Mary ‘June’ Shilleto, age 90, passed away peacefully at home on February 28, 2017. She was a loving friend to all her neighbors in the Barkley neighborhood. June was born November 5, 1926 in Wallace ID. She was the only child of Anthony Carl and Mary M. Tusher. She moved to Bellingham with her parents during the Depression; and her father worked in the Bellingham coal mines. June graduated from Bellingham High School in 1945. In the Shuksan Annual 1945, she stated her ambition was “To be a good wife.” Soon after high school, June married Jack Elwood Shilleto, a US Marine Corp and Merchant Marine veteran. June and Jack were business partners providing janitorial and landscaping services to KGMI-radio, KVOS-TV and many local businesses and families. They did not have children but worked long, hard hours together for over 20 years, saving a little each month. Jack met an untimely death in 1970, and June continued to dutifully serve their clients for a time thereafter.
June deeply cared for all animals, providing a warm home for her precious cats and adopting orphaned strays. A strong advocate for animal protection, June often contributed to local animal shelters and faithfully fed the deer frequenting her yard. She took pride in treating the garbage truck drivers to cake, bringing hot coffee to construction crews, and making certain every pet walking past her home received a treat. Even in her later years, June would shovel snow from her neighbors’ walkways, pull trash totes to the curb and feed the neighbors’ cats. She loved serving others.
June lived by simple principles: trust God’s Divine Order; be self-reliant; clean up your mess; protect and care for critters; help your neighbors; respect working people; help the needy; and be trustworthy. June left a legacy of vivid memories for all that knew and loved her.
In lieu of a formal service or flowers, June requested donations be sent to the Whatcom Humane Society, 2172 Division St, Bellingham, WA 98226.