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Life Story / Obituary
Through the life she lived each day, it is easy to see that Josephine “Jo” Weems placed her value in the relationships she built with others. She worked hard, but she was really all about enjoying each and every moment she was given. Jo was blessed to share most of her life with her true love, and together they experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. Life will never be the same without her here, but the lives of so many others will be forever changed because of her love.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women had answered the call to serve during WWII. Those who remained stateside learned to make do with rationing on coming goods such as canned goods, coffee, paper, and rubber. It was during this time of great trial that Josephine LaPlaca was born on June 4, 1943, in East Orange, New Jersey, and grew up in New Jersey. Her father was a toolmaker and her mother worked in a department store. Jo was one of two children as she was joined in her family by her brother, Peter. She loved dancing as a child, and later in life she shared this love for dance with her granddaughter, Allison. As a student Jo attended local schools and graduated from East Hanover Park New Jersey High School in 1961.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jo when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Conrad Weems, and it didnt take them long to fall deeply in love. With the desire to spend the rest of their lives together Jo and Conrad were married on August 7, 1965, at Holy Family in Florham Park, New Jersey. After enjoying a honeymoon in Bermuda, the couple made their home in Budd Lake, New Jersey, where they welcomed two boys, Scott and Chris, into their hearts and home. Raising her boys was her number one priority but she found time to work in the school system as a play ground lady, making sure everyone survived recess. She enjoyed playing tennis, swimming, and socializing at the local German Club where they made many friendships. One of the special friendships she formed was with her neighbors Betty and Bill. Jo and Betty talked on the phone at least weekly sharing stories of each others current lives.
There was never anything of greater importance to Jo than her loved ones. When her children were young, she loved all the neighborhood children and often provided the neighborhood entertainment. Jo was an amazing cook and loved making all of her beloved Italian food including lasagna. She also made a great apple pie. When their children were young, they usually took a vacation to the New Jersey shore for two weeks as Jo loved both the beach and vacationing. In 1984, Jo moved to Michigan where they settled in Schoolcraft. Since there was no ocean in Michigan, they went to Cancun, Mexico, to get their ocean fix as Jo just loved being anywhere near the water. She also loved having a pool to socialize and share strawberry daiquiris. Jo was a great hostess, especially when it came to Christmas as she always went over and above to make sure that everything was just right. She always loved entertaining at her home, and for years Jo and Connie had a circle of friends who they got together with regularly. When grandchildren arrived, Jo was over the moon excited, and as her family and friends can attest her grandchildren were the light of her life. She truly enjoyed attending many of their various events and activities such as dancing, motocross, tennis, and swimming. Over the years Jo and Connie loved traveling together and saw so many beautiful places.
Always one to be busy, Jo was a woman of many interests. She spent years working for Ernst and Young and Lane Bryant, which meant she had an amazing wardrobe. Jo only bought the clothes they sold, changing her wardrobe every time they came out with a new line since she told her husband this was required by the company! As a result, Jo had three full closets of clothes and endless boxes of shoes. Once she discovered QVC, she developed a regular habit as Jo was a born shopper. For years she was a member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Portage. In 2012, Jo was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved husband, but she did her best to not let it slow her down. She joined the Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club and Sit and Stitch where she gained many new friendships.
All who knew Josephine “Jo” Weems would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was social and outgoing, a real people person who loved to talk and could speak confidently of her opinions. One of a kind, Jo had a fun-loving sense of humor, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. She was an open book, and Jo effortlessly conveyed the depths of her heart to everyone she met. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Josephine “Jo” Weems , age 76, of Schoolcraft, died on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Jo's family includes her two children: Scott Weems and Chris (Cheri) Weems; two grandchildren: Jake and Allison Weems, and a brother Peter (Pat) LaPlaca. Jo was preceded in death by her husband Conrad in 2012. Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 30th at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1150 West Centre Ave, followed by a luncheon in the church hall. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will take place at the Virgo Cemetery. Please visit Jo’s personal web page at www.betzlerlifestory.com where you can share a favorite memory, photo and sign her online memory book. Memorial donations may be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.