Josephine “Josie” “Jo” Ott


Josephine “Josie” “Jo” Ott (nee Rosenheimer), 97, passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at Cedar Lake Home Campus, West Bend.

She was born in her home in Slinger on June 26, 1912, to the late Alexander and Helen (nee Mohr) Rosenheimer.

Survivors include her children, Mary (Kenneth) Dwire of Lakeville, Minn., Robert (Linda) Ott of Lake Geneva,  Patricia (Jeffrey) Holmes of West Bend, and Nancy (Roy) Sutterfield of Wake Forest, N.C.; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  Preceding her in death was her husband, Herman Ott, and her brother, Richard Rosenheimer.

Josie graduated from Slinger High School in 1931 as valedictorian of her class. She went on to school for one year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her bachelor of science degree in home economics and institutional management at the University of Minnesota in 1939.

It was at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where Josie met her future husband through mutual friends.  Herman and Josephine began writing letters, which led to a romantic proposal of marriage by Herman. During WWII, Josie boarded a train bound for Seattle, Wash., where Herman resided and worked at Boeing Aircraft. After a brief courtship in Seattle, they were married on July 22, 1943. Their life in Seattle ended abruptly when Josephine received a phone call on March 26, 1944. While also working at Boeing as an aircraft inspector, Josephine learned that her father, Alexander Rosenheimer, had been killed in a tragic car accident. The newlyweds then relocated to Slinger to care for Josephine’s mother for a few years. They later moved to West Bend, where they resided the rest of their years, raising their family.

Josie was very active in the community of West Bend and belonged to numerous organizations. She had a loving, serving heart, which was evident in her many years of volunteering. She was active in the Methodist Church throughout her life, involved in many mission outreach programs, United Methodist Women, and was always baking and cooking for various needs of the church. Josie was active in the American Red Cross, Jobs Daughters, AAUW-University Women, was president of the Parent Teachers Association, and in her earlier years volunteered at Cedar Lake Home.

There were so many wonderful, loving qualities about Josie. Above all, she was an extremely dedicated and loving mother, a homemaker and friend to many. She will be remembered for her cooking, canning and baking abilities, which she routinely donated to church activities as well as for her family enjoyment.  When her children were older, she began substitute teaching in the Washington County School District. After her retirement, her teaching career continued as she volunteered for the Laubach Reading Literacy Program and welcomed adults into her home, where she taught them to read. She also gave private piano lessons in her home. In her later years, Josie was “adopted” as the grandmother of a friend’s second grade class, where she would frequently visit and participate in class parties. For years while living at Cedar Community, she would correct the class papers, where she carried on her teacher’s assistant duties. She always found great joy in serving others and in placing other’s needs before hers.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, July 5, at 4 p.m. at Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, 323 S. 5th Ave., West Bend. The Rev. Wesley Falk will officiate. 

Visitation will be at the church on Sunday from 2 p.m. until the time of the services.

Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday in the Rosenheimer’s Cemetery of Slinger, next to the home of Josephine’s birth.

Memorials to Cedar Community, 5595 County Z - West Bend, WI  53095, are appreciated.

Myrhum-Patten Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family.

Online guest book and condolences may be found at

The family would like to express their deep thankfulness and gratitude to Josie’s “family of angels” at Cedar Community and the local physicians for the excellent care she received for so many years.