Cover photo for June M. (Decker)  Haavind's Obituary
June M. (Decker)  Haavind Profile Photo
1927 June 2023

June M. (Decker) Haavind

November 6, 1927 — January 25, 2023

Kalamazoo, Michigan

June Marilyn Decker was born November 6, 1927, to parents Harry Decker and Lora Tefft Decker in Portage, Michigan. Her Ethnic Heritage was North and West European, English, Scandinavian, Baltic and Italian. She had two older siblings Wayne and Elaine, whom she was very close to, and they both preceded her in passing.

In her early childhood, June lived near the Edison neighborhood. Her father died when she was still quite young, but she later gained a loving Stepfather, Lehman Large. As a teenager in the Vine Street Area, she usually spent part of her summers, hanging out at West Lake with her best friend, Margaret Jordan. She graduated from Central High School in 1946.

Shortly thereafter, June found employment at the Shakespeare Company in downtown Kalamazoo, where she worked as an office girl. She had a special affinity for Big Band music and a natural ability for singing. In that capacity she was eventually hired as lead vocalist with the Bobby Davidson Orchestra, where she met her husband, Mel, in a storybook romance, and they were married soon after in February 1949.

Even though she loved to sing, her dedication to motherhood was foremost. So, she left the band in order to raise her two children, Mark and Susan. After the children were grown, she returned to singing until the band was dissolved in 1988.

June and Mel had a wonderful marriage that lasted 62 years, until Mel’s passing in 2011. They had a cottage at Long Lake in Cloverdale, In Barry County, where they enjoyed sailing and socializing with family and friends. Recreation also included annual visits to Florida where they stayed with Mel’s folks or his sister Maureen and her family.

June was an exemplary parent. She imparted solid family values and a positive outlook to her children, which continues to serve them with maturity. She also had a great sense of humor that helped sustain her throughout life.

June had many close friends in the Southside Kalamazoo neighborhood, where she lived for 66 years. She thoroughly enjoyed her neighbor’s company, often having breakfast at Theo and Stacy’s nearby.

Together with Mel, she was a long-time member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for 50 years, and they regularly served as ushers at Sunday morning services. In recent years as her health declined June continued to embrace her faith and never complained about her circumstances.

June passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon, January 25th, 2023, at the Vineyard Assisted Living Center, Texas Corners in Kalamazoo. She was 95 years old.

June is directly survived by her son, Mark Haavind, and her daughter, Susan Ambs, as well as two grandchildren, Jackson and Shannon Ambs. Other family members include a nephew and five nieces.

She was much loved by family and friends. She will be missed.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 3rd, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 12:00 PM. Please share memories of June with her family at

To order memorial trees in memory of June M. (Decker) Haavind, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, February 3, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Luke s Episcopal Church (Kalamazoo)

247 West Lovell Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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