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THE LIFE OF JUNE MCCLAIN
Proverbs 31:25-29 "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ''M"any women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
June McClain was born on August 11, 1961, in Evanston, IL to Edward & WJune Ross Huff. Her mom migrated from South Carolina and on a trip to Evanston with her younger sister Cammie to visit her older sisterJeanette. On that trip she met and later married June's father Edward Huff. June, named after her mother, was the first of four children born to this union. Her mother instilled in them a strong bond of love, respect, and support of one another. June received her early childhood education in the Evanston school system and graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1979.
June was born with amazing gifts, talents, and insights. At birth she was carried by her mom to Faith Temple Church of God in Christ at Evanston and began singing at the age of 5. She was a member of the Voices of Faith for decades and began to write her first plays in her teenage years. It was at Faith Temple that June met and married the love of her life Tony McClain on August 13, 1983. Tony did not take long telling her that he believed in the providence of God and that she was supposed to be his wife. After taking ample time to ponder the idea, she said yes, and they stayed married until her departure 40 years later. Having no biological children, they took the opportunity to choose and raise spiritual children as their own. Perry Lee Hollins, Tamera Wilson Caldwell, Philip Patterson, and their nephewJovon Corbin. They have all lived with them and been influenced by their outpour of love and support. Jackie Ojikutu, their first, did not live with them. T hese children, now successful adults, have providedJune and Tony with the greatest of joy.
June was a woman of compassion, discernment, beauty, and wisdom; and she was quite influential and made a positive impact on others. Having a heart of gold and strong desire to help and to serve others, a trait she got from her mom,June birthed and foundedJU'MA, Gesus Using Me thru the Arts) in 1995.June sawJu'Ma as an opportunity to use the stage as an arena to spread the "Good News'' and provide an opportunity for God loving actors and singers to exercise their gifts to bring a positive or life changing message. For a few decadesJu'Ma performed skits, plays, monologues, music, dance interpretation, and poetry, all written and produced byJune. She and her husband Tony worked as a team to finance and support the success of Ju'Ma Productions until it could stand on its own. Her first major production "First Love " was a smash success and even performed before a sold-out banquet crowd of 1200 at the Field Museum in Chicago. It was also featured as a segment on Channel 2 Nightly News. Other most notable work includes, "With A Side of Life", "Inside Out", "Realities", "Slow Rain, A Quiet Revival", and her hit productions, "Five and a Half Men" and "Pain Made Me Do It".June has also served in a background capacity for recording artists such as Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Vicki Winans, The Williams Brothers, Linette Hawkins Stephens, Pastor Carlis Moody Jr., Percy Bady, and Darius Brooks. She can be seen in the video "Air Corp" for the Chicago Bulls produced during the Michael Jordan era. She can be heard as part of the background singers with her sisters singing "Real Men Wear Red". June as a songwriter has written dozens of songs that have either been recorded or sung in one of her multiple stage plays. She has collaborated with her spiritual son Maestro Philip Patterson, her brother Maestro Carlis Moody Jr., and :Maestro Sir Walter Jones on compositions especially written for her musical productions. Some of her most well-known songs include "Pour out your anointing", "Blood Oath", "Amazing", "I call youJesus, and "My First Love". She was once a part of the soulful and stirring, one-of-a-kind theatrical event "Gospel at Colonus" that reimagined the story of Oedipus as the centerpiece of a redemptive musical celebration. She also sang with the group "The Love Club" some years ago led by Percy Bady. She found joy and fulfillment in using her God-given talents.
June had an interest in beauty and became a licensed Cosmetologist in the mid-eighties after attending Pivot Point Academy. She spent a few years working in this profession but also has given her talents to doing professional make-up for friends and family for weddings and other social events.
June as an educator spent several years as a Teaching Assistant at Faith Christian Academy. Some of the children whom she touched have gone on to become professionals in a variety of business verticals and some have received their doctorate degree. As for her teaching and training of others in theatre & music, many have gone on to do movies, on and off-Broadway plays, TV shows, commercials, and digital music. A few have won major awards (Emmy, Tony, Grammy) or landed on Billboard's Top 20. For over two decades, she served in a daytime position working at Evanston Township High School District 202 where she retired in 2020.
June served in several capacities in giving back to the church and the community. Most noteworthy is her years of leading the Department of Women at Faith Temple and her innovative ideas of putting together a comprehensive program of learning, spiritual enrichment, and exciting endeavors at the annual Women's Retreat.
June made her transition from this present world on Saturday, October 7, 2023, after a few years of struggle with mobility because of autoimmunity issues that left her vulnerable to life threatening infectious diseases. She was indeed an overcomer and inspiration to many and shared her husband with the world for the cause of Global Missions. She is preceded in death by her parents Edward and W. June Huff and several other beloved relatives. She leaves to cherish her memory, a loving husband Tony, Uncle Carl Ross (Shirley) ; sister Darlene Miller (Colin), twins (brother Stephen and sister Stephanie Huff); spiritual children - son Perry Lee Hollins (Leslie), daughter Tamera Caldwell (Damian), son Philip Patterson, daughter Jackie Ojikutu (Jay), spiritual daughter Dr. Aurelia Milam; God children, Darius Baxter, Jared, Jeremiah, and Justin Bridgewater, Stephen Cartwright, Arrianna Dortch, and Seth Watson; sisters-in-law (Vonciel Gaines, Sandra Hunt, and Rochelle Corbin), brothers-in-law (Johnny and Demitri Corbin), Anthony Pittman; nephews Mario McClain, Jovon Corbin, Jeffrey Wicks, Michael Corbin, William Brooks, Nigel Toye, Blake Miller, Caleb Huff, and Elijah Pierson; nieces Kim Corbin, Fallon 'Monique' Cohen, Ashley Corbin, Mandy Miller, Mya Pierson, and Mykah Huff; cousins on her side Ivan (Jocelyn) Ross, Reggie, Tina, Tony (Carolyn), Moncina and Virgil (Brenda) King, Kevin Huff, Bobby (Brenda) Phillips, Tony Phillips, Cathy Thomas, and Sandra Dee; grandchildren (7); and a host of other spiritual children, nieces; nephews; cousins; other relatives and friends. Special mention of her Girlz (you all know who you are )
Give her the .fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:31
Thank you immensely Rochelle Corbin (sister-in-law) for every sacrifice and giving of yourself over these last few years and Deacon Clarence Gregory and Missionary A. Lavern Gregory for your untiring ministry of love and comfort along with others like Pastor Bennie, Mother Luberta & Eleanor Hampton, Carmen Watson, Mother Barbara Woodards, Annette "Queenie" Lenox, Wes and Ora Poole, Carl Benson and others who came and sit with June often or pray with her. Felicia Wakefield, Stephanie Huff (sister) and Sandra Hunt (sister-in-law), you are a Godsend and were the perfect caregivers for June. Thank you, Wanda Wilson, and Kim Corbin (niece), for your weekend relief For every visitor and well-wisher, we say thank you.
St. John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.