Wednesday, October 20, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Parish
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
1 (616) 453-6369
Visitation will be from 10 AM until the start of Mass
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Jo Scalabrino’s Staff Appreciation Fund at Stonebridge/Yorkshire Manor
3511 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A woman of unwavering faith, Josephine Scalabrino lived a life rich in family and friends. Josephine devoted herself to embodying the principles of her faith. She welcomed every person with loving care and embraced each moment as a gift. A friend to many, Josephine loved unconditionally and offered safe harbor to all who were blessed to know her. A cherished wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Josephine will long be remembered and ever so missed.
On April 12, 1925, Anthony and Rose (Pellerito) Monticello of Grand Rapids, Michigan, welcomed their daughter Josephine into their family. Josephine’s early years were firmly rooted in faith and family. While her father worked as a cabinet maker at Steelcase, her mother tending the children and the family’s home on Franklin Street. Italian immigrants, Josephine’s parents honored their heritage by keeping and encouraging many long-held traditions. Along with her siblings, Anna, John, Virginia, and Mary, Josephine enjoyed close connections with their family. Sundays and holidays were spent in one another’s good company, eating, singing, dancing, talking, and playing setback. Josephine treasured memory of the times her father took her shopping downtown and bought her Shirley Temple dresses.
Throughout her early years, Josephine’s many gifts began to shine. She enjoyed baking, family dinners, sewing, and keeping family together. She was also gifted in managing family finances. As a result of her discipline, she graduated from South High a year early.
Josephine grew to know her beloved, Michael Scalabrino, at church and Italian family get-togethers. The couple began dating while he worked at McInerney Spring and Wire Company, making airplane wings for the war. In 1942, after dating for a couple of years, Michael was called to serve in the United States Air Force. During his years of service during WWII, Josephine and Michael continued their courtship by corresponding through letters. After safely arriving home, the happy couple exchanged their marriage vows on July 20, 1946, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, officially beginning their 66-year marriage.
Following their honeymoon to Mackinac Island, the newlyweds made their first home on Putman SE. Several years later, they moved to the northwest side of the city, where they became members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Michael provided for his family as a United States Postal Service worker, while Josephine dedicated herself to the care of their children, Frances, Rose, John, and Sherrie. Josephine relished in family life and, with great care creating a loving and supportive home. The family enjoyed fun-filled family vacations to Boynton’s cottage on Big Twin Lake and Aunt Ida’s, and Uncle Jim’s on Big Star Lake. They also explored countless museums throughout Michigan.
A devout Catholic, Josephine was always an active member of her church communities; she never hesitated to give of her time and talents in service of others. Over the years, she was an active member of
Young Ladies Solidity, Altar Society, Lady of Sorrows, Sacred Heart, Holy Spirit. She was fondly known by her loved ones as “the Novena Queen,” as she lovingly made novenas for all family intentions, and she always made a May Altar. She also served as a board member and president for St Johns Home. A talented seamstress, Josephine was well known for her exceptional alterations and the amazing wedding dresses, West Catholic cheerleading uniforms, and dance costumes she so expertly made.
Josephine was a humble woman who treasured life’s simple pleasures. She loved a good Italian meal, and her bread, pies, chicken soup, and Italian dinners were unrivaled. She was especially enamored with Dove Ice cream bars. She liked the classic songs of Dean Martin and Al Matino and treasured every moment shared with family. She and Michael continued to enjoy traveling in retirement, making wonderful memories at Disney World, Branson, Nashville and Las Vegas. Josephine loved to play bingo and always donated her winnings to charity. Her most cherished possessions were her St. Gerard necklace and statue and her prayer book.
After Michael died in April of 2012, Josephine moved to Stonebridge Manor. Though she missed her husband dearly, she quickly made friends with the staff and residents, forming a cherished second family. With signature grace, Josephine continued to model her faith, inspiring others with her sweet kindness.
Though the world certainly feels less certain in the absence of Josephine’s steadfast love, we are sure to find comfort in knowing she is at peace. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying her legacy forward. In each moment we greet a stranger as a friend, choose faith over fear, share a family meal, pray a novena, or sing and dance with our beloved, we celebrate the many ways Josephine gifted our lives. In this way, we keep her beautiful spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired each of us.
Mrs. Josephine Scalabrino, aged 96, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at Stonebridge Manor. She is survived by her children, Frances (Larry) Haughey, Rose (Michael) Quinn, John (Joan) Scalabrino, Sherrie (Paul) McGuinness; 10 grandchildren, Kristin (Matthew) Griffith, Christopher (Audrey) Haughey, Patrick (Stephanie) Haughey, Kyle (Chloe) Quinn, Bridget (Patrick) White, Kevin Quinn, Alison Scalabrino, Natalie Scalabrino, Rachel McGuinness, Daniel McGuinness; 9 great-grandchildren; brother, John Monticello; and sister, Mary Impellizzeri. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 11 AM at Holy Spirit Parish, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Friends may meet her family on Wednesday from 10 AM until the start of Mass. Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to Jo Scalabrino’s Staff Appreciation Fund at Stonebridge/Yorkshire Manor. Jo’s family wishes to thank the entire staff at Stonebridge Manor for their wonderful care and compassion. They were like her second family. Her family would also like to thank Spectrum Health Hospice for their very special care over the last few weeks. To read more about Jo’s life, to sign her guest book, and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.heritagelifestory.com.