Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Josephine Capaci Hagen - Class of 1942

MADISON - Josephine Capaci Hagen, age 82, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007, at Swanton House, Madison, after a courageous eight-month battle with a brain tumor. She was a 29-year breast cancer survivor. She was born on July 27, 1925, in Madison, the daughter of Joseph and Leonora (Riolo) Capaci. Josephine was raised in the Greenbush area neighborhood and loved to talk about those days growing up. She was proud of her Albanian heritage and was especially proud to be a first-generation American. Josephine attended Franklin Elementary School and Central High School, graduating in 1942. She went to work at Truax Field for the base quartermaster. She then went to work at Westinghouse, where she met her future brother-in-law, Willard Hagen, who introduced her to his brother, Ernie, her future husband. Josephine was united in marriage to Ernest "Ernie" Hagen on April 20, 1947. She went on to work for Johnson Hearing Aid Center and worked there for almost 20 years. During that time with the Johnson's, she and Ernie raised their two children. After the Johnson's retired, she worked at the V.F.W. State Headquarters for 12 years, retiring in 1989. Josephine then stayed home, caring for Ernie until his death after he suffered a stroke. She was a member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, the Order of Amaranth, the Daughters of the Nile and Bashford United Methodist Church. Josephine was a mother of two but a mom to many. She joined the Order of Eastern Star, 283 Starlight Chapter, and became a mother advisor in the Order of Rainbow For Girls, where she became the mom to many teenage girls who many still call her Mom Hagen, even after 30 years. Josephine was a room grandma for Mrs. Wilson's class at Maywood Elementary School, Monona and joined RSVP, where she demonstrated how to use old kitchen utensils to elementary school children in the Madison schools. During her time in Eastern Star, she held numerous positions. She was worthy matron and treasurer many times and held the chair of Grand Ruth and made many friends in her "grand family". Josephine is survived by her daughter, Jean (Greg) Arthur of Madison; grandchildren, Lori (Scott) Gray of McFarland, Kati Arthur of Madison, and Matt Arthur of San Diego, Calif.; five great-grandchildren, Amber, Nicole, Jaime, Kellie and Jenifer; a sister, Sarah Curning; two daughters-in-law, Mary Helmke and Lynn Hagen; niece, Maggie Lourim of Mount Horeb; two nephews, John Curning of Cottage Grove, and Richard Hagen of New Glarus; her dearest friend, Lois Statz; and her companion, Elmo Peterson, who has stuck by her side through health and sickness for 15 years. She was preceded in death by her husband; a son, John Hagen; her parents; two sisters, Mary and Maria; brother, Joe; two brothers-in-law, John Curning Sr. and Willard Hagen; and sister-in-law, Evelyn Hagen. Funeral services will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, with the Rev. Francis Deaner presiding. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007, and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday. Jean and her family wishes to thank HospiceCare for their support during the last eight months, and Tina, Tamarah and Tracy of Swanton House Assisted Living for their most professional and loving care of Mom during her final days. Thank you Bob for your commitment to her care during these months. Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 24, 2007

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