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Vale June Clapton: a lifetime of support

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Winter ‘23
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Introduction

June Clapton passed away on 3 March this year. She was 96 years old.

Born in 1926, June lived a full life. As a child, she was an accomplished figure skater, and in her retirement years, her adventurous spirit saw June travelling to many and varied destinations in Australia and overseas. Full of life, and with a twinkle in her eye, June had a keen sense of humour and was always impeccably dressed.

Supporting scientists

June joined the professional services team at WEHI in 1974. She was a highly regarded and respected employee, providing administrative support to many scientists, including Sir Gus Nossal. June worked at WEHI for 17 years until her retirement in 1991.

A single parent, June raised two sons, Derek and Ray. She worked diligently to save a deposit to purchase her own home and to ensure her boys were afforded every opportunity in their formative years. It was Derek who reconnected June with WEHI when he contacted us in the lead-up to her 90th birthday celebrations.

Unwavering devotion

I was privileged to attend June’s party and visited her regularly in the years that followed. June’s devotion to WEHI was unwavering and she was always interested to hear about our latest research and discoveries.

In the last years of her life, June made regular donations to WEHI. With the encouragement of her sons, she also made the decision to leave a gift in her Will to the institute – a decision that filled her with tremendous pride.

As a bequestor, June was a regular attendee at Walter and Eliza Hall Society members’ events, accompanied by her son Derek and family. It was clear she relished these occasions, reconnecting with Sir Gus and other WEHI alumni she had worked with in the past.

We are so glad to have had June’s company at these events, providing us with the opportunity to thank her for a lifetime of support.

June was not a wealthy woman, but her legacy meant so much to her, as it does to us. We are so appreciative of June’s important contribution to medical research at WEHI. – Anne Rady, Manager, Future Giving

An honour and privilege

Anne Rady met June in her capacity as Manager, Future Giving – a role created to provide stewardship to the WEHI supporters who have told us of their intention to leave a gift in their Will to the institute.

Anne is retiring from WEHI at the end of June, a decision that was difficult to make because of the many friendships she has made with bequestors and supporters over the years.

“I’ve met some amazing people in the last seven years – people who have shared their stories and experiences from their extraordinary lives. It’s been an honour and a privilege, and an experience I will cherish forever.”

To reach our Future Giving team, phone (03) 9345 2403 or email fundraising@wehi.edu.au

First published on 10 June 2023
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Winter ‘23
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