Obituary of Josephine DeJohn
Josephine Mary Patricia (Carioti) DeJohn, 101, went from our arms into the arms of Jesus on February 15, 2022. Born on a houseboat in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on July 31, 1920, during a thunderstorm; she was a live wire from the start. She was the second daughter of Vittorio and Giuseppina Carioti; Italian immigrants, who’d found each other at the Lawrence Massachusetts mills. Before the great depression hit her family owned a grocery store and they later settled in Syracuse, where she acquired four brothers and one more sister.
“Josie” was always very proud of her family’s resourcefulness during difficult times. “I never realized we were poor, we always had everything we needed. My father made homemade sausage from our pigs and we had chickens and a vegetable garden. We never had to take a handout from the government. I always felt I had a very normal upbringing.” She met her future husband, Johnny DeJohn, also from a large family of 7, while picking beans at Interlaken, New York, the summer she was 15. The two were instantly taken with each other and married in 1939.
With the death of her mother-in-law, Filomena, “Josie” took up the mantle of matriarch for both the Carioti and the DeJohn families. That’s 14 sets of Aunts and Uncles and all the kids! Holidays and Summer vacations were organized by, and shared with, Aunt Josie. The family’s expert cook, her picnic chocolate cake is still famous as well as her Italian specialties, including 12 different kinds of cookies made every year at Christmas. Her home was always open to anyone in need.
Before quitting school to help her family she’d wished to be a nurse, but after her marriage she put her efforts elsewhere and enjoyed being a homemaker and wife. She worked at Resnick Pocket Book Factory, DeJohn’s Restaurant, and Fanny Farmer Candy Shop. She loved romantic movies and weddings, shoes and collecting costume jewelry. She was always a very stylish dresser.
Being an expert problem solver, family and friends turned to her for her knowledge and experience with: childcare, recipes, gardening, and marital advice. There was nothing she couldn’t figure out or fix herself, from decorating her beautiful home to fixing a leaking pipe.
“I’ve lived a good life,” Josie said. “I enjoyed so many things. My family, my life long friends, my trips to Florida, Cuba, California, Arizona, and one special trip to Italy. I loved your father very much; he was my sweetheart (I never even dated another man!)” In an age where most marriages only last a few years, Josie and Johnny were married 62 years. Her sweetheart died in 2001, and some of the light went out of her life, but she continued on alone strong, proud and vibrant till the end.
She is survived by her three daughters: Phyllis Bartoszewski, JoAnne Yeomans, and Jacqueline DeJohn, her grandchildren: Robin (Mike) Waters of Camillus, Audra Yeomans of Los Angles, Donald Yeomans of Chicago, great-grandchildren Christopher and Anna Kate Waters of Camillus, and many loved nieces and nephews both great and great-great from across the country.
Relatives and friends may call, Monday, February 21 from 10-11 am at Holy Family Church, Camillus, NY, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Internment at Greenlawn Cemetery.
Holy Family Church will be live streaming the funeral services from their website. It will remain posted for up to one year. Please join us in saying good-bye to a very special woman.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Josephine DeJohn, please visit Tribute Store