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June Elizabeth (Bell) Malchoff

June 2, 1944 ~ September 7, 2020 (age 76)


"If there is even a twinge of sadness pervading my obituary, I will come back to haunt you!  My life has been filled with joy and that is how I wish to be remembered". So inferred June on her deathbed.

Born in Coquitlam in 1944 with fire in her soul, June was a self-proclaimed 'difficult child'. She often reminisced about adventurous family camping trips throughout the states, working at her parent's service station, squabbling with her siblings and cousins, getting into trouble with neighbourhood Como Lake friends and being crowned May Queen when she was 11. June was career driven, becoming the first person in her large family to graduate from university and she never looked back.

June has led a life with twists and turns unimagined by reality TV shows. She lived the high life for many years in cosmopolitan Toronto and New York, entertained the Queen Mother at a formal dinner, travelled the world to its proverbial four corners (Russia, Peru, India and China) with family and friends, and had a "torrid" love affair on a canal boat in Europe. She kissed the Blarney Stone, marvelled at the Blue Mosque, was a guest of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, opened a successful antique store, and "starred" as an extra in a movie. June commonly drank red wine in a large goblet full of ice cubes, and zip lined with a girlfriend when over 60. She got into the best kind of trouble in pubs from Ireland, to the Californian Desert to New Orleans and on the Coast. Evenings (and sometimes afternoons) often ended with a loud, spontaneous serenading of her most recent original compositions. She was truly fabulous and her beloved 'Shirley Valentine' paled in comparison.

Throughout her life, June has had many aliases: Bell, Le Bleu, Hannah, Stewart, and most recently Malchoff. She was affectionately known as "Junee", "Miss June", "June Bug", "Auntie", and of course, the almighty "Captain June Hannah". Four husbands tried to tame her spirit and failed. Long years as an investment advisor did not dull her love of work and those she worked with. She delighted in games like Crib, Pass the Ace and "Pass the Pig", and was especially skilled with the insults that flew during a ribald sitting of "Mexican Train".  

No one could out-glamorize June. Her jewellery sparkled. Her flamboyant hats turned heads. Her parties were memorable not only for their classiness, but the range of eclectic friends she invited. Her signature banana flambe invoked sighs of pleasure from hedonists. June could carry anything off with style and grace. Few could match her sharp intellect, but she was careful not to make that too obvious. She gave sound advice, but only when asked. Short episodes of ill health only sharpened her wicked sense of humour. In such times she focussed on the "bright side", bringing tears of laughter rather than sorrow to ease her friends' concerns, much like Monty Python's last scene in "The Life of Brian".    

Along with all this, no one could have had a better friend than June. And June had many good friends, and many of her good friends were family. Her nieces and nephews were adored and adored her. Sunshine Coast friends and family were fortunate enough to bask in her presence the last 17 years - at least during the summer. They were able to experience an uplifting farewell from June the days before her passing.

June has asked that her ashes be spread on a beach along the Sunshine Coast. A celebration of life will be held at that time as and when permitted. In lieu of flowers, donations or cards of condolence, June's life lessons would have instructed us to get the most out of life, while we can. Eat lightly but well, cultivate good humour. Strive to enrich the lives of others. Live life with pizzazz. Enjoy a glass of wine. Add ice cubes to taste.

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