Close-Baehman, Naomi “June” nee Popke
I was born June 7, 1923 as the 11th child to August and Gladys (Thomas) Popke, Town of Mukwa, Waupaca County, Wisconsin. I received eight years of education at Oak Grove, a one-room school house, then on to Washington High School, graduating in 1941. On my birthday, June 7, 1945, I and my “soldier boy” Harold “Ike” Close married. He was home on furlough after spending 4 ½ years in the Army and being wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. The Lord blessed our marriage with three loving sons, Jay, Jan and Todd. Most important to me was God, church and my family. Ike and I lived in the Town of Hortonia since 1959 where we had a small berry farm for 51 years; in addition to our other occupations; his carpentry and my nursing for 30 years. We had 54 years together before Ike’s death in 1999. I found my 30 years working at New London Hospital very rewarding, as I compassionately and lovingly cared for each of my patients. I was also an EEG technician and did Audiograms. I was a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church, Ladies Aid (one term as President) and taught Sunday school several years. I owned an antique loom and wove rugs, afghans and shawls for 20 plus years. I loved to do rosemaling, gardening, preserving and canning, raising flowers, especially roses or orchids. My kitchen window sill was always a-bloom with African violets and orchids. I and fellow-church member, and old acquaintance, Vernon H. Baehman married Jan. 2, 2005. I always felt that God brought us together so I would be God’s instrument to care for Vernon in his later years. We shared 9+ years together, until his death in 2014.
I am survived by my sons, Dr. Jan (Patricia) Close, Winthrop, N.Y., Todd Close, New London and daughter-in-law, Mary Close, New London; six grandchildren: Jennie (Doug) Blohm, Darboy, Joseph (Nicole) Close, New London, and Jayme (Kassi) Close, New London, Sarah Close, New York, Joshua (Hannah) Close, Franklin, Mass. and Rachel (Kim) Medlej, Mass; nine great-grandchildren, Audrie and William Blohm, Madison and Allison Close, Evie and Jackson Close, Emme and Theo Close, and Luc Close and one on the way in September; three godsons, Dalton Korth, Ron Popke, and Leslie Gray; sisters-in-law, Genevieve Close Oris, Oregon and Vera (John) Maahs, Texas; three step-daughters and step-daughter-in-law, Appleton; 11 step-grandchildren; 15 step-great-grandchildren and three step-great-great-grandchildren and several other nieces, nephews, and cousins that have been extra special to me, thank you for thoughtfulness, love, and kindness to old Aunt June. I was preceded in death by my two husbands, Ike (1999) and Vernon (2014); my son Jay (2014); my parents; my parents-in-law, Henry and Bertha Close; my 10 siblings; a very special niece, Delores Gray; Godson, Mathew Korth; sponsor child, Diane, Guatemala; four brothers-in-law; one step-son, and two step-brothers-in-law.
The funeral services for me will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, New London with the Rev. William Heiges officiating. Interment will be in the Floral Hill Cemetery in New London. Friends may call at the Emanuel Lutheran Church on July 17, 2020 from 9 a.m. until the time of service. A Memorial Fund has been established for the Fox Valley Lutheran High School. The Cline & Hanson Funeral Home in New London is serving the family.