Vale June Mendoza AO OBE (OL1939)

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of June Mendoza, a distinguished portrait painter whose remarkable career spanned decades and continents. 

June held numerous prestigious titles including Officer of Australia (AO), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and memberships in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI). June passed away peacefully just shy of her 100th birthday.

June’s career as an artist began in her teenage years while at Lauriston, with her work ranging from book jackets and magazine illustrations to record sleeves and town-planning exhibition artwork. Hanging proudly in Irving Hall at Lauriston is a portrait of former Head Mistress Gladys Davies, painted by June and gifted to the School in 1973.

Her life and career took her around the globe, including significant periods in the Philippines (1960–1965) and Australia (1969–1973) due to her husband’s overseas postings. Married to Keith Mackrell, they raised four children: daughters, Elliet Mackrell (OL 1972), Kim Mackrell (OL 1974), and Lee Mackrell (OL 1977) and son, Ashley.

June’s illustrious career is best reflected in the impressive roster of subjects she painted. Her portraits include members of royalty such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Diana Princess of Wales, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Other notable sitters included Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Sir John Major, Dame Joan Sutherland, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Thomas Allen and Lord Geoffrey Howe, among many others.


June Mendoza’s legacy lives on through her vast body of work, which continues to inspire and captivate. She will be remembered not only for her extraordinary artistic achievements but also for her dedication to her craft and her ability to bring the essence of her subjects to life on canvas
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