June Bratcher, who loved her family, saw life as a spiritual journey and surrounded herself with beauty, died as the moon rose on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill.
June was born on May 18, 1925, in Chattanooga, Tenn., daughter of Leonard and Lois (Harvin) Heaton. She had one sibling, her sister Pat. She graduated from Chattanooga High School, attended Carson-Newman College, and received a BA from the University of Kentucky and an MA from the University of Louisville. She married Robert G. Bratcher in 1944, and she and Bob had three children: Meredith, Priscilla, and Stephen. She had six grandchildren (Scott, Sara, Margaret Joseph, Rosalind and Vickie,) and two great-grandchildren (Hailey and Sophia).
June and Bob lived in Louisville, Ky., before moving in 1949 to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they served as Southern Baptist missionaries. June formed friendships in Rio that lasted throughout her life. In 1956 the Bratchers returned to Louisville, later spending important years in Manchester, England, and Montpellier, France. Beginning in 1960, they lived in Setauket, Long Island, N.Y., where June taught elementary school. They moved to Chapel Hill in 1975.
June was warm, adventurous, curious, and imaginative; she was strong-minded and intuitive, dramatic and engaging. She took seriously her responsibility for lifelong spiritual growth, both in her dedication to her church (Binkley Baptist) and in her incorporation of spiritual truths from psychology and art. She was a mainstay of the C.G. Jung Society of the Triangle and she studied and practiced a spiritual approach to watercolor painting that she learned at the Tobias School in East Grinstead, UK. June found truth in myth, and fairy tales, and especially treasured the Narnia stories of C.S. Lewis. She practiced the artist’s intuitive way, and encouraged her friends and family in their own journeys. She was committed to the spiritual and psychological values of feminism, attending the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. She belonged to a women’s support group in Chapel Hill for over thirty years. She also was a thoroughly devoted Anglophile and was permanently in the planning stages of a next trip to England. She was fascinated with her family history, especially its Huguenot and Cherokee roots.
June was dedicated to her family, each member of which she loved deeply, as they loved her. Her beloved husband Bob died in 2010. Mourning her passing are her sister, Patricia Heaton Ricketts; her brothers-in-law, Clarence (Rick) Ricketts and Rev. Dr. Edward Bratcher; her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces and nephews; and friends near and far.