Josephine C Poo
20 December, 1937 – 16 November, 2020
Josephine Poo passed away peacefully at Mount St. Vincent on November 16. Josephine had a full, adventurous life. She was born in China to Chi, Wing Yuek and Po,Chung Chuen. She was one of 4 children. Her family emigrated to Hong Kong escape a difficult time in China. Josephine attended a private all girls Catholic High School. She valued the Sisters, new friends and her rigorous education. Her proficiency in English and the sciences peaked her desire to travel and to embark on a career in health care. While her family emigrated to Brazil, Josephine went against her father’s wishes; she chose to board a small freighter that took weeks to arrive in her desired home -the United States - after first landing in Vancouver BC. She found her way to Seattle. She often described this as one of the most enjoyable journeys of her life. She was met by a former high school classmate. While attending Seattle University and studying Chemistry, Josephine worked evenings and weekends as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant to offset her tuition. After obtaining her degree in Chemistry/Science, Josephine worked at Swedish Hospital First Hill laboratory as a Medical Technologist for 37 years. Following the death of her father, Josephine invited her mother to relocate to the US to live with her. As her mother aged and required more attention, Josephine insisted she stay with her – balancing work with care for her mother. Josephine loved the outdoors and traveling and was an active member of the Mountaineers where she made many friends with her gentle way and “million-dollar smile”. As an outdoor enthusiast Josephine was known for her “eagle eye”, not only for observing details in nature but also for making note of the dropped glove, scarf or even a camera while out hiking. Always she was the unassuming, gracious, and thoughtful companion on many Mountaineer adventures. One could not help but smile at the wry, witty comments made, as Josephine summed up adventures of the day. At 4 foot, 8 inches – Josephine was a powerhouse of energy. In her 60’s she was honored for completing a walking marathon. Another interest of Josephine’s was photography; her travels gave her ample subjects to capture and share. Josephine was a long-time member of St. James Cathedral parish where after retiring she volunteered at the Family Kitchen. She viewed pastor Fr. Michael Ryan as a true “Shepherd”. She was very devoted to the Sacred Heart and Mother Mary. Josephine loved the arts, particularly classical music - Beethoven being her favorite. She enjoyed classic movies - Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart being her favorites. In her eyes “the old movies were the best”. She enjoyed attending the opera, ballet and symphony. Josephine was a strong yet humble woman grounded in Faith and the love of her family (biological and extended). Many were blessed to be a part of “Team Josephine” – (Dorothy, Sue, Joan, Sharon, Marian, Donna, Patrick and Molly) particularly as she was moving down the “home stretch”. Other friends supported her as well. She would often remark: "I am so lucky" when she was told how everyone was thinking about her and surrounding her with love. In one of her last conversations a week before she passed, this was repeated to her - she once again stated: "I am so lucky". She was reminded that we felt WE were the lucky ones to have her in our lives. She was a gentle, constant light. Surely, we will see her in the next world.
Josephine is survived by her brother Alexander Polman of San Diego, and sister Margaret and niece Patricia Yih of Hong Kong. Parents and brother Po,Chung Chuen preceded her.
Donations in memory of Josephine can be made to St. James Family Kitchen or Providence Mount St. Vincent
Due to the virus a private interment will be at Washelli.
Josephine C Poo
21 December 2020
I met Jo Poo through the Mountaineers. We also walked together with the North Sound Striders. I missed seeing her when she stopped walking with us. Jo was one of the kindest persons I have ever met. She was an amazing person and lived her life to the fullest. Sally Boyce
20 December 2020
I met Josephine later in life in 2015. She was a regular at the McDonald's restaurant at Madison and Minor streets in Seattle. I would go there often and read my books and enjoy a coffee. We met and started up a friendly meet. She would arrive with her stack of Chinese newspapers, but she would put them aside to chat about her volunteer activities, her hospital career, and ask about my teaching career at Seattle Central community college. She was a gracious spirit. I looked forward to our chats. We lost contact after the building was torn down. I always looked for her at cafes and restaurants on First Hill. I am sorry that she left us. Her light lives on in my heart.
20 December 2020
Josephine also volunteered many years at the Georgetown Medical Center. This was a free clinic serving people from everywhere. She was " the blood lady". Her quiet, confident, non assuming, professional, compassionate, dedicated manner helped make it a joy in our mission to provide medical care to the most vulnerable. For many years after, whenever I saw her ( around the St James Cathedral) I would roll my window down and yell out " Hi Jo"...She would be embarrassed but always responded.. I was blessed to reconnect with her at Providence where I volunteer....Josephine remained quiet, compassionate, non-assuming, devoted, resilient......God's special angel.....
19 December 2020
While Josephine still had her old Chevrolet, she would drive to my place in Bellevue and we would drive out to High Point and explore the trails on Tiger Mountain. We did this many times as I became familiar with all the Tiger Mountain trails. We were on many hiking trips to various European countries, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Wales, Scotland, Iceland, led by Shari Hogshead and Paul Gauthier, and Bev Dahlin and Steve Johnson. We also did hiking trips in the Sierras. Jo loved the mountains and was such a delight to be around. She took good care of her mother and her mother took good care of her. Her mother was an excellent seamstress and Jo had beautifully made coats and other garments that her mother had made. I first met Jo in 1985 on a Mountaineer trip to China led by the late Paul Wiseman.