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Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home

994 E Altamonte DR, Altamonte Springs, FL

OBITUARY

Josephine Hunziker

March 5, 1924October 11, 2019
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On October 11, 2019, at 95 years of age, Josephine Hunziker left her earthly life to be with her Heavenly Father.

Josephine lived a long life, having been born in Munich, Germany on March 5, 1924 to Anna Matheis and Albert Bruder. She grew up in the countryside in a small village near Passau, Germany, with her “Granny” (Franceska Bruder) raising her in a rather meager existence but teaching her to love and appreciate nature and to always be in awe of God’s creations. Josephine adored Granny and grew to think of her as a Mother.

At the age of 14, Josephine returned to Munich to become a Nanny for two young children of a Doctor and his Wife. She lived with the family in a beautiful home on Bavaria Ring for ten years. Many of those years were devastatingly sorrowful during the destruction caused by World War II. The bonds of closeness remained between Josephine and the family, and they have maintained contact over the years.

During the Occupation, she met her future Husband, Evron A. Hunziker, while he was serving in the Berlin Airlift. When he returned to the United States and was discharged from military service, he soon returned to Germany to claim his intended bride. They married on July 4, 1950 in Munich, Germany, and Evron brought his bride back to the United States. Evron then re-enlisted in the United States Air Force. Josephine and Evron “Charlie” had two children while in the service, Mary and Shirley. The family was stationed in Riverside, CA; Salina, KS; Altus, OK; Abilene, TX; Bermuda; El Paso, TX; Bunker Hill, IN; Goldsboro, NC; Okinawa; and Orlando, FL. During their time in Oklahoma, Josephine proudly became a citizen of the United States. The military life was a difficult one with so many moves, but Josephine always helped make the transition easier on the family. She was a woman who had faced so many difficulties in life and grew stronger from each one. She had learned how to care for others at such a young age, and it was a part of her nature to love and nurture those around her.

Josephine was predeceased by Charlie in 1990. She is survived by her daughters, Mary Packard (Thomas) Palm Bay, FL; and Shirley Mason (Cheney) Longwood, FL; and two Grandchildren, Christine Crowley (Thomas) Palm Bay, FL and Kelly Pizzuto (Joseph) Grant, FL.

Josephine’s life of giving of herself to others was mirrored in the work she did throughout her life. She volunteered for service as a “Gray Lady” (volunteer nursing assistant) in Bermuda; Housekeeper for the Base Officer’s Quarters in Bunker Hill, Indiana; Kitchen Assistant at English Estates Elementary School (and she loved those children). Josephine volunteered for years at the German American Society of Central Florida in Casselberry, giving her boundless energy to cleaning, washing pots and pans, preparing food, cooking, and serving food. She volunteered her time at many Oktoberfests. She was honored by the Society to be chosen as a Wine Queen for her dedication and devotion to the organization. Josephine loved her German heritage and was happy to introduce others to the customs and joyful celebrations of that culture.

May her Soul rest in peace.

MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER JOSEPHINE HUNZIKER By Shirley Mason

I miss my Mother so much. My heart is heavy and aching now. I know she is no longer suffering from the pains and heartaches of this world, and she is in a much better place. That provides me with a sense of peace and a sense of relief that she is no longer suffering. She was an amazing person, and she influenced so many lives by the way she lived her own.

My Mother had a difficult life. She grew up with her Granny substituting for her Mother. They did not have much. Life was brutal. Meat was rarely available, but one tiny piece fed three or four people, and they were grateful for what they had. Those were the days in Germany leading up to and during World War II. Mother used to tell stories about her life during that time, some of them very frightening. The hardships she endured seemed to have made her a strong, but gentle, and open armed person. Mother believed it was important to never forget where one came from and to always remember what it was like to have been there and be poor. She also worked hard to provide more for us in life than she had grown up with. She always strived to make our lives better. She believed hard work and education were the keys to a better life.

Life as an Air Force military Sergeant’s family was not easy. There were so many moves! Mom would clean our house spotlessly in preparation for the white glove inspections. Mom, Dad, my sister, Mary, and I would travel to Dad’s next duty station. Mom would then begin her task of turning a strange house into a home for us. Mary and I were always sad to leave our friends behind, knowing we faced the dubious task of making new friends. Mom was always there to selflessly support and encourage us in our efforts.

My Mother didn’t know what a stranger was. She loved people. She didn’t drive after she was in her early thirties, and minimally prior to that time. She became the “bus lady” who rode the bus everywhere until she was 87 years old. She made lots of friends on the bus, people of all races and from all places, and also with those who may have been mentally or emotionally challenged. It didn’t matter to her. She was happy to have a conversation with anyone and maybe bring some sunshine into their day. Mother enjoyed telling stories about her acquaintances on bus ride days.

Mom was feisty and funny. I did love the feisty, funny, and unpredictable part of my Mom’s personality. She was also impulsive, which made for an interesting relationship with her late in life, meticulous, analytical engineer male friend of many years, Edward Zettler of Syracuse, New York. I was not allowed to call him her “boyfriend”! But, Haha, while going through some of her belongings, I found some letters and notes in which she referred to him as her boyfriend. I always knew they had a meaningful, loving relationship. Mom always said it was important to do “the right thing”. It may make some people angry, but it is the way to live if you have an active conscience. She taught us to try hard to stand up for what we believe is right. Don’t hurt those who disagree with you, but just simply disagree with them and move on. Mom used to say “It would be sad if we all agreed all of the time.” She thought we would be idiots because we would not be thinking for ourselves.

Best of all, after I was an adult, and grown to the point where she could no longer spank me, she was my best friend. She was always there for me, through any and all difficult times. She gave me amazingly insightful advice. We spent lots of time together having fun, running errands, and making the household run well. She loved to clean, once cleaning the paint right off the ventilating fan about my stove. She also loved to iron, and when she lost most of her sight to Macular Degeneration, my Housekeeper, Dushe, and I could never figure out how she could iron my jeans so well ???

I loved her advice…mostly. Sometimes I did not want to hear it. But she did have a sixth sense about people. From my teenage years until well into my adulthood, she would let me know who she met as a potential friend of mine who was not up to her high standards. It would make me angry, contemplative, and wondrous, especially when her warnings to the bad notes came true.

After living with my Husband and me for a number of years, Mother moved into Oakmonte Memory Care in August, 2019. The staff told me my Mother would never complain, and she was an Angel. Even the residents there would tell me how they loved her, and they, too, described her as an Angel.

Mother had been ready to take her place in Heaven for the last few years. So she is now where she belongs.

I miss her so much, but I am thankful every day for the care, love, and incredible parental guidance she always lovingly gave to me.

May she rest in peace.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Gathering Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • Committal Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • Reception Thursday, October 17, 2019

Memories

Josephine Hunziker

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Dushe Marku

November 24, 2019

I have known Josephine for almost 25 years. I have countless memories with her, most of which are humorous. One time in particular, I came across a photograph of her and I recognized the outfit she was wearing belonged to her daughter, Shirley. I asked Josephine why she was wearing Shirley's clothes in the photo. She responded in her German accent, "Oh, don't worry about it! Shirley has so much crap, she doesn't care!" We both laughed and I told her that her secret was safe with me.

She loved the holidays and would get right into the Christmas spirit, especially when we put up the Mason Christmas tree.

Josephine was feisty and fun to be around. As the years passed, we became closer. She would often tell me to be careful so I wouldn't hurt myself working around the house. She was nurturing and offered me advice on housekeeping and other things. She was my friend.

I miss you, Josephine, and think of you often. I love you. God bless your soul.

-Dushe Marku

Patricia Jensen

October 16, 2019

I never had the pleasure of meeting Granny but I feel like I knew her. Christine shared Granny’s smile on Facebook so often. I feel like we were friends.. RIP Granny, God Bless 💓🙏🏻🙏🏻💓

Nancy Reinhart

October 15, 2019

Josephine

Although my daughters and I can’t be with you all today, each of us feel the need to pay tribute to a wonderful woman we all treasured.

As small in stature as Josephine was, her strength of character and her energy filled up the room. Having grown up during a time marked by two World Wars, the decades she spent away from the country of her birth could not erase the impact that that upbringing had on her. Even when her sight failed her, her eyes lit up when I addressed her in her mother tongue during my visit last February.

My cherished memories with Josephine began during my honeymoon in 1982. Cheney, Shirley and Shirley’s parents opened their doors and their hearts to me and my husband Roland and to my Bavarian in-laws who without speaking a word of English were visiting the US for the very first time. Josephine knew just what to do... she took us all to her German Club!

Josephine was the epitome of the German Hausfrau (housewife). A role that was defined by three K’s... Kinder (children)Kirche (church) and Kuche (kitchen). No one could run a household better than Josephine... it was her calling. That’s how she showed us all she cared.. not by getting touchy feely.

Kinder.. my children remember her as their very own Peter Pan, a fun loving, engaging fire cracker who wizzed around the kitchen, cleaning and cooking.

Josephine will be terribly missed by those who loved her. It is with gratitude I write that our lives were made much richer for the time we had to enjoy her.

I hope these words come close to expressing how much Roli and I and the kids love you two and your mom. -Nancy Reinhart

Richard Matthews

October 15, 2019

Hi Shirley, I am sorry to hear of Josephine's passing. Nancy shared some wonderful memories and although I didnt really get a chance to know her, I feel a sense of loss for a lovely lady who had the strength to follow her heart across the seas and start a new life in a foreign country in what must have been challenging circumstances. I hope you can take solace from the knowledge that she lived a good life, was loved till the end and now rests in peace. My thoughts are with you and Cheney at this difficult time. -Richard Matthews

Alison Reinhart

October 15, 2019

Dear Shirley, I am so sorry about Josephine! She was such a lovely and kind hearted woman and she will truly be missed by all of us! We are all thinking of you. Sending you our love and strength to help you get through this difficult time! I know she's at peace now. Lots of love, Alison

Julie Reinhart

October 15, 2019

Dear Shirley, I am so incredibly sorry to hear that your mom passed away. I will miss feisty and spunky Josephine and will always remember how wonderful she was to us. I know how extremely difficult and heartbreaking this is for you, please know I am thinking of you and if there is anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate. Sending all my love to you and Cheney. You are in my thoughts. Love you, love you. -Julie

Lindsay Reinhart

October 15, 2019

Dear Shirley, I am deeply sorry about the loss of your mom. My heart goes out to you and I am thinking of you. Your mom was such an incredible woman and I'll always remember how much fun we had together when we visited you. She will be in our hearts forever. Love you, Lindsay

Julia Weiss

October 15, 2019

It fills us with deep sorrow to hear that Pepi (Josephine) has passed.
She has been such a wonderful person and we are so grateful that some years ago we had the chance to see her again in Munich.

We are sure that she very much appreciated all you have done for her and that she left with inner peace looking back to a long and fulfilled life.
Getting old with growing health problems is never easy also for the relatives. As you know we are speaking from your own experience. Unfortunately Bärbel and Gerhard find themselfes unable to write something down even if they keep a lot of wonderful memories of your Mother.

However we all would like to express our sincere condolences to you.
We hope you are doing well and we are sending all our best wishes,
Bärbel, Gerhard, Irmgard and Julia Weiss

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