Josephine Helen Walacavage, 91, formerly of both Branch and Norwegian townships, entered into eternal rest Thursday, May 12, 2022, at Luther Ridge Assisted Living Center at Seider's Hill.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph, and brother, John.
Jo was born March 5, 1931, in Minersville, a daughter of the late John and Stella (Bartnisky) Land.
She is survived by her four daughters, Joanne Murphy, husband, Francis, Cathy Andrachick, husband, John, Mary Beth Kievman, husband, Jason, and Laurie Hess, husband, Larry; eight grandchildren, Ryan, Chris, Matt, Shane, Caitlin, Cody, Wyatt, Connor and step-granddaughter, Jill; six great-grandchildren, Dexter, Caitriona, Collin, Alannah, Everly and Josie.
Josephine graduated from Minersville Area High School. She was employed in the garment industry and later worked at Middleport Materials. She happily volunteered at Mary Beth's Gymnastic Studio, where she loved celebrating each student's cartwheel. She could also be found volunteering her time at the Church Solidarity and Parent clubs. Jo even helped start the library at the Intermediate Unit.
She enjoyed horseback riding and was a member of the Boots and Saddle Club. Being the proud owner of the No. 48 race car, she was an avid dirt track racing fan. She could be found in the pits with the crew at Big Diamond, Schoentown, Grandview and Penn National race tracks. Jo was a host for many Fresh Air children and even a foreign exchange student. Jo's favorite passion was traveling to New York to attend Broadway shows. She had seen "The Phantom of the Opera" so many times that she had lost count.
In her spare time, Jo enjoyed baking and decorating cakes, flower arranging and attending her children and grandchildren's sporting events. Being a fan of holidays, she enjoyed decorating the house and having it full of family. Halloween was her favorite holiday. Jo loved dressing up as "Madame Josephine" the fortune teller and telling fortunes at her grandchildren's parties. She loved the beach and enjoyed vacationing with her family in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey.
Jo loved animals, especially dogs. She took in strays and donated regularly to Hillside SPCA.
A Celebration of Life funeral service will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc., Minersville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jo's name to Hillside SPCA, 51 SPCA Road, Pottsville, PA 17901. Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.
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