In memoriam: June Peoples, beloved friend and colleague

JunePeoples_2012_sqWe are shocked and saddened by the news that our dear friend and long-time colleague, June Peoples, was killed in a pedestrian/vehicle accident last night. During the 13 years June managed our giving and finances, she raised the standards, outcomes and expectations of all at the station. She was honored in 2015 with the Development Professional of the Year Award by the public radio community at a national conference.

Even more importantly, she touched thousands of lives through her hands-on relationships with so many of the stations’ friends and through her work with community organizations including those devoted to animal protection and rescue, the Canton-Potsdam Hospital, and the Zumba and physical fitness cohort.

Messages for her  husband Joel Hurd, who is the NCPR Production Manager, may be emailed to [email protected] and condolences may also be mailed to Joel c/o North Country Public Radio, St. Lawrence University, Canton NY 13617. We have shared with you the message from SLU President Bill Fox sent to the entire campus community earlier today. That message also includes a link to a memorial message site.

We hold all of June’s and Joel’s family and friends close to us, and thank all of you for the kind messages that are pouring in.

There will be a memorial service for June Peoples, Sunday, December 11 at 1 pm in Gunnison Memorial Chapel at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.

Message from St. Lawrence University President Bill Fox

Dear Laurentian friends:

We learned late last night, even as her family was receiving this tragic news, that our colleague and friend June Peoples had died in a pedestrian accident.  Hearts are breaking throughout the Laurentian community, at North Country Public Radio of course, where June worked for more than a decade, and on campus, as June was a light of creativity, optimism, and energy for Advancement and Communications staff members.  Our grief is matched by our compassion for her husband, Joel Hurd, who also serves NCPR so capably as production manager.  I know you join me in sending love and compassion to Joel and so many others.  Station Manager Ellen Rocco wrote to me “We are all in mourning for this bright light we have lost.”

For 12 years, June was the Director of Giving and Finance at North Country Public Radio, where she was responsible for developing strategy, writing, and creative work for all on-air and digital fundraising campaigns as well as writing and developing all direct mail. Her strong writing skills and passion for education brought her to St. Lawrence in June 2016 as our Advancement communications writer.  She worked with her colleagues on campus to craft the messages and stories that inspire philanthropy to the University. One of her colleagues, Ryan Deuel, sent me a message this morning that “June’s kindness was readily apparent and nothing less than inspiring. June quickly became a close work-colleague of mine and a highly regarded member of the entire University Communications team.”

Many will also know June as a longtime fitness and wellness advocate.  She was a member of our Wellness Committee and a Zumba instructor on campus.

June’s career history also included enrollment management leadership roles at Paul Smith’s College and SUNY Potsdam. She relocated to the North Country from Tennessee after graduating with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee at Memphis and serving her alma mater in admissions.

As June’s family develops plans to remember her, we will share those plans with you.  We invite you to share your reflections on our Memorial Web site, and we also let you know that Ellen Rocco welcomes friends and colleagues who wish to call or stop by the station  if you would find it helpful to be with other people who were close to June.  Chaplains Kathleen Buckley and Shaun Whitehead are available to you as well, as you need their ministry of comfort.

Bill Fox

20 Comments on “In memoriam: June Peoples, beloved friend and colleague”

  1. Cindy Atkins says:

    My heart goes out to everyone who knew June and especially to Joel. June had an infectious positive, caring, high energy personality which we all loved. Just talking with her , lifted your mood and motivated one to do better. I will miss her.

  2. Robin Durocher says:

    I am lost for words.. Let’s start with what an amazing person June was. In her southern bell way she always brought light and happiness to the room she was present in. She taught zumba with a smile on her face, woohoo in her voice. She danced better than all of us!! She shared stories of her peacocks, her puppy and of course the love of her life Joel. She will be missed by so many!! She was smart and talented in so many ways. The way June lost her life is a reflection on the kind person she was. She has taught us to live every single day like it is your last because we never know what tomorrow will bring!! Joel and family I send my heart felt condolences. I as many feel the heavy feeling of your lost and ours.

  3. St. Lawrence Health System says:

    The entire St. Lawrence Health System family is grieving for the loss of our friend and board member, June. She joined the Canton-Potsdam Hospital board in 2007 and the St. Lawrence Health System board in September, 2016. June brought innovation, creativity, and infectious optimism to all our efforts: she even lent her talents as a Zumba instructor to help the Potsdam Guild raise funds for patients through its winter Zumbathon. Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers are with June’s and Joel’s families, with the St. Lawrence University and NCPR families, with Joel, and with June’s animal friends, the loves of her life.

  4. Melanie Coulson says:

    We’re terribly devastated to hear about the loss of our colleague, June. She was generous with her time and talents among her public media peers. She was always happy to talk with other stations, present at conferences and share advice. She will be missed terribly by everyone who knew and learned from her.

    We extend our condolences to all her colleagues at NCPR, the University and her family. We’re thinking of you at this time and wish you peace in the days ahead.

    Melanie Coulson
    Greater Public

  5. Esther Katz says:

    June’s death is an unspeakable loss for Joel and the St Lawrence County community. Her Zumba like enthusiasm for life energized everyone who knew her, and lit up our lives.

  6. Lucy Martin says:

    This is terribly sad.

    June was a treasure. So talented and creative. Irrepressibly kind, helpful and upbeat. Always thinking “how can this be better?” And then trying to make it so.

    A devastating loss for all, especially Joel. June was someone who who made life worth living. I will certainly remember her that way.

  7. Michele Whalen says:

    I will always think of June during “black fly season”. Our hearts are all breaking.

  8. Anne Townsend says:

    I love this woman for all that she was and all she stood for. She was warm and real and oh so kind… fun, spontaneous and full of joy. She’s in my heart and I miss her deeply.

  9. Dave Beaulieu says:

    Please know that your friends and listeners are feeling sad and hurt by this loss. I met June only once, she was (and will always be) a very warm and friendly person. My heart goes out to all of you who knew her much better.

  10. Myra Grady says:

    The world seemed to actually stop for a bit when I heard of June’s death on this evening’s news. I didn’t know June well but every time I saw her, her face lit up with a smile and I felt that seeing me was just the best thing that had happened to her all day. That gift of making others feel special was part of her charm and was genuine. The delight and positivity that she spread all around was as rare and wonderful as was June herself. The world has lost a guiding light and a champion. My heart goes out to her husband and to her colleagues and friends. I can’t imagine the pain you all must be feeling but I envy you the relationships that you were blessed to have with such a truly remarkable woman. I wish you all eventual peace and continuing joy in remembering this lovely, lovely person.

  11. Colton Native says:

    It’s sad, yes, but please spare a thought for the driver. This tragic loss occurred after dark, and it’s quite possible the 79 year old driver didn’t see Ms. Peoples running into the road to chase after what was apparently a loose dog. Please leash your dogs and be careful in traffic.

  12. Claudia says:

    June was one of the sweetest, most sincere people I know. She had a ready smile and genuine warmth. Such a tragic loss for our whole community. Deepest sympathies to her beloved family, co-workers, associates and friends. May you find some peace in the memories you’ve made and share. Know the community is holding dear June in our hearts and her family and friends in our prayers.

  13. David Duff says:

    A beautiful smile, a heartfelt “hello David”, a wonderful, bright light. I will forever smile when I recall her on the air exclamation”Stick a fork in it!” We will miss your example of living a joyful life.
    David Duff

  14. Peter John & Rosalind Robertson says:

    Dear lovely people at NCPR,

    You are all, especially Joel, very much in our thoughts.

    Peter John and Rosalind Robertson

    Morrisburg, Ontario

  15. Ed Kanze says:

    I never had the pleasure of knowing June in person, but in an indirect way I knew her on the air when she took to the microphone during North Country Public Radio fundraisers. She radiated goodwill and warmth and always commanded my attention. Condolences to her excellent husband, Joel, who I do have the pleasure of knowing, and to the rest of her family and her friends and her colleagues at NCPR and St. Lawrence University. The world, our neck of the woods, and the lives of those who knew her and who benefited from her good deeds are much the better for her time among us.

  16. Jim Fox says:

    As a listener member of the NCPR family, I am saddened about June’s death and extend my sincere condolences to Joel, their kin, and radio family.

  17. Susan Dillon says:

    June was such a bright happy person, who always had a smile on her face.

  18. R.M. Doyon says:

    As an author and former North Country summer resident, I had the pleasure of working with June at NCPR, especially during the station’s fund-raising drives. She was always so professional, so responsive, so kind. What a tremendous loss for everyone who was blessed by her presence. RIP, sweet lady…

  19. Julia Goren says:

    As a long-time NCPR listener, I’m saddened to hear about June’s death. During the fund drives, she was always sweet and kind, a wonderful “behind the scenes” voice to hear on air. My sincerest condolences to Joel, their kin, and the radio family.

  20. Erika Kissam says:

    I volunteered a few times at NCPR, but mostly I knew June from being in her Zumba class. She was encouraging, lively, caring, positive, a great dancer, and she played great music. No matter how difficult my day was before Zumba class, I always walked out feeling uplifted. Her enthusiasm was wonderfully contagious and she will be sorely missed. I send my deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.

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