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Josephine Bolancha Braco

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Josephine Bolancha Braco Obituary
Josephine Bolancha Braco

Born in Seattle, Washington on March 21, 1914, Jo passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 27, at age 98. Jo was the eldest child of Jere and Marija Bolancha, who had recently emigrated from Dalmatia. The family moved to San Pedro when she was 6. She attended Barton Hill Elementary and San Pedro High School, then married at age 16, and pursued her first career as homemaker and wife to purse-seine skipper Sam Braco (deceased). She much enjoyed the years raising her 3 daughters, Joan Lucido, Janet Stevens, and Dorothy Braco (deceased). During those years Jo also had leadership roles in various PTA groups and in the very active Jugoslav Women's Club. She earned many awards, too, for her work raising funds for the war effort during WW II, and serving with the Red Cross. When her children were grown, Jo completed her San Pedro High School diploma as Graduate of the Year, completed an AA degree at Harbor College as Woman of the Year in English, and then earned her Bachelor's degree "With Great Distinction" at Long Beach State University. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and was elected to the honorary scholastic society Pi Lambda Theta, remaining active in both organizations. For AAUW members, she created the popular DineOut, Games, and Movie groups. Following her academic achievements, she then enjoyed 17 years in a fulfilling career teaching foods and nutrition at Wilmington Junior High School, where she formed lifelong friendships with many of her colleagues. With those friends and others, and with family, she also traveled to exciting destinations during that time, visiting many countries of the world. Those years were also enriched by the arrival of her cherished grandchildren, Diana Gilbert, Marcee Tribbey (Tim), Laurie Guffey, Joe Lucido (Sara), Tom Stevens (Monique), Julie Pursley (Craig), Roxanne Lucido (Rick), Paul Lucido (Heather), Lilah McLean (Gerald), and Adam Blinder (Holly). She will be deeply missed by them and her 19 great-grandchildren, as well. After retirement, Jo began a new career as an energetic community volunteer, making new friends and gladly contributing many years of service to organizations which included Meals on Wheels, The San Pedro Bay Historical Society, The Friends of the San Pedro Library, the Women's Division of the Chamber of Commerce, the Coordinating Council, The United Nations Gift Shop, and the Community Police Advisory Board. Among her grieving family are also her loving sister Anne Gusha, and nieces and nephews Suzanne Billadeau (Roy), Michael Gusha (Linda), and Jerry Gusha, and their children Marianne Pigao (Ed), Michelle Mills (Jason), Stefanie Gusha, Vienna Gusha, and Jeremiah Gusha. She also leaves in sorrow the families of Mary Cobb (deceased), Rudy Brako (Maxine), Irene Sipantzi (Zee), Mario Bracco (Margaret), and Mariano Bracco. Jo's family and friends loved her dearly and truly enjoyed having her in their lives. They are grateful for her easy passing but will greatly miss her in the years to come. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be gratefully accepted by The Friends of the San Pedro Library, 931 S. Gaffey, San Pedro 90731. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from Apr. 5 to Apr. 7, 2012
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