Josephine B. Schmitz, “Josie”, age 88, formerly of North Webster Street, Port Washington, WI died Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at the Harbor Club in Port Washington, where she had resided the past three years.
She was born April 23, 1928 in the Town of Trenton (Newburg) on the family farm; daughter of Martin and Eva Hentges Fechter. In a family of twelve, Josie attended St. Augustine Catholic School, later traveling to Port Washington High School. She soon took a job at Kiekhaefer Manufacturing (Mercury Marine) in Cedarburg.
On October 8, 1949, Josie married Jerome F. “Jerry” Schmitz of Milwaukee at St. Augustine Church. They eventually moved to Port Washington where they built their home and Jerry worked at Simplicity Manufacturing.
Josie was a wonderful homemaker. She took great pride in her home. She loved to cook and bake. Some of the family favorites are breaded pork chops and potato pancakes, amongst others. Her favorite time of year was Christmas. Cookies by the pound were baked and the house decorated throughout.
She cared for her family and others. For a few years Josie was a nursing assistant at Heritage Nursing Home in Port Washington. She later moved over to the former St. Alphonsus Hospital providing care for over 26 years until the new Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital was built in Mequon.
Games, puzzles and playing cards provided a social outlet for her. Sheepshead was a family favorite and she belonged to a number of different card clubs. She loved to entertain. Josie also enjoyed collecting bells and owl figurines. She was a member of St. Mary’s Parish and its Christian Women’s group. She was a past member of the fraternal order of Eagles that used to meet at the old Hill School; a national order credited for the establishment of Mother’s Day.
Josie is survived by her children Dave (Betsy) Schmitz of Saukville; Dennis (Connie) Schmitz of Random Lake and Debbie Schmitz of West Bend; numerous canine and feline grandkids; her sisters Susan (the late Clarence) Kloehn of Hollywood, FL and Gloria (John) Hahn of West Bend; sisters-in-law Joan Fechter of West Bend and Arlene Fechter of Newburg; many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Jerry on August 24, 1992, her siblings two infant brothers Mathew and Matthew Fechter, Evangeline “Vannie” Bohn, Andrew and Doris Fechter, Angela and Elmer Schwinn, Merina Fechter, Evelyn and George Kolbach, Edward and Clarence Fechter, as well as, Jerry’s siblings Gertrude and Harold “Bud” Casper, Eleanor and George Gantner and Nicholas and Barbara Schmitz.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 6:30PM Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at St. Mary Church, 430 N Johnson Street, Port Washington. Reverend Patrick Wendt will be the celebrant. Visitation will be from 4-6PM Wednesday at the Poole Funeral Home, 203 N Wisconsin Street, Port Washington. Interment will be at St. Augustine Cemetery, Town of Trenton (Newburg).
Memorials to charity of givers choice appreciated.