Rochester NY: January 1, 1921 – October 13, 2016. Our matriarch passed peacefully at the age of 95 to join her husband of 71 years who predeceased her in 2015. Jo or Josie, as she was called by friends and family, was born in rural Pennsylvania outside of State College in 1921 to Carl and Margaret (Stryker) Tussey. She was the youngest sister of 6 siblings (Norman, Florence, Margaret, William and Sam). Ever precocious and wanting to do everything her older sister ‘Mar’ did, she graduated high school at the early age of 16. Soon after, she moved to the ‘big city’ of State College to attend Penn State where she met the love of her life, Henry P. Gardner, a young cadet from Rochester, NY. They eloped in 1943 just before he was deployed to the Great War. In 1945, when he returned, they moved to Rochester, NY where they busied themselves raising their five girls. They were parishioners at St. Thomas, St. Margaret Mary’s, and Christ the King.
Jo enjoyed playing cards, golfing, cross-country skiing, square dancing, and spending time with their many friends.
She raised five daughters: Margaret Dion (Joseph – deceased), Patricia Gardner, Kathleen Gardner (deceased), Bonnie Gardner (deceased), and Mary Reinhardt (Chrys). She had the joy of seeing her 7 grandchildren grow up to have families of their own: Beth Dion Hoffman, Joe Dion (Nikki), Jennifer Young (Will), Jack Schwitz (Mickey), Kelly Reinhardt, Lee Reinhardt, and Claire Gardner (Cris). Josephine also had the gift of 7 great-grand children (Henri, Regan, Liam Young, Michael & Grace Hoffman, Matt Dion, and Jackson Schwitz. She is also survived by her older sister and best friend, Margaret (Tussey) Hackett and many nieces and nephews.
She was loved by family members, friends, and special caregivers. She will be deeply missed, though the family is comforted by her long life and the legacy of family she leaves behind.
The family will hold private services at a later date.