Giuseppina Marie Wolowicz obituary photo
In Memory of

Giuseppina Marie Wolowicz

February 7, 1919 - May 13, 2017


Giuseppina Wolowicz, (Josephine), 98, of Spring Valley, CA, passed away peacefully on Saturday May 13, 2017, at her home with family at her side.

Josephine was born on February 7, 1919, in Providence, Rhode Island to Joseph Perroni and Rosina (Silvestri) Perroni. She married Walter Wallace Wolowicz in Providence, RI, on February 15, 1945 and they raised two daughters.

Josephine is survived by her daughters Toska Courbron of Wetumpka, Alabama; Bernice Jesionka and her husband Stephen of Spring Valley, California. Sisters Mary Langlois of Attleboro, Massachusetts; Tina Young of Seekonk, Massachusetts; numerous nieces...

Giuseppina Wolowicz, (Josephine), 98, of Spring Valley, CA, passed away peacefully on Saturday May 13, 2017, at her home with family at her side.

Josephine was born on February 7, 1919, in Providence, Rhode Island to Joseph Perroni and Rosina (Silvestri) Perroni. She married Walter Wallace Wolowicz in Providence, RI, on February 15, 1945 and they raised two daughters.

Josephine is survived by her daughters Toska Courbron of Wetumpka, Alabama; Bernice Jesionka and her husband Stephen of Spring Valley, California. Sisters Mary Langlois of Attleboro, Massachusetts; Tina Young of Seekonk, Massachusetts; numerous nieces and nephews. Josephine was preceded in death by her parents; son Joseph Wolowicz, her beloved husband, Walter; brothers, Antonio, and Carmelo.

Josephine was the daughter of Italian immigrants. Mr. Perroni was originally from Sicily and Mrs. (Silvestri) Perroni was from Naples. After settling in Providence, Rhode Island and becoming American Citizens, Joseph and Rosina started their own business. Joseph and Rosina were the parents of 5 children. Josephine being the oldest, Carmelo (Charlie), Antonio (Tony), Mary and Tina (Concetta) Perroni.

Joseph Perroni not only supported his family with his business, he supported many others in need of food during the Depression. Rosina Perroni was a dedicated wife, mother, and homemaker, she assisted other needy families by making bread and other Italian delicacies and gave what she could; whenever she could.

Circa 1933, Rosina Perroni went to Italy to visit her mother and relatives with her two youngest daughters Mary and Tina. Back home in the United States, Joseph, (Papà) and daughter Josephine at the tender age of 14, held down the home front taking care of Charlie and little Tony. During the time in Italy, Rosina unfortunately became ill. To make matters worse, in 1935 the Italian- Ethiopian War broke out, which caused unrest. At the same time in Europe, Nazi Germany was causing much upheaval and uncertainty.

Josephine graduated on June 21, 1935 at Samuel Slater HS and immediately searched for employment.

Josephine at the age of 16, was a young woman with many responsibilities. She waited for one and a half weeks in long lines outside of J. & P. Coats Mill hoping to be chosen. Finally, she was picked out of many and hired to operate the textile weaving machines as a Foster Winder (threader). Josephine was an extremely hard-working employee who eventually was promoted to Floor Supervisor and stayed with the company for many years.

Circa 1939, Joseph Perroni received a letter (telegram) from Italy stating that his wife Rosina had passed away. Joseph Perroni passed away on January 31, 1940 of a stroke; due to heartache.

At 21 years of age, Josephine continued to work to support her family and pay for the house mortgage. Josephine’s father, (papà) always wanted her to go to Clerical School to become a Secretary. However, she knew her family came first.

Relatives in Bristol offered to take Josephine in along with her two siblings; however, pride and the fact that she knew she needed to keep the family together, she made what she felt was the only decision. Josephine turned down the offer, so she would continue to work to support her family; with the eventual hopes of uniting her two sisters with her and her two brothers.

In 1941, shortly after Josephine’s father passed away, she like many other Americans were alerted that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. This further complicated matters for her family to return, as communication efforts were difficult during the war. Josephine had written several times to locate her sisters and never heard back. She then enlisted the aid of the Red Cross, to assist. She feared that although her sisters were American Citizens and Civilians, she was uncertain if it was possible for them to make the trip from Italy to the States.

Josephine continued to work at J. & P. Coats making many Parachutes and other items for the war effort.

On February 15, 1945, Josephine married Coxswain 3rd Class Walter W. Wolowicz, United States Navy, in Providence RI. Walter served in the Atlantic theatre during WW ll. Walter was the son of Albert Wolowicz and Bertha (Bernice) (Godek) Wolowicz. Both of Walters parents immigrated from Poland and became United States Citizens and eventually lived in Taunton Massachusetts where Walter was born. Walter was one of 6 brothers and 5 sisters. Walters’ mother Bertha, was a 5 Gold Star mother. She lost a son who was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge while serving in the U.S. Army.

Josephine eventually received a letter from Italy relating news of the death of members of her family and told of the well-being of the sisters despite the hardships of four years of war. In 1947, Josephine achieved her goal with the help of her husband Walter. They sponsored her two sisters Mary and Tina, to return to the United States. After a 10-day journey on the SS. Saturnia, Mary 18 and Tina 16, arrived in New York where Josephine greeted her long-lost sisters.

Mary and Tina lived with Josephine on Woodlawn Ave, Pawtucket, RI. They eventually all relocated together to Rehoboth Massachusetts. Josephine took her sisters to the mill and got them a “Threading” job. Mary and Tina were much appreciative. They knew it was hard work; however, much easier than working on the farm in Italy during war time.

It was not until years later that a tragic mistake in communication was learned. Josephine, while in discussion with her sister, found out that their mother Rosina, actually passed away on February 28, 1942, two years after their father Joseph had passed. It was learned that the letter Joseph Perroni received regarding his wife Rosina’s death was misinterpreted; more than likely due to a communication error. Communications were held up frequently because of the war. Although the above was a tragic event for all the sisters to learn and share, Josephine kept her faith with the knowledge and belief that God had a reason. Although it was a very rough ordeal to overcome, she moved forward and “never gave up the ship”.

Josephine and the love of her life Walter, started a family. Their “Little Angel” baby Joseph was heaven bound in 1946. Toska Marie Wolowicz, born September 10, 1948 and Bernice Marie Wolowicz, born October 21, 1954. Josephine and Walter brought up their daughters in Rehoboth Massachusetts and they lived there for approximately 27 years. As mother and father, their children were well cared for and loved each equally in their own eyes. Many family vacations were spent together traveling all over the United States.

Josephine and Walter shared their favorite song with their children, which was, “You are my Sunshine.” It seemed that this song was truly in their hearts, as they felt true love for each other and for their children.

Josephine continued to work until she retired. She was most proud of her job as a Dietician at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Josephine was a great cook and loved to cook all sorts of foods for family and friends, but her specialty was Italian and Polish food. Josephine always made everything from scratch; using only the best ingredients for her family. She had one regret in life, it goes like this. Josephine entered a contest to create a desert and give it a name. Well she did and she won! Her regret? “Have whatever you create patented,” she would say. It took her many years to get over the, “Moon Pie!” She was the first to come up with the name, “Moon Pie.”

They moved to California in 1975 where they lived in San Diego, then Alpine and back to San Diego. Josephine lost the love of her life, Walter, on May 6, 1991 in San Diego, CA, after 47 years of marriage. Her favorite saying was, “Don’t give up the Ship!” She never did.

Josie, nick named by her Son in Law Anthony (Tony) Paolera, daughter Bernice’s late husband, “Never gave up the ship.” She believed you must make the most out of your life and whether it be through struggle or hardship, she believed it important to make it on your own before you can make it with anyone or anything. After Walter passed, Josie picked herself up and frequently took the bus, to go to the movies, shop; have lunch by herself or with friends.

Josie loved animals and adopted a baby kitten she called Ginger. Ginger was her baby and she loved her with all her heart. Ginger lived with her in San Diego, San Jacinto, and in Spring Valley for many years; where she passed at age 13.

Josie traveled with her friends to Las Vegas and to many other places of interest; she was always busy.

Josie not only was a wonderful wife and mother, but she also was great at Shuffleboard and Ping Pong. Josie won First Place in the Johnny Johnston Memorial Shuffleboard Tournament that was held in San Jacinto, CA. where she lived in her own Mobile Home. Close by was her daughter, Toska Courbron and her Son in Law Arthur Courbron. The Trophy is as tall as Josie; which has her name engraved and it is still travelling around the country.

In 2000, Josie moved to Spring Valley, CA, with her Ginger in tow to live with her Daughter Bernice and Son-in-Law Stephen Jesionka. Josie had her own private home; which was built for her, within their house, as she was very independent and was proud of it! In fact, Josie had her own private deck and entry way. Bernice and Steve had to go outside of their house to her deck and knock at her door. If she didn’t let them in…too bad. Josie was always proud of her home. She was a Collector of Dolls, her soft delicate tastes in pretty things shows in her décor and in her appearance. Josie was always very neat, organized and very proud of her age.

Josie took a computer course at Adult Education and was so good that the teacher chose her to show other students how to operate the computer at the tender age of 88; Josie was the Honor Graduate of the entire class.

Josie loved and never forgot her late Son-in-laws Arthur (Art) Courbron, and Anthony (Tony) Paolera. She often recalled and reminisced about the many good times she had with each of them. She recalled the times Art and she joked around and how she taught him how to play Shuffleboard. She was proud of the fact that Art had won trophies as well. Tony and Josie shared a lot of Bingo luck; good conversation and the art of cooking. Before Tony passed, he bought Josie a pair of earrings that she most often wore and cherished. She stated that the earrings were not only beautiful, but she believed they helped with her luck.

Josie played Bingo since she was a young girl of 16 and never stopped playing. She went to Viejas every Tuesday; which was Seniors Day and boy was she lucky. Josie loved her Son in Law Steve. They spent many Tuesdays going to Bingo together and many days shopping, going to lunch and teasing each other.

Josie had many friends and relatives and she most always remembered Birthdays and special occasions celebrating by Cards or by phone call whenever she could.

Don’t ask Josie what nationality she is; however, if you do ask, you will get a strong answer of, I’m Italian American and proud of it! She made it a point to stress the fact that she was American. She was feisty when she needed to be.

To protect her mother from anxiety, Bernice never told Josie that she was dying of cancer. She believed that to do so at this stage in Josie’s life was moot. Bernice believed that somehow, her mother already knew.

For weeks before Josie’s passing, she would say the date was 13. “13” Josie kept telling Steve and Bernice, “13.” She would ask, “what is the date today”? Steve and Bernice would tell her the date and then Josie would repeat it and she would say, “13, that is the date.” They would ask her, “why are you saying 13?” Josie just smiled and said, “I don’t know.”

Josie’s ship arrived with Coxswain 3rd Class Walter at the helm on May 13, 2017, but she, “never gave up the ship!”

Josie will most always be remembered as a woman of exceptional strength, faith, courage, hope, beauty, love, joy, and loyalty of family under the most extremely adverse and wonderful conditions.

Enjoy your journey Mom!

In loving memory of our Beloved Mother,

Josie Wolowicz

Dedicated and written by Daughter Bernice