Josephine B. “Josie” Schmitz, 88

Josephine B. “Josie” Schmitz, 88 Josephine B. Schmitz, “Josie,” 88, formerly of North Webster Street in Port Washington, died Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at the Harbor Club in Port Washington, where she resided the past three years.

She was born in the town of Trenton (Newburg) on the family farm, the daughter of Martin and Eva Hentges Fechter. In a family of 12, 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 Oct. 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 was 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 more than 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, Florida, and Gloria (John) Hahn of West Bend; sisters-in-law, Joan Fechter of West Bend and Arlene Fechter of Newburg; and many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerry on Aug. 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, and 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 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at St. Mary Church (430 N. Johnson St., Port Washington). The Rev. Patrick Wendt will be the celebrant. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Poole Funeral Home (203 N. Wisconsin St., Port Washington). Interment will be at St. Augustine Cemetery, town of Trenton (Newburg).

Memorials to a charity of the giver’s choice are appreciated.