Josefine ‘Josie’ Horrell, 92
Josefine ‘Josie’ Horrell, 92 of Mattoon, WI was reunited with her husband and sons as she slipped into the arms of the lord on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2018. She was at her home surrounded by her beloved flowers under the loving care of her family and the incredible support and kindness of the Leroyer Hospice Staff.
She was born on Feb. 16, 1926 in Unter Vollmau, Czechoslovakia daughter of the late Franz & Maria (Macht) Langer.
On May 12, 1948 she married Lawrence ‘Mike’ Horrell in Furth in Wald, Germany with whom she raised two sons and a daughter.
She grew up in Česká Kubice , Czech Republic where her and her family endured unbelievable hardships, suffering and the loss of everything, including the lives of friends and family, during World War II and the Cold War. There wasn’t much happiness for them during this time.
In 1945 she taught kindergarten during which time she was continuously in harm’s way. Her family’s home was partially destroyed during the war and subsequently used as a base for some American soldiers. Her and her family were eventually forced out of Czechoslovakia with nothing but the clothes on their back, at which time they walked, terrified, with a toddler and a baby into Germany and started their lives over. They were without money and even the basic necessities of life such as food, water and shelter. During this time, Josefine survived being shot at, thrown from a train and being placed in a work camp for two years. She saw much death and destruction.
She met Lawrence “Mike” Horrell, in Furth im Wald, Germany at a dance and she laughingly said he danced like an old bear! They later married!
In November of 1949, she and her family arrived in New York and moved to Kentucky. In 1950, she visited an Aunt in Wisconsin and decided that she loved the small town of Mattoon and it was to be their home; Mike eventually agreed. There they shared a life together until Mike’s death on Sept. 23rd, 1994. Josefine continued to live in the same home until her death.
Josefine held many jobs in her lifetime, not being afraid of hard work, she would take on any job to help and contribute to her family. She was a kindergarten teacher and worked in a feather factory in Germany. After moving to the USA, she a homemaker extraordinaire, worked in potato and pea fields, cleaned homes, bartended at the Flamingo Inn and Henry’s Bar & Food, waitressed and cooked at Mary’s Café and worked at Pizza Joe’s for many years.
She was an avid gardening and had an amazing green thumb. Her immaculate yard and beautiful flowers were a source of great pride. Josefine participated in gardening and caring for her yard into her 91st summer. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved to bring her bouquets of flowers.
There were no dumplings and sauerkraut quite like Josefine’s and she showed much love through her cooking. Her family especially loved her chicken dumpling soup and boiled dinner!
She loved chicken wings, the turkey neck, Taco Johns, lemon meringue pie, pancakes with strawberries from Ihop, pizza from Melody Mill, hot dogs burnt on the grill and she occasionally “got a ‘tashte’ for a beer”! She had a great sense of humor, watched the Young and the Restless quite religiously and was known to lovingly wield a wooden spoon now and again. She was always wearing her rings, lipstick and nail polish, even to mow the lawn!
She was immensely proud of her family in which she instilled her immeasurable work ethic and “earn what you get/have” attitude, they were a source of great joy and happiness for her. She was lovingly “feared” by her grandchildren whom never wanted to disappoint or let her down. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren sat upon her lap, held her hand and filled her heart as she helped care for them through the years. Her husband and many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren affectionately referred to her as “Feenie”.
If you had the opportunity and pleasure to visit Josefine at her home, you knew that there would always be coffee and cake, or some other delicious sweets offered. It was just as well know that, well, you just didn’t turn this down….sit down, enjoy and visit! Ever the perfect hostess, even in her final days.
Josefine led an incredible life that molded her into the strong, independent, hard-working, loving and generous woman that she became. She had unbelievable determination, an incredible will to survive, undying devotion and at times, much to the dismay of her family, the stubbornness of a mule! No matter what situation she was presented with, no matter how challenging; she was able to overcome it and persevere. Her deep belief in her faith was of great comfort during these times.
Josefine is survived by a daughter Mary (Dennis) Llewellyn of Ava Marie, Fl.; a daughter-in-law, Charlotte (Todd Huebner) Horrell of Mattoon, WI
8 Grandchildren: Lori (David) Royce of Mattoon,WI; Julie (Lauren Fernandez) Henry of Sanford, FL; Damian (Diane) Henry of Bowler, WI; Chase Llewellyn of Ava Marie, FL; Renae Whipps of Wausau, WI; Eric (Fran Letter) Horrell of Kaukauna, WI; Brian Horrell of Mattoon, WI; Nicole (Reginald) Horrell of Oshkosh, WI.
13+ Great-Grandchildren: Jordan (Amy Sarver) Henry, Cameron (Kaitlin McCarthy) Royce, Cassidy (Nathan Quig) Royce, Noah Royce; Miguel Mancha, Tory (Hal Tesler) Mancha; Jeremy Whipps Jr.; Chloe Horrell; Payton, Quentin, Kymora, Sarai, Elijah; Baby Henry April 2018
Many nieces and nephews in Kentucky and Germany that she spoke with quite frequently.
Longtime friend, who came from Germany as well, Ellie Brinley of Louisville, KY.
In addition to her husband and parents, Josefine was preceded in death by her brother, Frank and her sister Mary along with the heartbreaking loss of her two sons, Ernie Horrell and David Horrell.
She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a neighbor….she was the family matriarch and she was a survivor.
Although we will all miss her dearly, let’s celebrate her amazing life. Let’s also share our memories and make sure that her spirit lives on in all of us.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM on Friday, March 2, 2018 at St. Joseph Holy Family Catholic Church, Phlox. Fr. Charles Hoffmann and Deacon Tony Debroux will officiate. Interment will be in Holy Family Catholic Cemetery, town of Hutchins. Visitation will be on Friday from 9AM until the time of Mass at the church. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at schmidtschulta.comThe family wishes to express a heartfelt thank you to Rennes Rehab & Therapy, Aspirus Hospice and LeRoyer Hospice for their incredible care, support and kindness.