WORCESTER – June (Tushin) Paxman, a former resident of the Briarwood Community, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 10, 2020 surrounded by the caring staff of the Dodge Park Rest Home.
June was born in Bethesda, MD, a daughter of the late Aaron and Lucille (Dewing) Tushin. She was educated in the Bethesda school system, and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. At the young age of 5, June started studying ballet while living in Washington, D.C. She attended ballet classes at the Washington School of Ballet, under co-directors Mary Day and Lisa Gardiner, until June graduated from high school. While there, June met a dance student named Shirley MacLaine, and they became good friends. June also studied in the professional divisions of Ballet Theater and American Ballet School, both in New York City. By the time she reached her early 20's, ballet had become June's true passion. She went on to enjoy a more than 50-year distinguished career participating and teaching the art. She was a member and principal dancer for the Washington Ballet Company, and enjoyed starring in many of their productions, including the Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, Raggetty Pagetty House, Cinderella, and Carousel, some of which were aired on a television station in Washington. She was also a Soloist with the Washington Concert Ballet Company, a member of the St. Petersburg Operetta Company, Boston Ballet Company, and Soloist of the National Ballet Company under Leon Fokine.
June found a special bond and love with her high school sweetheart, Tom, and following their marriage they relocated to Massachusetts, settling in the Newton area. June wanted to share her passion for ballet with young students, and went on to establish three ballet schools, located in Auburndale, West Newton, and in Framingham, MA. The Framingham School of Ballet was her pride and joy, and was affiliated with Boston Ballet and its professional school. June taught authentic classical ballet, giving young dancers a foundation in disciplined ballet technique, rhythm, and mental and physical coordination. Several of her students earned scholarships to the Boston Ballet Company and went on to the New York City Ballet. June also became co-chair of the Boston Ballet Society, a member of the New England Civic Ballet Company, the Dance Teacher's Club of Boston, and Dance Masters of America. Although ballet was a large part of her life, June was able to enjoy many other hobbies including cooking, gardening and the outdoors. During her 45 year residence in Natick, she took great pride in her flower and vegetable gardens, and small orchard. Her blueberry bushes, which were open to family and friends for picking, became famous, as did her home-made blueberry pie. She was a fabulous cook, baker, canning expert, and hostess of many parties and family gatherings. She took up knitting and dove into that with the same energy and determination that she had for everything she did. She outfitted family and friends with sweaters, hats, mittens, and afghans, and became part of the Briarwood Knit Wits club in her later years. Her love of dancing was with her always, and at Dodge Park Rest Home everyone knew she was quick and graceful on her feet, giving her the endearing nickname, Junebug.
June's beloved husband of 62 years, Tom, died on December 10, 2015. June will be forever missed and loved by her three adoring children, Stephen H. Paxman of Westfield, Susan R. Inzenga and her husband, Andrew of Exeter, NH and Jennifer N. Bernard and her husband, Joe of Holden; her siblings, Richard H. Tushin and his wife, Sharon of Oakton, VA and the late Donald L. Tushin who died in 2014. She was the cherished grandmother to Daniel Paxman of Tucson, AZ, Alex P. Inzenga of Boulder, CO., Jay A. Inzenga, USMC, stationed overseas, Maxwell P. Horgan and Brady P. Horgan, both of Holden.
June will be honored privately by her family. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers many be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH Chapter, 309 Waverly Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452 (www.alz.org/manh). To share a memory or offer a message of condolence for the family, please sign the guestbook.