Donna June Patton

b. May 5, 1945

d. January 15, 2005

We mourn, but not as one without hope.

Donna June Patton, age 59, owner of The Bent Cover Bookstore, died at the Barrow Neurological Institute on Saturday, January 15, 2005, following a courageous battle with a devastating hypertension bleed in the brain that reached the brain stem.

 

She was born May 5, 1945 in the tiny southern Indiana town of Newton Stewart, now mostly under the water of the Patoka Lake. June was the youngest of the late John Riley and Mary Dana (Apple) Riley’s 14 children. She attended the local Newton Stewart Grade School, was double promoted not once, but twice and graduated from Springs Valley High School in French Lick at the tender age of 16. June moved to the big city, Indianapolis, to attend Indiana Central University, now known as Indianapolis University, eventually getting a bachelor degree in elementary education at Indiana University from the campus of IUPUI. Somewhere along the line, she met, fell in love, married Clarence Richard Wyatt, and gave birth to her only son, Richard Dean Wyatt of Phoenix. Being the youngest in all of her classes past the 3rd grade, she learned to cope with life's difficulties with a tremendous sense of humor. A wit that brought a smile to most everyone she met.

 

June has been the owner and operator of The Bent Cover for nearly 20 years. Prior to that, she taught elementary school and was the bookkeeper/accountant for a large corporation in Phoenix. As well as, a pig farmer, an insurance salesperson, a fast food restaurant manager and maybe more, but that was enough to show she was multi-talented, at least. In 1983, she decided it was time for a change in her life and moved to Phoenix. The Bent Cover is the result of that change.

 

June was a single parent, who saw her son through many trials and tribulations, health and otherwise. She also had a big hand in helping with his single parenting of three wonderful teen-aged grandchildren that are often seen helping Grandma on the weekends at the bookstore.

 

June is survived by her son, Richard and his wife Susan. Her five grandchildren, James Dean, Richard Thomas, and Jack Riley Wyatt, Diantha June Gourdin, and Thomas Andrew Schlagenhaft. June’s four older sisters, much older she would say, Helen Land of Miamisburg, OH; Marguerite Butcher of Loogootee, IN; Fleta Lowe of French Lick, IN; Marlene Clinton of Phoenix, and her big brother, John Doyle Riley also of French Lick. With 14 brothers and sisters, there are numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews. However, not nearly as many as the literally thousands of people who call June at the Bent Cover, their friend and often their personal confidant. We all mourn greatly, but not as one without hope. Godspeed Ma.

 

June meant the world to thousands of customers for nearly 20 years that she has had her store.  Most of all she will be horribly missed by her son and her five grandchildren she lived everyday for.

 

To those of you that knew early this weekend about June’s sudden illness, thank you for your heartfelt prayers and guidance.

 

We love all of you and thank you for everything.  May God bless every one of you.

 

Her viewing will be Monday, January 17, 2005 from 5 to 8 pm, and will be laid to rest Tuesday, January 18, 2005, after the funeral at 10 am. Services held at Hansen Mortuaries; 8314 N. 7th St.; Phoenix, AZ 85020. 602.944-1561