Josephine ‘Jo’ Franke, 89

Josephine Franke (nee Petronio), 89, of West Bend, found peace at Cedar Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center on Jan. 23, 2011, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

She was born on Aug. 12, 1921, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Louis and Cristina (nee Colantuono) Petronio.

During World War II, Jo served with the U.S. Women’s Army Air Corps. While she served her country, she met her future husband, Robert A. Franke. After their marriage on June 16, 1945, in Chanute Field, Ill., the couple settled in West Bend. Robert predeceased Aug. 19, 2003.

For more than 20 years, Jo worked as a bookkeeper with Washington County. She was a member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish and Holy Angels Parish.

Survivors include three loving children, Susan (Gary) Olson of West Bend, Steven (Jean) Franke of McKinney, Texas, and Randy (Carol) Franke of New Berlin; five dear grandchildren, Chris (Hallie) Olson of Indianapolis, Ind., Jessica (Jim) Sekanick of Tampa Fla., and Scott, David and Keith Franke of New Berlin; two wonderful great-grandchildren, Steven Tungate and Hayden Sekanick of Tampa, Fla.; two sisters, Ida (Nick) Bisogno of Bronx N.Y., and Julia Merante of Las Vegas, Nev., and other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her parents in-law, Hugo and Rose Franke of West Bend; three sisters, Margaret Petronio, Helen (Cliff) Campbell and Gloria (Ernest) Belfiore.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angles Catholic Church with the Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding. Burial with military honors will follow in Washington County Memorial Park. Visitation will be at the church only on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials to Cedar Community Alzheimer’s Services, Holy Angels School Trust Fund or American Diabetes Association.

The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences available at