The Times West Virginian


March 22, 2014

June Bennett

June Thorn Bennett of Dunbar died Thursday (March 20, 2014) in Hubbard Hospice House West of brain cancer.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 53 years, Leslie D. “Jeff” Bennett; her mother and father, Ada and James Thorn; brother, John Thorn; and sisters, Margaret Martin and Louise Stewart.

June was born Oct. 16, 1928, in Mannington. She attended Mannington schools and graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1946.

At the age of 17, she was employed by C&P Telephone Co. where she worked for six years holding a variety of jobs. She resigned in 1951 to raise her family. At the age of 37, she returned to work for C&P Telephone Co. as a draftswoman. Over the next 17 years, she held 11 jobs in three different departments, the last assignment being district manager of operator services for the northern half of West Virginia.

In 1984, when the Bell System operating companies were divested from AT&T, she was appointed by AT&T to be the highest-ranking manager in West Virginia and the highest-ranking woman in the southern district, which included West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Under her supervision, West Virginia operator services rose from second to last in the southern district to first in the nation in customer service and overall performance.

Even though she loved her job and the people she worked with, she took early retirement in 1987 to spend time with the love of her life, her husband Jeff. For 18 years until his death, they were always together in perfect communion and love for each other.

She was a lifelong Methodist and a member of Humphreys Memorial United Methodist Church in Dunbar. She was a life member of The Telephone Pioneers.

She had a natural artistic ability and taught herself how to paint and draw. She also loved interior decorating.

Even though she took great pride in her success in the business world, her greatest pride and joy was her family. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother who always managed to have time for her family and always put them first.

Those left to cherish her memory are her son, Jeffery and his wife Shirley, whom she loved as a daughter, of Dayton, Ohio; daughter, Beth and her husband Jim Brewer, whom she loved as a son, of Cross Lanes; grandchildren, Jessica Brewer of Columbus, Ohio, Samantha Brewer of Cross Lanes, Andrew Saluke of Atlanta, Ga., and Elizabeth Saluke of Washington, D.C.; sister, Lorene and her husband Ammi Adler of South Charleston; sister-in-law, Helen Pack of Mount Hope; and several nieces and nephews.

Per her request, her body was cremated, and there will be a private graveside service at the Thorn family cemetery at a later date with her nephew, Reverend Dr. David Jenkins, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the American Cancer Society, 1700 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Third Floor, Charleston, WV 25314.

The family wishes to extend a special, heartfelt thank you to the staff of Hubbard Hospice House West, whom June frequently referred to as her angels.

Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

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