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Josephine J. Sears, age 94, of Trufant, passed away Saturday, July 8, 2017 at Spectrum Health Rehab & Nursing Center in Grand Rapids.  The daughter of Waldema W. "Walter" & Mildred V. (Warner) Johnson, she was born on November 17, 1922 in Trufant. 

She previously had been a member of Settlement Lutheran Church in Gowen, where with her late husband, Fred, helped establish "Barrie's House"…  even writing the grant that helped fund a separate building for the charity.  She later transferred her membership to St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Trufant, was a member of the Danish Sisterhood Society, and a life member of the Trufant Area Chamber of Commerce.  Josephine volunteered with several area organizations, and had been active with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

In her working years, she worked in a variety of secretarial, accounting, and management positions and served as the Maple Valley Township Clerk for 18 years and obtained the title of Certified Municipal Clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.  She also edited the book, The Trufant History, which was published in 1987 after several years assembling and editing photographs and stories.   

She was preceded in death by her parents;  two husbands, Sherwood B. Schaaf and Frederick G. Sears;  a son, Sherwood  Mark "Markie" Schaaf; two sisters, Elizabeth Johnson and Emma May Nastaj;  a brother, Robert S. Johnson;  and a brother-in-law, Sidney Nastaj. 

Surviving are a daughter, Sonia Francis;  two sisters, Arlene Blaesing and Geraldine & Darwin Smith;  a brother, Walter & Janet Johnson;  a granddaughter, Kacie Toffoli;  two very special great grandchildren, Samantha Toffoli and Louis Toffoli;  a very special nephew, Dustin Olsen;  and many other loved nieces, nephews, and friends.

Honoring her wishes, private committal services will be held at Trufant Cemetery.  Instead of flowers, Josephine would have appreciated contributions in her memory to either Barrie's House, 1031 Johnson Road, Gowen, Michigan49326 or to the family to be used according to their wishes.  Envelopes will also be available at Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville. 

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Josephine's online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  Arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville. 


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4 Condolences

  1. Ron Porter on July 11, 2017 at 12:00 am

  2. Ron and Cheryl Porter on July 11, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Sorry to hear of your loss Sonia! Prayers and hugs to you and the family! Not easy to loose a loved one. Will miss seeing her at church events and her time and energy in helping set up Barrie’s House!
    Ron and Cheryl Porter

  3. Bradley Family on July 11, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time of need. Jo will be greatly missed. May god comfort you in time of need.

  4. Tom and Cathy Cornell on July 11, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Sonia, Walt, Geraldine, and Arlene and all the family. We are so sorry to hear of Jo’s passing. She did so much good in her lifetime and was truly a role model for many. Loved her easy smile and she was always interested in what you were doing. She will be missed by so many but also now it’s time she gets to rest in peace.

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