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1919 Josephine 2016

Josephine D. Lopatto

October 11, 1919 — April 21, 2016

Josephine ‘Jo’ Denise Lopatto, 96, a Wilkes-Barre resident and widow of the late Judge Edward W. Lopatto, died Thursday, April 21st at Mercy Center in Dallas following a six-week illness.

Born October 11, 1919 in Chester, Pennsylvania she was a daughter of the late William and Mary Theresa Lyons Plummer.

A graduate of Chester High School and Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia, Josephine served as a Navy nurse in New Guinea and Australia during World War II, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, and earning the American Theater Medal, the South Pacific Theater Medal and the American Victory Medal.

In 1946, she returned to the states where she met and married Edward W. Lopatto, then a young attorney and U.S. Navy pilot. After their marriage, the couple moved to his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, where they raised nine children as Edward pursued his legal career.

Josephine returned to nursing in 1967, teaching nursing students and working as both a staff and private duty nurse. When her husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 1976, she devoted herself to his care until his death in 1981.

Josephine found joy in service to others. She was a long time, active member of Saint Therese’s Roman Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre. After retiring from her position as supervising nurse at the Riverside Adult Day Care Center, she was a volunteer tutor for adult literacy, and was active in the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army Auxiliary, and the Wyoming Valley Women’s Club, where she was named “Woman of the Year” in 2015. Josephine was a member of the Navy Nurse Corps Association, and a charter member of the Women’s World War II Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. With the support of the Writing in Witness Program at Stockton College in New Jersey, she published her World War II memoirs, The Sound of Wings, in 2013 at the age of 93. An avid reader and lover of books, she was grateful to Dr. Maryann McLoughlin for facilitating this project and helping her share her story.

In addition to her parents and husband, a brother, William Plummer and sister, Marie Plummer preceded her in death. The last of her generation, she was also preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Mary Lopatto, and brothers-in-law, John (Anne) Lopatto and Richard (Martha) Lopatto.

Josephine is survived by her children, Mary Jo Kule, Brooklyn, NY, Edward Lopatto, Wilkes-Barre, Anne Lopatto, New York, NY, Barbara (Frank) Comella, Bloomington, IL, David (Barbara Brown) Lopatto, Grinnell, IA, Paul (Susan) Lopatto, Elmhurst, NY, Claire Lopatto, Smithville, NJ, Michael Lopatto, Brooklyn, NY and William Lopatto (Paul Nyame), New York, NY. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Alexa (Rick) Gashler, Bridget (Brandon) Lower, Elizabeth, Patrick, Eleanor, Edward and William Lopatto, Matthew and Rebekah Lopatto, and Catherine and Sara Comella; great-grandchildren, James, Katherine, Greta and Erin Gashler and Amelia, Harrison and Willem Lower, as well as several nieces and nephews, all of whom held a special place in her enormous heart.

Celebration of Josephine’s Life will begin Tuesday with visitation from 4 to 7 PM at McLaughlin’s, 142 South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre and continue Wednesday with Funeral Mass at 9:30 AM in the Church of Saint Nicholas. Interment will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Bear Creek.

Memorials in her name are suggested to the American Red Cross, 2221 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or to the Salvation Army, 17 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Memories and condolences may be shared with Josephine’s family at
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

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