tom Timmins. June is survived by her grandchildren; Jenny and Gabriel Salzman and partner Sal Lombardo; Kalicia Pivirotto and husband Ben Lorenzi; Jasmin, Caraway, and husband Josh Cott; Joseph and Daniel Timmins and wife Oona Hart; and Dan Nathan-Roberts. June was predeceased by her beloved grandson Peter Salzman. She leaves 5 great-grandchildren, Noah and Fiona Cott; and Ocean, Billie, and Honey Timmins. June also leaves many dearly loved nieces, nephews and cousins and fine friends. June died peacefully at her home in Greenfield surrounded by family on January 2, 2017. Burial was private. There will be a celebration of life for June in Greenfield, MA at a date to be announced. Donations can be made in June's honor to: NAMI of Bristol County, MA. INC., P.O.BOX 9096, Fall River, MA 02720 http://www.namibristolcounty.org/ or to the Coalition for Social Justice, 105 Williams Street, New Bedford MA 02720 http://coalitionforsocialjustice.org/ or to theFriends of the Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main Street, Greenfield MA 01301 The McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, MA, have been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. Guest book and condolence message available at www.mccarthyfuneralhomes.com
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