June Hurley Young was the television teacher to generations of Tampa Bay children who tuned in every weekday to the local version of the syndicated program “Romper Room.”
Young, better known as “Miss June,” died on February 2 of pneumonia.
From 1965 through 1980, Romper Room viewers, known as “Doo-Bees”, delighted in Miss June’s charm, beauty, and instruction. A highlight was the “magic mirror” segment, when she would gaze into an imaginary looking glass and magically call out the names of children watching at home, whose names were compiled by fan mail.
Young’s daughter, Kathleen Hurley Coker, said children would enjoy when her mother looked through the “magic mirror.”
“People thought it was real. They thought she was truly looking at and talking to them,” she said. “People would tell me how excited they’d get when their name was called - she could look through the TV and see them.”
Family and friends paid tribute to Young on March 3 at The Don CeSar Hotel, the “pink palace” she helped preserve and restore in the early 1970’s.
A historian and activist, she was instrumental in convincing developers to acquire the hotel after it had fallen into disrepair and faced demolition. The hotel, which has been featured in a number of movies, celebrated its 90th anniversary last year.
June Hurley Young was 87 years old.