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DOWNEY – Josephine P. Travers, a longtime Downey resident and active volunteer with local churches and community organizations, died peacefully Sept. 24 at West Anaheim Extended Care Hospital. She was 93.
Born June 30, 1918 in Sault Saint Marie Michigan, the daughter of Gaspar and Jennie Volpe, she moved to St. Paul, Minn., where she grew up with her brother, Benny, and sister, Gloria.
It was at Fort Snelling in St. Paul that she met her then-to-be husband, Robert, at a GI’s dance. After World War II, they married and moved to Cudahy and became active members of St. Gertrude’s Church, working with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and becoming the secretary of the elementary school.
Travers lived in Cudahy until 1961 – where they had two sons, Mike and Chris – before settling in Downey, where she became active at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and in the community.
While at OLPH, Travers served as a Eucharistic minister, was active in the Catholic Women’s Guild, League of the Sacred Heart and helped create a weekly lunch program for the homeless in Los Angeles. She also worked locally with St. Vincent’s Seminary in Montebello, the Downey Historical Society, Downey Coordinating Council and several local orphanages, using her sewing skills to create clothing for children.
Although Travers preferred to do her volunteer work in the background, she received numerous certifications of recognition from the local, state and federal levels for her community outreach work.
Travers’ advancing Parkinson’s disease dictated her move from Downey to Sunrise Assisted Living in La Palma and later to West Anaheim Extended Care.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Christine; daughter-in-law, Mary; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday at OLPH.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations in Travers’ memory to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
Published: September 29, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 24