Josephine Zell
1934 - 2020

Zell, Josephine May

MADISON - Josephine May Zell, age 86, of Madison, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Heartland Country Village. She was born on April 26, 1934, the daughter of Joseph and Emily (Herod) Howe.

Josephine was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, England, where she lived until her marriage and emigration to the United States in 1968. Formerly Chair of the English Department at Milham Ford School, Oxford, she continued to teach in Wisconsin, first at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and later in the Madison Public Schools, where she taught Latin and English. Josephine held degrees from the University of Manchester, England, and UW-Madison. An accomplished poet, Josephine was a former Vice-President of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her poems and articles have been published in numerous journals and magazines. Josephine enjoyed playing the piano, singing Methodist Hymns, and spending time with family and friends.

Josephine was preceded in death by her father, the Rev. Joseph Howe; mother, Emily (Herod) Howe; and sister, Pamela Howe Taylor. Josephine is survived by her daughter, Rosemary Thrun; son, Philip (Nichole) Zell; and eight grandchildren, Nicholas, Benjamin, Alexander, Emily, Kevalin, Andrew, Joseph and Tristen.

A private funeral service will be held at 12 noon on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, with the Rev. Brad Van Fossen presiding. Family and friends who wish to view the service via LIVE STREAM may visit Josephine's obituary page at and click on the Live Webcast link.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Monona United Methodist Church, 606 Nichols Road, Monona, WI 53716. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Camacho Mount Horeb

Funeral & Cremation Care

500 N. Eighth St.

(608) 437-5077

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Published by on Nov. 18, 2020.
Funeral service
LIVE STREAM may visit Josephine's obituary page at and click on the Live Webcast link
Funeral services provided by:
Gunderson Camacho Funeral and Cremation Care
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3 Entries
Mrs. Zell is a fantastic teacher! She helped me become a better reader and go to college. My prayers to the family.
Micki weger
November 19, 2020
Josie subbed for me when our daughter was born. My students said they had a "real" English teacher. Loved her dedication to literature and knowledge and her lovely poetry. My sympathy for you , Rosemary snd Phillip , and your families.
Sharon Olson
November 19, 2020
My wife, Tammy, and I have known Josie for over 35 years. She was a great friend to all, and a wonderful teacher as well. Our prayers are with her and her entire family. May she rest in eternal peace! Jeff Wiswell Monona, WI
Jeff Wiswell
November 18, 2020