Josephine Tovsen (1926 - 2018)

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Josephine Esther Tovsen was born in Chicago, Ill., to Joseph and Catherine Daleo on Aug. 3, 1926. Her father was a highly successful builder and real estate tycoon in pre-and postwar Chicago. Jo graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1941 and received a two-year accounting degree in 1943. She enjoyed swimming, fencing, ballet, the piano and picnics on Lake Michigan Beaches in her younger years. But as an only child, she wished for a large family.
In 1947, she met her dream "red head" on a double date at Crystal Lake. Engaged on Thanksgiving, they married on April 3, 1948. After two children were born in Chicago, the family headed north over the newly built Alcan Highway and arrived in the Last Frontier in April, 1953. Oliver and Jo built and expanded the family home, where she lived until recently. Many were drawn to the family home to share homemade cookies, cakes, New Year's pizza, Sunday picnics and dinners.
Jo enjoyed reading historical fiction and mystery stories, concerts and travel. As a pioneer woman, she relished family outings and trips around Alaska, as well as travels stateside to Hawaii, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Josephine kept the books for Oliver's general contracting firm, was employed by Northwest Airlines in the 1960s and later at Campbell School.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Oliver "Red", who passed away 35 years ago on Labor Day weekend, which marks her passing this year.
Jo leaves behind seven Tovsen sons and daughters, Joan, Oliver Jr "Butch" (Kelly), Jim (Christina), Mark, Kathy, Kirk and Greg; and seven grandchildren, Josephine (Max Himmelfarb) and Jimmy Jackson, Daniel (Stephanie) and Dennis (Andrea) Tovsen, Dustin Tovsen and Cody Hitchcock; and three great grandchildren, Lucas Jackson, Ari Himmelfarb and Alaina Tovsen.
She was greatly loved and will remain a treasure in the hearts of many. If you knew Lady Josephine, please join us on Sept. 16, 2018. Visitation will be held at 10:30 a.m. followed by a service from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial downtown, City Cemetery burial at 2 p.m. and a Celebration of Life at The Center, 4855 Arctic Blvd, at 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
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Evergreen Memorial Chapel - Anchorage
737 E Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Sept. 9, 2018