Willamette June (Sol) Craven


June 22, 1932 – June 23, 2021

TORRINGTON – Private family graveside services for W. June Craven will be held at a later date. June passed away on June 23, 2021, at Community Hospital in Torrington at the age of 89 and at her request cremation has taken place. Arrangements are under the direction of the Colyer Funeral Home. Memorial gifts may be directed to Waggin’ Tails Animal Shelter in Torrington. 

Willamette June Sol was born in Missoula, Montana to Henry and Ruth Christine Sol on June 22, 1932. She was the third of three daughters which included older sisters, Lucille and Colleen. Sadly, June’s mother died on June 23 of the same year leaving three little girls motherless. Their father, Henry, was ill-equipped to raise them on his own, and the family asked other family members for help.

Mother Ruth always said she would want her brother, Homer, and his wife, Margaret to help raise the girls. Margaret was Ruth’s best friend from college and the couple was childless.

Even though it was during the Depression years, Margaret and Homer Hanke were grateful and happy to raise the three little girls as their own. Margaret and Homer became Ma and Pa to little June and her sisters. June grew up in a two-room prairie ranch house located thirteen miles northwest of Guernsey, where they raised sheep and a few cattle.

June and her sisters attended a one-room school at Wendover in the early grades. June started school at the age of four. They rode their horse, Patches, to school each day. Later, all three girls attended school in Guernsey. The three girls were lifelong friends and remained close throughout their lives.

June married Robert (Bob) C. Craven in 1949 and together they raised what they called their “four beautiful daughters”–Glenda Ruth, Debra Kay, Valerie Dee and Janet Sue on an irrigated farm southwest of Yoder. June was a hard-working farm wife and mother and sewed most of the children’s clothing as well as cooking, cleaning and helping with the cattle and farm crops. She instilled a love of reading and poetry in all four of her children.

She and Bob enjoyed fishing trips and family visits to relatives. Bob preceded her in death in 1986. June later sold the farm and moved to Torrington, where she lived on a small acreage for the next thirty-five years. She always loved to garden and did crossword puzzles all her life. She was a skilled Scrabble player and enjoyed playing Bingo at various venues where she made numerous new friends. June loved animals, especially her pets, mostly dogs and cats. 

June was a loving and involved mother, grandma and great grandma. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Craven; her parents; her two sisters, Lucille Davis and Colleen DeMers; and two precious grandchildren, Jennifer Kay Pontarolo in 1971 and David Allen Ludwig in 2003.

She is survived and honored by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; children, Glenda (Bill) Brooks, Debra (Ken) Pontarolo, Dee (Dan) Ludwig and Janet Craven; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Eric (Becky) Brooks, Samantha and Clara; Jason Brooks and Danielle Clark; Russell Pontarolo; Christine (Dan) Fletcher, Madison and Owen; Dustin (Anna) Ludwig and Skyler; Amanda Smith, Reece Cook, Olivia Halfhill and J.J. Smith; Adrianna Packard and Brennya Roach; and Serena Packard (Eric Lindeken). She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

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