Josepha Marie Fargis Place passed away peacefully at home on August 19, 2020 with her daughter Rebecca by her side. Josepha was born on Saint Joseph’s Feast Day (March 19), 1936 in New York City. She was the 3rd of eight children born to Elizabeth McKenna Fargis and George Bertrand Fargis. She grew up in New Rochelle, NY, attending Holy Family Grammar School and the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT, where the foundation of a life of faithfulness was built.
Jo graduated from Berkeley Secretarial School and worked for Northwestern Mutual Life, drove a Bianchina convertible and took her black coffees at Chock full o’ Nuts in New York City. She was an avid golfer, an excellent bowler and shrewd player of contract bridge.
In 1967, she married Edward Willis Place Jr. Together they had four children whom Josepha loved fully and unconditionally. She was active in every part of their lives. She attended countless sporting matches, made thousands of home lunches and batches of M&M cookies, knitted and sewed, spent many hours in the Emergency Room, and drove enough miles with a station wagon full of children to circumvent the globe. Her kind blue eyes always sparkled. She was affectionately given the nickname “Jomama” by her children’s friends, and was like a mother to so many. In 1996, she joyfully added Grandmother to her maternal credentials.
In 1980, Jo became a Eucharistic Minister, a role she took great pride and joy in. At Holy Trinity, she was an active member of the Altar Rosary Society and a steadfast volunteer at Bingo spanning decades. She served the church with great devotion. Her faith was unshakeable.
Jo returned to salaried work as an Administrative and Accounting Specialist for the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority and retired after two decades with a much sharpened wit and lot of resilience. During those years she bore the burdens of single motherhood with grace and humor. Her laugh was uproarious and contagious.
Jo lived a life of service to others, performing many of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. She donated blood for many years and was a tireless election volunteer. She befriended the elderly and visited them often. She drove friends to church and to errands. She was instrumental in the founding of The Baobab Home, an orphanage and school in Tanzania. She served tirelessly for years managing accounts and donations.
Jo also enjoyed being a member of the Bridgewater Women’s Club and Red Hat Society. She taught herself graphic design and advanced her computer skills eventually earning District and State Merit Awards for her graphic design work. She loved watching sports on TV, especially golf and the Olympics. She loved the excitement of Atlantic City, and to travel. She visited Ireland, England, Holland, France, Alaska and went twice to Africa to see her grandchildren. Jo cherished her family heirlooms and loved to host friends, family and fellow Bridge players so that she could share stories about her family’s history.
Jo is predeceased by her brother, George and her parents. Josepha is survived by her three sisters, Judith, Elizabeth and Mary and her three brothers Paul, James and Charles. She leaves behind four loving children and their families…..The Mwandus- Terri, Caito, Justis and Nadya; The Places- Kenneth, Mary Jo, Donovan and Allie; Michael Edward, Mai Yee Lam and Michael Robert; Rebecca, Edward Jr., James and Edward III. Her church community will miss her dearly as well.
Visiting hours will be held from 12 Noon-2PM, Sunday, August 23, 2020 at the Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Prayers will be said 10AM Monday, August 24, 2020 at the funeral home, followed by an 11AM Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Trinity Church in Bridgewater. Private cremation will follow.
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