Family remembers Madison police officer as leader, mentor - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Family remembers Madison police officer as leader, mentor

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MONONA (WKOW) -- She was a wife, a sister, a partner, a teacher.

That's how family and friends remember 61-year-old June Groehler as they gathered in Monona Wednesday to celebrate her life.

“The best word I could use to describe June is a person of deep character,” said her wife Julie Maslowski. The couple had been together for 15 years and were married on St. Patrick's Day.

The Madison police lieutenant died June 7th after a long illness.

“She did not suffer. She did not feel any pain. And she went peacefully,” Maslowski said.

Maslowski said Groehler had a passion for life and never tired from helping others.

“I hear this story again and again from the officers, from the people in the community, students she taught. They said they wouldn't have gone on to whatever profession or interns if it wasn't for June,” she said.

Her brother Jerry shared the same sentiment.

“There's a gal in there, she was in tears over there. So I went and introduced myself to her. And I guess June helped her get through school,” he said.

But as she poured herself into bettering the lives of others, she held a closely-guarded secret.

“Approximately 3 1/2 years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer terminal. Prognosis was not good, but she beat the odds of what they had told her.

Maslowski said Groehler didn't want anyone to feel sympathy for her, so she kept her diagnoses to herself.

“It was only a handful of people who knew. And she kept working right up until the end.”

Groehler is no longer with us. But Maslowski says Groehler's sense of humanity will keep her memory shining bright long after she's gone.

“June always had a twinkle in her eye and that little smirk. That's probably what I’m going to miss most,” Maslowski said.

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