June Kluglein

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Local artist June Kluglein died at her home in Sag Harbor on May 9. She was 78 years old and had battled ovarian cancer for many years.

Born June Gilda on April 25, 1930, in Jamaica, Queens, she lived in Valley Stream and Merrick before moving to Sag Harbor in the 1970s. She was a self-taught watercolorist whose paintings and lithographs were shown and collected throughout the country. She was known especially for depicting natural objects such as leaves and bird nests. Her sensitivity and eye for detail earned her a reputation for portraying her subjects beautifully.

She showed her work at the Catherine Lorillard Wolf Club and the Hunt Botanical at Carnegie Mellon as well as locally at Hampton Road Gallery and Fishers.

A peace activist for many years, she participated in a local letter-writing group in Sag Harbor called Save Our World. She was active in a group in the 1970s opposed to the nuclear power plant at Shoreham, holding up signs on Montauk Highway at the height of the season that read “How fast can you evacuate today?”

She worked at the food pantry in Sag Harbor, and made soup using vegetables from her organic garden (before organic cultivation became fashionable) for the soup kitchen in Bridgehampton. She donated artwork to numerous organizations, including the Group for the South Fork and The Retreat.

Ms. Kluglein embraced life and found beauty all around her. She believed in celebrating everything and even dressed up for Halloween in her later years. She enjoyed parties, cooking, the beach, her many friends, and the occasional joke. Survivors said this week that her optimistic spirit throughout her illness was an inspiration to everyone around her and she will be dearly missed by her devoted friends and family.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bob; two daughters, Kathi Cavanaugh and her husband Kenny of Sag Harbor and Karen Kluglein and her husband Ray Brown of East Hampton; two grandchildren, Shane Cavanaugh and Lily Baron; and a sister, Joyce Keleher of Islip.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Gateway for Cancer Research, 1336 Basswood Road, Schaumburg, Illinois 60173; (847) 342-7450. A memorial service is planned for a later date.

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