Mass: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 10:00 am in St. Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, 1503 Grand Avenue
Visitation: in the church on Saturday from 9:00 – 10:00 am
Burial: Holy Cross Cemetery – Kinzie Avenue
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Racine -Josephine Anna Mueller Karls, 96, passed away on March 11, 2017 in the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Union Grove with family members by her side. Born on December 22, 1920 to Peter and Mary Mueller in Somers, WI on the farm still owned by her brother Edwin (Red), she was the youngest of nine children. She went to the one-room Pike River School, St. Catherine’s and Washington Park High School, where she played French horn in the marching band, and won writing awards.
Believed to be the oldest surviving female WWII veteran in the state of Wisconsin, She enlisted in the Waves during World War II, had basic training at Hunter College in New York City, and duty at the Dallas naval airbase in Texas, where, while hitchhiking to base, she once got a ride from the movie star Robert Taylor. In January 1945, she rode the train to San Francisco, where she married her local sweetheart Frank Karls, to whom she was married until he passed in 2002.
She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and mother. A devout Catholic, she went to Mass and other sacred rites every day that she was able. She read four or more books a week for most of her life, instilling in her sons a love of reading. She loved her God, her husband, her children, and her family every day of her life. And she was loved every day of her life in return.
When her health declined, she moved to the Veterans Home, living there until her final days. She sincerely appreciated and enjoyed the kindness and care of the staff. Loving mother of David, Richard (Anna), Alan, Eric, Andrew (Wendy), and Joseph (Valerie) Karls, and adoring grandmother of Dana, Erica, Max, Sam, Christopher, Elgin, Emily, Lindsey, Olivia and Tess Karls. Josephine is survived and greatly missed by brother Red, and innumerable beloved friends, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 10:00 am in St. Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, 1503 Grand Avenue in Racine. Interment, with military honors, will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery – Kinzie Avenue. Visitation will be in the church on Saturday from 9:00 – 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Wisconsin Veterans Home has been suggested.