Obituary of June LaVerne Viser-Grote
June LaVerne Viser Grote, 94, longtime resident of Corpus Christi, Texas and most recently Columbia, Missouri, died on March 23, 2019, after a full and useful life.
On Friday April 5, 2019, friends’ and family visitation will start at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 900 S Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. The funeral service will follow at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. Graveside Services will commence immediately thereafter at Seaside Memorial Park, 4357 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412.
June was born June 11, 1924 to Daniel Floyd Viser and Leona Alrie Lile Viser in the small farming community of Charleston, Delta County, Texas. Her ancestors’ hardy spirit was inherited by June and repeatedly came in handy. June was an incredibly hard worker from an early age, and her formative years were during the Great Depression. June had loving and caring parents. They were poor but hardly knew because family, neighbors and friends were poor as well. As the oldest of five children, she had two younger sisters and then was six when her twin brothers were born on her birthday. She helped take care of them all as they grew. At an early age, she played the piano for the local Methodist and Holiness churches. She and her sisters, and sometimes cousins and friends, were forever singing in trios or quartets at various schools and church functions. June attended grammar school through 10th grade in a one room building in Charleston, and remembered wearing shoes, with no soles, on a dirt road to get there. She picked cotton as a youth and worked in the family garden that sustained them. June graduated high school on May 30, 1941.
June moved to Paris, Texas and worked to pay for college. She graded Music Theory papers, helped with the Music Library, and assisted the college music director and teacher, who was also the organist and music director of the First Methodist Church. June graduated with honors on May 26, 1943 from Paris Junior College, where she studied public school music and elementary education, and received her State Teachers Certificate shortly afterwards.
Gordon Henry Grote, a young man from Mason, Texas, and one who was stationed at Camp Maxey, nine miles north of Paris, attended a service at the Methodist Church where June sang in the choir. They met, began dating, and later became engaged, and remained so for two years. Like so many others during this time, these two, young people were separated by war on lands that they could only previously visualize in their minds. Gordon finished his service in the Army during WWII in the South Pacific, where he landed on Leyte with General Douglas MacArthur on his return to the Philippines.
June moved to Dallas and lived with her aunt in the summer of 1943 and worked at Decker Meat Packing Plant as an Office Assistant/Bookkeeper. She returned home, at the request of her parents and school board, to teach music and choir at her high school, 8th grade English, 4th grade Geography, and rhythm band for younger children, all for one year. She again returned to Dallas and worked from March 1944 -March 1946 for Southwestern Life Insurance in the Actuarial Department, leaving for the purpose of getting married to Gordon on March 10, 1946 at First Methodist Church, Dallas Texas, where June had attended and sang in the choir.
Returning to Gordon’s home area, the newlyweds settled on family land at the crossroads-6 miles east of Katemcy, 5 miles west of Fredonia, 6 miles south of Voca and 18 miles north of Mason, where June became a housewife, and co-owner/operator of a livestock ranch. They raised Registered Hereford cattle, Angora goats, sheep, Hampshire hogs, turkeys, chickens, and of course, horses and Border Collies. June also became the teacher for 1st-4th grades of elementary children in Voca for the McCulloch School District from Sept 1946-June 1948.
On August 6, 1948 June gave birth to John Gordon in Brady, on January 24, 1951 to Roger Viser in the new Mason Hospital, and there, on October 4, 1955, to Mary Leona as well. June often said that two boys and a girl were what she always wanted.
Because of the Texas drought when prickly pear was burned to feed the animals, Gordon and June packed up belongs, gathered the animals and set out, in 1958, for Reno in Lamar County. They continued to raise livestock on 22 acres, and June became organist for Calvary Methodist Church. Another move was made in 1960 to Clarksville in Red River County, where they also had opened a Moorman’s Feed Store. June taught many students to play organ and piano and was the organist for McKinsey Methodist Church.
Finally, in 1963, all livestock was given up and the family moved to Corpus Christi, buying and living at Rock Lodge Motel on Corpus Christi Beach. June managed the motel primarily and for years cleaned the rooms herself. After hurricanes Beulah, Celia and then Allen, the third devastating storm, Gordon and June moved across town in 1981 where she lived until moving to Columbia, MO.
June was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church, Corpus Christi, and a very active member/officer of the Jennie Hill Cooper Class, which she loved. She was involved in many facets of the church, and loved playing the piano in class and singing hymns during all services, while admiring the great organists and musicians.
June was a substitute teacher, she sold Studio Girl Cosmetics part-time, she worked part-time in sales for 5 years in the Men’s Department for Lichtenstein’s downtown, she was a Nueces County election judge, and for a while co-operator/owner of Sand Dollar Bed and Breakfast after moving from the motel.
June loved being with other people and cherished friendship, which sustained her through difficult times. Despite many losses and pain, June remained faithful to God and is a good example of perseverance. June was talented as a pianist, seamstress, quilter, one who loved to crochet, artist, and crafter. She enjoyed square dancing, playing dominoes, playing bridge, working with plants, caring for her cats, and accumulating treasures. June was a Charter Member of the Texas State Aquarium, and previously a member of the Corpus Christi Beach Association, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, Hotel/Motel Association, State Teachers Association, Thursday Music Club, “Gabby” sewing group and Aglow.
June is survived by her daughter, Mary Leona von Schoenborn and husband Alexander of Columbia, Missouri, and their son, Damian Andreas von Schoenborn and wife, Julie Rebecca Hoye, and their baby, Lola Hoye von Schoenborn. She is also survived by grandson David Michael Grotenberg and wife Donna Dorothy and their children Davis Wilhelm, Dorothy June, and Dawson John Walton; and by grandson Joseph Marvin Grote and wife Antonietta Guadalupe and their children Sevine Antonietta, and Joaquin Joseph. David and Joe and their children are descendants of Roger Viser Grote (deceased) and Mary Adelaide Mireur Grote, who survives.
Brother, Bobby Clay Viser, and his wife, Donna; sisters-in-laws Barbara Viser and Doris Grote, as well as nine nephews and six nieces also survive. June was preceded in death by her eldest son, John Gordon Grote, in 1983; by son, Roger Viser Grote, in 1988, and by her beloved husband Gordon Henry Grote, after 51 years of marriage, in 1997.
Brother Billy Ray Viser, and sisters, Verna Floy Hamilton and Helen Jean Anderson are also deceased.
Memorial suggestions: First United Methodist Church, Music Ministry or ArtWalk, 900 S Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi TX 78401; or Del Mar College, Department of Music, Fine Arts Center, 101 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi TX 78404.
June loved her family, her church family, her neighbors and friends. As small strokes eventually affected her memory, excellent care was given by staff of Mi Casa Home Health Care Agency of Alice TX, staff of Visiting Angels in Corpus Christi, and staff of Cedarhurst Assisted Living and Memory Care (formerly Provision Living at Columbia) and her family is forever grateful.