History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios

Catherine 'June' Brehm


June 8, 1917
January 3, 2010
Primary Involvements:

Bar owner





Catherine 'June' Brehm was the owner of This Is It bar for over 40 years. She opened the bar in 1968 as a gay bar, and owned it until her death, letting her son Joe Brehm manage its daily operations, although she kept close control for many years.

June was active in the bar's operation for many years. In the early years, she loved to get behind the bar and serve up drinks, laughing and joking, and being confidante to many a gay man with work or boyfriend trouble. Even as she got older, many a bartender and customer remember seeing June early each weekday, helping to clean the bar, count out cash drawers, and socialize. She slowed down after a stroke, but maintained a presence and interest in the bar.

June always showed generosity toward the gay community. This continued with her son Joe; Joe and This Is It! were often the first in line to support community causes, hosting fundraising events for the Cream City Foundation, AIDS, and other worthy causes.

June was the wife of the late Joseph T. Brehm Sr., mother of Joseph Jr. (Karen) Brehm and Jacqueline (Bronson) Haase. Upon her death, private family services were held with burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Waukesha.

After June's death, This Is It! bar continued to operate under son Joe's management, carrying on a legacy well into the future.

June behind the bar serving up drinks, c1970

Photo of June, c1985

MKE OnLine article about This Is It bar, 2006


Photo of son Joe and June, c2004

Photo of June, c2005

"June at her best"

Credits: Photos and info from June's son, Joe Brehm;
Concept and website design by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: January-2011.