Many of us don't remember a time when there were no women's sports at William Henry Harrison High School, but June Merten did. June was the driving force in bringing female sports to the high school for future generations.
June Merten, of Harrison, passed away on September 2, 2022, at the age 93. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 11, 1929, to Henry and Alice (nee Dial) Merten. Many in the Harrison community will remember June as being a very special and caring teacher and coach. She began her teaching career in Wren, Ohio. From 1956 to 1966, she taught Physical Education at William Henry Harrison High School. It was during this time that she developed and coached the women's basketball, volleyball, and track teams. Growing the programs over the years from nothing to thriving. The basketball team, while under her coaching, was undefeated from 1961 thru 1964. Her list of firsts didn't stop here, in 1966, she became the first female Assistant Athletic Director at Oak Hills High School. In 1998, she was inducted into Harrison High School Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2008, she was awarded Greater Cincinnati Women’s Sports Award for Lifetime Service. June was also elected to the Who’s Who in Education by Wilmington College for her dedication as a teacher. Athletics and teaching weren’t June's only service to her community. After retiring from Oak Hills High in 1981, June served on Southwest Local School Board for 24 years with several terms as President. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Harrison, and previous President of the Women’s Association, where she oversaw organizing rummage sales and the Sauerkraut Dinner for over 30 years. June did many things in our community and was acknowledged for her service in 1994 as the First Lady of Harrison.
During her teaching and coaching career, June touched the lives of many students and players. She had a very special way of connecting with them and after graduating, many of them became good friends. One such example is her friendship with Sandy Brickner. Sandy's friendship and help was a major factor in June being able to stay in her home during her later years of life.
June’s memory will live on through her sister-in-law: Marjorie Merten; nieces & nephews: Kenneth Merten, Jeannine Merten, Renee Frazier, Denise Morford, Todd Seibert, Jana Strader, Hank Huggins, Julia Wadih, Karalee Brookie, Forrest Merten, Sharon Peeno, Ralph Merten, Russell Merten, Jana Mikes, Jeff Merten, Joel Merten & Jincey YeMaya; many great & great-great nieces, & nephews; as well as numerous students and friends.
June was preceded in death by her parents; siblings: H. Russell (Violet), Arthur, Kenny (Nancy), Lawrence “Putt” (Betty) Merten and Vivian (Arthur) Seibert; nephews: Stephen Merten and David Merten.
Visitation will be held at Brater Winter Funeral Home, 201 S. Vine St., Harrison on Monday, September 12, 2022, from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm. Funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Harrison beginning at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the June Merten Harrison High School Scholarship Fund or First Presbyterian Church. A funeral home representative will be available at the services to assist you with your donation. If you are unable to attend then you can mail your donation payable to one of the above charities to Brater Winter Funeral Home, 201 S. Vine Street, Harrison, OH 45030. The funeral home will notify the family of your donation and forward donations to the charity.