Cover photo for June Laverne Stewart's Obituary
June Laverne Stewart Profile Photo
1945 June 2023

June Laverne Stewart

June 1, 1945 — March 1, 2023

Scott, Arkansas


June Stewart of Scott, Arkansas, died Wednesday, March 1, at home with the supportive, loving
care of her niece Debra Walter. June was 77 years old. She was born to Elizabeth Viola Anthony
Stewart and Geddy Simon Stewart in Pecos, Texas, on June 1, 1945. June is survived by her
sister, Celia Stewart, of New York City, and by ten nieces and nephews Debra Walter, of
Oakland, California; Terri Brusatori of Santa Rosa, California; Pamela Scherzer of Lower Lake,
California; Elizabeth Griffin of McKinney, TX; Cary Anthony of Monahans, Texas; Jay Anthony of
Ryan, New Mexico; Janna Anthony, of Paonia, Colorado; Katherine McNeill of Avon, Colorado;
Donald Tracy of Columbia Station, Ohio; and Charlotte Stewart-Sloan of Boston, Massachusetts.
June was preceded in death by her loving husband, Robert McCollum, who died recently on
January 26, 2023; She was also preceded by her brother Jessie Anthony of Monahans, Texas,
and her sisters Shirley Walter of Santa Rosa, California, and Florence Miller of Fruita, Colorado.
When her father returned from World War II, June and her family moved to Paonia, Colorado,
and she started school. She had a rich young life. She danced in the local Maypole celebrations
and rode a bike in the parade. Her family moved to Hotchkiss, Colorado, in 1954, where she
graduated from high school in 1963. June attended the University of Colorado and received a
B.A. in Psychology in 1967. After careers as a social worker and a small business owner, she
returned to the University of Colorado in 1985, earning a Juris Doctorate and a Master's in
Library and Information Science. June combined her training from these prestigious professions
and began the career she loved – law librarian. June said she felt like she found the perfect fit
when she began this phase of her working life.
This career took her from the mountains of Colorado to the west, east, and south. June started
as a reference librarian at the University of Denver College of Law. Then, she moved to Gonzaga
University School of Law in Spokane, WA, where she worked as a Tenured Associate Director of
the Law Library. In 1997, June served as the inaugural director of the law library at the
Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. Here she had the opportunity to build a law
library from scratch. She planned the building, hired the staff, and selected the collection of
legal documents. From there, June returned to the law library at Gonzaga University, this time
as director. In 2006, June moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she served as Associate Dean
of Information Services and Library Director at the University of Arkansas until her retirement in
June was a teacher as well as a law librarian. She taught legal research to aspiring attorneys
throughout her three directorships at the Appalachian School of Law, Gonzaga University, and
the University of Arkansas. June formed close relationships with law students. She was a law
professor, to be sure, but she was almost like a therapist to many of them, offering a safe space
for them to discuss their law school concerns and problems.
June maintained close relationships with law librarian colleagues across the country. June once
helped a colleague with a minor financial difficulty. Her support had a notable impact on the
colleague's life. She said about June, "She was a wonderful, kind human being that I think of

fondly. I still think about how she helped me that day, and I try to pass along that level of
kindness to others. She positively impacted me, and I pay it forward whenever I can."
June was a spiritual seeker with an open heart. Her curious and independent mind ranged far
and wide. She was devoted to seeking truth and felt called to become a teacher. In her early
life, she was grounded in Christianity yet was drawn more and more to Buddhism. In Little Rock,
she joined the Ecumenical Buddhist Society and here again, she applied her creative and
teaching talents on behalf of the community. June served on the board and trained as a
meditation teacher. She studied and practiced with Zen and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and
also gave herself to teaching newcomers and non-Buddhists how to meditate, staffing the EBS
public meditation classes for several years and also offering meditation instruction in local
libraries. She trained as a facilitator with the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program at
Stanford University.
When Covid appeared, June combined her CCT training and mindfulness meditation experience
to fashion a zoom-based Loving Kindness and Compassion meditation group. She led them
through a close study of Pema Chodron’s book “Start Where You Are: A Guide to
Compassionate Living” – a book about awakening the heart. Creating and leading this group
was the finest expression of June’s personal realization and spiritual accomplishment. She was
deeply loved by everyone who encountered her in this final teaching role.
So many people loved and appreciated June throughout her life. In the words of a fellow CCT
teacher, “June was a very special and pure soul.”
If you want to honor June by making charitable contributions, please consider two of the ones
most important to her: Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, and Ecumenical Buddhist Society of
Little Rock. Or simply donate in her name to your own favorite causes.

Arrangements by Arkansas Cremation, 10515 W Markham St, Ste B1, Little Rock, AR 72205.  

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