Hill Funeral Home

11723 South Saginaw Street, Grand Blanc, MI


Josephine (Kuzawa) Yancho

August 18, 1929July 20, 2020

Josephine (nee Kuzawa) of Traverse City, MI and Mansfield, TX, formerly of Flint, passed away peacefully one month shy of her 91st birthday on July 20, 2020. Josephine was born on August 18, 1929 to the late Stanley and Stella Kuzawa (nee Pedzich) in Flint, MI.

Josephine acquired several of her life passions, reading and athletics, as a young girl through Mott Foundation’s Stepping Stone Girls’ Club activities. She was an athlete at a time in which few young women were encouraged to participate in sports. She loved volleyball, softball, golf, basketball and especially bowling. She was active in sports and clubs while at Flint Northern High School and as an adult for many years in Flint women’s bowling leagues, winning her treasured trophies and awards.

She was a 1947 graduate of Flint Northern High School. Her senior photo captioned, “One who is fair to look upon,” which was especially true with her vibrant blue eyes and easy smile. Josephine was extremely proud of her Polish heritage and was quick to share it with anyone, along with a very firm handshake. After high school, she worked for the Flint City Police department, then moved on to AC Delco and later while still raising her family, was the library Media Specialist at Flint Township’s Carman High School library from which she retired in the early 1990s.

She immensely enjoyed being with her family, spread out across multiple states. She would join in on a cruise or a vacation. She took lengthy walks during beautiful or inclement weather, walking the hills of her son’s property or the dunes of Sleeping Bear to hear waves crashing upon the shore. She particularly loved these during Michigan winters. While east, cruising Cape Cod for antiques or near her home, dancing at polka festivals with children or grandchildren—for as long as anyone could keep up with her.

Zeffa, as she was affectionately known by her friends and family, married the love of her life, Emery E. Yancho Jr. and raised their family of five children. Emery preceded her in death 46 years ago. She is survived by her five children and their spouses, thirteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. They are her son Stephen and his wife Dee Ann (nee Westman) of Lake Ann, MI and their sons, Max, Ben and Sam; her daughter Janine Swenson and Douglas of Wyckoff, NJ and their children Stephen and Kathryn (Michael) Atkinson and their son, Helmsley; her son Ronald and Teresa (nee McElhiney) of Midlothian, TX and their daughters Nicole (Cannon) Madison and Adrianna; her son Dr. Phillip and Sally (nee Yost) of Grawn, MI and their children Amanda (Zachary) Yanska and their two sons, Owen and Luke, Dr. Joseph, Stasha and Hannah; and her son Jeffrey and Andrea (nee Klein) of Assonet, MA and their sons Charles Emery and William Emery.

She was preceded in death by her siblings Kashmir Kuzawa, Helen Huber, Stefania (Stevie) Schaffer, and Clara Burke; survived by Janet Hoffman, Stash Kovalcik and Virginia Newton and a multitude of loving nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donate to an Alzheimer’s and dementia charity of your choice, your local Catholic parish, or local public or school library.

Per her wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial at Hill Funeral Home in Grand Blanc, MI and burial in New Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Flint, MI will be held later.


  • Alzheimer's and Dementia Association of your choice
  • Your local Catholic Parish
  • Your local school or public library


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Josephine (Kuzawa) Yancho

have a memory or condolence to add?

Robert Florkowski

August 13, 2020

My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family. Jo and her children hold some of my fondest memories of my years at Carman High School.

Evelyn and Doug Schroder

August 3, 2020

My earliest memory of my Aunt Zef was babysitting on Forest Hill. Being a young girl I was impressed by my aunt’s mothering skills. One of her tips I still remember was that mom’s should not have long fingernails so that they don’t scratch or poke the babies! Since I could never grow nice long nails I figured that was my first criteria for motherhood!
Aunt Zeffa was the REAL THING!! I always admired her genuineness, young-at-heart spirit and gentle soul. I always felt a special bond with her.
My most recent cherished memory was a few years ago when I visited her in TC. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. We had such warm conversation and good time sharing... What I remember most about it was that neither of us wanted me to leave!!
I will miss her deeply, as so many will.
Comfort is knowing she is back home with the Lord and will keep beautifully smiling ~ Forever!!

Janine Swenson

August 3, 2020

Love you more! ❤️

Faith Yassick

August 2, 2020

I loved seeing Aunt Zeffa when she could make family reunions. She was always interested in what each of us nieces and nephews were doing, our children, and had that smile and laughter that warmed the heart. We will continue to remember all the good times, camp fires, and stories shared. I'm sure she is having a grand reunion with all the family. May God hold you close Aunt Zeffa until we meet again.
Love, Greg and Faith Yassick

Libby Yancho

July 28, 2020

I first met Aunt Zeffa at my bridal shower. Mike and I were so young and for me coming into a large family was daunting, but she welcomed me immediately and let me know it would be ok. I've loved and admired her ever since. Miss you Aunt Zeffa! Love, Libby


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