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Donald Louis Jun, 1923-2023
When our family celebrated Don Jun’s 100th birthday this past June, we had become convinced that he was immortal. We were wrong and lost him on November 15. Born June 10, 1923, in Hannibal, Missouri, to Leo and Helen (Hufker) Jun, his life spanned a remarkable century.
Dad grew up in Alton, Illinois, where he was the number one student in every grade, graduating as Valedictorian of Marquette High School in 1941.
Dad served in the Navy toward the end of World War II, training at the University of Notre Dame. Among the entertainments offered were dances, at which the town’s lovelies spun records and, well, waltzed among the sailors. Dad looked across a crowded room and spied a young woman in charge of the record player. She had masses of dark hair and was wearing a feminine ruffled pinafore outfit. He was a bit smitten.
He used his charm on another woman—to persuade her to take mom’s place at the Victrola so that the dark-haired beauty would be free to dance. And thus Don and Rita Jane took their first steps together. They married on May 26, 1945, at Holy Cross Church in South Bend.
But there was much more to Don Jun than his ability to recognize a fateful moment and follow through. Lucky for his future offspring, the war ended before his military service forced him into dangerous action. The couple set about building a life, careers, some houses, a procession of odd-looking automobiles, and four fairly normal-looking children.
Dad was a mechanical engineer for Bendix Aeronautics and Aerospace for most of his career, working on fuel controls, which may not sound terribly exciting until you saw the photo of the magnificent X-15 plane hanging over his work bench by a pearl-headed hatpin. He managed Product Support for the Bendix Energy Controls Division for many years.
After retirement in 1986, he served as chaplain of the Bendix Retired Salaried Employees Club for 24 years and maintained a very active workbench. He could build or fix just about anything. For quite some time, he was the magician who repaired most any clock or electronic device donated to St. Vincent de Paul, where he volunteered for more than 35 years. He invented an accordion-style safety gate to keep his oldest daughter from flinging herself down the basement stairs—and it worked for the other three children too. He sang (and was president of) his church choir at Holy Cross and gave all his children a love of sacred music. His bountiful vegetable gardens were beautiful and delicious.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Rita, with whom he shared almost 68 years of marriage; his brother, Robert, sister-in-law, Lois and sister Helen Rose Jun (Sister Mary Jude, OSU); and his father’s second wife, Lois.
Left to cherish his memory are a sister, Dorothy Anderson (Kenneth), four children,
Michelle Mary Remley (David), South Bend; Richard Alan Jun (Carmen Marie Waller), South Bend; Cheryl Ann Jeffers (David), Orlando, Florida; and Kathleen Jun Magyar (Raymond), South Bend.
Grandchildren include Christopher Remley, South Bend; Michael Remley, South Bend; Katherine Remley McHale, Inez, Texas; Matthew Jun, Mishawaka; Mary Jun Derda, South Bend; Kimberly Jeffers Rivera, Orlando, Florida; Elva Pellouchoud, Dana Point, California; and Lara Magyar-Groom, South Bend.
Great-grandchildren include Christina, Jack, Rose, and Bridget McHale; Rebecca Jun; Cecilia and Thomas Remley; John and Joseph Derda; Brayden, Aaron, and Ryan Rivera; Autumn Bass, Charlotte Magyar, Marshall Groom, and Rhiana Groom. Great-great-grandchildren include Griffin and August Bass.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers at Golden Heart and Home, Ascent Hospice, and Healthwin Specialized Care for their kindness and devotion.
Donations in dad’s name can be sent to Ascent Hospice, 1930 Edison Rd, South Bend, IN 46617 or St. Vincent de Paul Society, 520 Crescent Ave, South Bend, IN 46617.
Viewing hours are 3:00 to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 21, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend. A rosary will be prayed at 4:00PM. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 22, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 2822 Corpus Christi Drive, South Bend. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery.