June Rose Quave was born February 5, 1938, to Laz and Bernice Thornton Quave. She grew up on Crawford Street with her family, seeing a number of pets and her Father have a number of careers, from Shrimper and businessman, Merchant Seaman to the USN, to Police Chief, County Sheriff, Mayor of the City of Biloxi, County Supervisor and City Alderman. She loved being the Mayor’s Daughter and campaigned aggressively for the father she idolized. Her Mother kept the home and raised Laz Jr, Leon and June Bug on the Point as Olde Biloxi Royalty. As a young girl June was a member of the Order of Rainbow for Girls. She graduated Biloxi High School in 1956 and attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg for one year before marrying the love of her life, Eugene Louis Martino.
The Martino’s made their home on the Point on 4th Street where they raised their first three children, Eugene Jr, Anthony Laz and Angela June. The only time they ever went away from Biloxi was to live in Baton Rouge, LA for 2 years. That ended when Hurricane Camille hit in 1969 and June’s heart strings called her and her family back home to Biloxi. When she had her fourth child, Bernice Lucinda in 1970, she was determined that Bernie would be born in Biloxi and NOT Louisiana! Kids from all over the Acacia Street Miramar Avenue neighborhood congregated to the Martino house for play and snacks. Gene and June were active in the French Club, the Slavonian Lodge, the French Club, were member of the Elks Club, and the various branches of the Masonic Family, especially those that held dances like the Shriners. To see the two of them dancing was among the most graceful and poignant memories of the offspring’s childhood and adulthood! The love and partnership they had in their marriage was always on display as they glided across the dancefloor hand in hand together.
Where Gene and June came into their own was as sponsors for the Biloxi Chapter of the Order of DeMolay, where Dad and Mom Martino traveled in their Dodge Maxi Van in caravans with others to Conclaves, State meetings, Ritual Tournaments, Carnival Balls and Installations. There will never be any way of telling of how many miles they drove, meatball po-boys she made, young men and women she fed, or how many DeMolay’s camped out on their house in Acacia Street during their DeMolay years.
At one point when their oldest Son went off to college, their Son Anthony’s best friend, Tom Henry, found himself in a difficult family situation. Mama June just moved him in, never missing a beat, and Tom essentially joined the family. When Mr. Laz died in 1985, Grandma Bernice moved in to live with Gene and June where she remained for 15 years until her death in 1999.
Early in their married life June worked in the Biloxi School system, often substitute teaching. Later she went to work for the City of Biloxi, where she was often at the window taking people’s fines and not taking their guff! She retired from there in 1999.
Gene and June celebrated their 39th Wedding Celebration with a huge party, and, of course, dancing in 1997. Gene Sr.’s cancer was in remission at the time. The cancer returned and took him away just 3 weeks shy of his 60th birthday and their 40th wedding anniversary in 1998.
Years later June met William Nugent, a retired New Orleans Fire Captain, in 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina. They were married soon after the hurricane and set up house near Camp Wilkes in Biloxi. June’s oldest daughter, Angela June, died in 2013. That pain remained with her the rest of her life. Her grandson, Ryan Boyd, was killed in an automotive accident in 2014. June and Bill were together until his death from cancer in 2014. She then moved back to the family homestead on Camp Four Jacks Road in Biloxi. June was able to remain in her home there, even after her memory loss became severe because of the love and care of her family. When her condition became acute, she moved into a private home care facility in St. Martin, where she was lovingly cared for by Ms. Erica James, her staff and the staff of SAAD Hospice. June died on the morning of March 4, 2023.
Always outspoken and never at loss for an opinion, June Rose was not a shy retiring violet, but an advocate for her family, her friends, and the things she believed in. Before her memory loss began to take June from us, she loved to travel, making three family trips to Europe, to Mexico, and all over the United States. She loved cruises, dinners, and dancing. She loved holidays with her loved ones, would travel to meet a new Grandchild, to a family wedding, reunion, or any excuse for a get-together and share a meal.
June Rose Quave Martino Nugent loved colorful things, as long as they were a shade of purple. She and we ask everyone who comes to celebrate her life to wear purple in some form. It is ironic that purple is the symbolic color of Dementia and Alzheimer’s. June was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, growing up in the old East End UMC on the Point in Biloxi.
June is survived by her son, Gene Martino, Jr., his wife Becky, and their children: Sarah Rae and E. Louis, III (Nashville, Tennessee area); By her Son Anthony Laz (Biloxi); by her daughter, Bernice Lucinda Martino Boyd, her husband Tom Boyd, and their children: Lauren and her husband Tony; Olivia Laz Boyd, her partner, Jonn-Ross Oppong and their Son, Bryson Maverick Oppong, June is also survived by her “adopted” Son, Tom Henry, his wife Mikel, and their children: Jessica and her husband, C.J. Jones; Kailee, and her husband John Mark Yawn; and their Son, Ian.
The Celebration of the Life of June Rose Quave Martino Nugent will be held at Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home, 675 Howard Avenue in Biloxi on Monday, March 13, 2023 with visitation at 1 p.m. and a service at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the Olde Biloxi Cemetery at 1166 Irish Hill Drive.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Nugent.