June Learned Tellepsen, 98, died peacefully of natural causes in her home on the 30th of August 2014. Born on the 21st of June 1916 in Beaumont, she was the fourth daughter of Carroll Fayette (C.F.) Learned and Loutie Goodnough Learned. June, her parents, three sisters, and baby brother relocated to Houston in 1920. She was in the first class of Woodrow Wilson Elementary and attended Lanier Junior High. She graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1933 where she was a member of the May Fete all three years and was elected Most Popular Senior Girl. June attended University of Houston and was elected Most Popular Sophomore. She...
June Learned Tellepsen, 98, died peacefully of natural causes in her home on the 30th of August 2014. Born on the 21st of June 1916 in Beaumont, she was the fourth daughter of Carroll Fayette (C.F.) Learned and Loutie Goodnough Learned. June, her parents, three sisters, and baby brother relocated to Houston in 1920. She was in the first class of Woodrow Wilson Elementary and attended Lanier Junior High. She graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1933 where she was a member of the May Fete all three years and was elected Most Popular Senior Girl. June attended University of Houston and was elected Most Popular Sophomore. She transferred and graduated from the University of Texas (UT-Austin) with a Bachelor of Arts. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and was elected "Sweetheart of the University" in 1937.
June was a ray of sunshine whose zest for life brought a smile to those she touched. With her sunny disposition and love of people it was said "she lit up a room." Fondly called Junie, she was truly a people's person who never met a stranger and long remembered everyone she met. Her youthful enthusiasm and genuine warmth made each person feel special because to her they were – their families became her family. She reached all ages as her comfort zone spanned all generations.
June taught first grade for two years in Hungerford, Texas and then second grade in the Spring Branch I.S.D. when there was only one school building which housed first grade through middle school.
June met Howard T. Tellepsen while teaching and they married in 1940 and had three children – Karen, Howard Jr., and Tom II. Howard took over the leadership of his family's construction company, Tellepsen Construction, in 1940 and built his father's legacy into one of the most respected construction companies in the region of that day and today.
Thus began the loving partnership of this couple based on the three C's: Children, Church, and Community and in that order. Their imprint left a lasting legacy in Houston. Junie was the Kinkaid Field Day Chairman, President of Lamar High School's PTA, Girl Scout leader and served on the Girl Scout Board in the 1950s that approved the sale of Girl Scout cookies, and began the United Way Neighborhood Coffees. She taught Sunday School, served on the Altar Guild at St. James and St. Martin's Episcopal Churches for over 50 years, and was the recipient of the St. Martin's "Star" in 2011. Her church was the cornerstone of her faithful life. In 1995 June and Howard were honored with the Caring Spirit Award by the Institute of Religion, and she was Camp Allen's Starry Night Honoree in 2006. As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) she received her 50, 65, and 75 year pins, opened her home for the KKG Holiday Tour in 1964 and 2002, was given the KKG Loyalty Award in 2005, was a founding member of the Adelphi and Iris Societies, had two undergraduate scholarships given in her name, and has a room in the Kappa House at U.T. given in her honor. She was a member of the Junior League of Houston, co-founder of the Junior League Sustaining Club, and served as its President in 1960. In recognition of her continued commitment to "Building a Better Community," she received the prestigious Adelaide Lovett Baker Award for outstanding Sustaining member in 2010. Her Junior League friends described her as dedicated, committed, thoughtful, dependable, kind, gentle, and grounded with a loving spirit and infectious smile.
In a 1954 Houston Chronicle article titled MEET "JUNIE" WOMAN OF THE YEAR, she was described as pretty, vivacious who earned her stripes as the wife of Chamber of Commerce president Howard T. Tellepsen. It cited her presence at his side during his tenure. She continued at his side for almost 60 years until his death and during this time she traveled worldwide with him, as the Port of Houston Commission Chairman from 1956 to 1970; she attended his Georgia Tech functions and in 1996 was made an Honorary Alumna of Georgia Tech; she attended 6 National Boy Scout Jamborees, an International Scout Jamboree and Boy Scout activities with her husband, son, grandson and great grandsons, and received a fitting tribute when honored in 2003 as Scouting's Sweet Heart.
While Junie's inner beauty and charisma were recognized in her many honors, she was very humble and would say "I just love people." Her true, selfless nature sparkled in every facet of her fruitful life; her cheerful smile and keen interest in people will be missed but never forgotten. We have been blessed with her God-given outgoing personality and presence for 98 years.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband Howard Tellef Tellepsen; her parents C. F. and Loutie Learned, her brother Carroll Prescott (Sonny) Learned a Navy pilot killed in World War II; her sisters, Dorothy Coffee, Mildred (Milly) Norwood, and Helen McCardell.
She is survived by her three children and their spouses: daughter, Karen Tellepsen; sons, Howard T. Tellepsen Jr. and Carolyn; Tom Tellepsen II and Kathy; 9 grandchildren and their spouses: Ellen Kirkpatrick Ault and Jeff, Loren Kirkpatrick; Tadd Tellepsen and Jennifer, H. Tellef Tellepsen III, Trent Tellepsen and Andrea, Trevor Tellepsen; Marc Tellepsen and Jennifer, Tom Tellepsen III and Betsy, Ingrid Cribbs and Michael; 20 great grandchildren: Jeffrey Kyle, Edwin, Tellef, Austin Ault; Braden, Brooke, Ellie Tellepsen; H.T. , Tessa Tellepsen; Andrew, Talan, Hudsen Tellepsen; Kenedi, Kaid Tellepsen; Ruby June, Henry Tellepsen; Sam, Emma, Charlie Tellepsen; Anna Cribbs; her precious nieces and nephews, her many friends and dear neighbors all of whom she loved and who loved her.
She was so grateful to her wonderful doctors Carlos Hamilton Jr. and Ricardo Gonzales; to her devoted caregivers Margarita Posadas, Brandy Eppes, Maria Rivera, Ellie Solis and previous companion Pam Dixon.
A memorial service is to be conducted at two o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 5th of September, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent Bagby Parish Hall.
Prior to the service the family will have gathered for a private inurnment at the Garden of the Holy Cross at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Martin's Episcopal Church, The Wayside Chapel, 717 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056; or to the charity of your choice.