PERU — Josephine Drapeau, 95, formerly of Jenkins St. and Apple Valley Senior Housing, died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her loving family, on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh.
Josie was born Nov. 29, 1917, in Houlton, Maine, the daughter of William and Phoebe (Willette) Theriault. She attended St. Mary's Parochial School in Houlton before leaving to care for her ailing mother. Josie met the love of her life, Alfred F. Drapeau, and the two were married Feb. 6, 1940. Josie and Alfred moved to Plattsburgh, and soon after settled in Peru, where they raised their family of eight children.
Josie was a woman of intense faith and trusted that God would help her through the difficult times in her life. She was a lifelong communicant of St. Augustine's Church in Peru and belonged to the Altar Rosary Society and to the Catholic Daughters of America.
She was a member of Dottie and the Golden Notes for many years, playing the kazoo and singing with the band. In addition, Josie belonged to the Golden Apple Club. Josie worked for the Green Thumb program in Peru for a number of years. She was also an accomplished seamstress, and she could sew anything on her trusty White Rotary sewing machine, which she affectionately called Betsy. She spent countless hours altering clothing for others and creating and sewing costumes for various characters, including a Bicentennial woman and Mrs. Claus, whom she portrayed over the years to the delight of many. However, Josie found the most fulfillment in her role as Mother and homemaker. She was a skilled cook and baker and her family enjoyed her many creations, including chocolate mayonnaise cake, cinnamon buns, Ba-ba beans, and corn chowder. Josie especially enjoyed visiting with and caring for friends and family, tending to her African violets, playing Scrabble, Upwords, and cards, and sewing and quilting. She made numerous quilts, giving them to all of her children and grandchildren as symbols of her love.
Throughout her life, she was at her best when she felt needed. She gave of herself countless times to help and to support her friends, her family, and anyone else who was in need, never once complaining about doing so. She was an extraordinarily kind and gracious woman who always had a smile and a laugh for those around her, and she will be missed deeply by those who loved her most.
Josie is survived by her children, Joseph and his companion Roberta Trombley of West Chazy, Wayne of Eatons Neck, N.Y., Angela LeBel and her husband Lenny of Concord, N.H., Glen and his wife Susan of Peru, Jackie Andrews and her husband Patrick of Peru, Sheila Poindexter of Plattsburgh, and Gloria of Concord, N.H.; her seven grandchildren, Michael, Lisa, Brandon (Denise), Nichole (Chris), Janelle (Karl), Shelana, and Brendan; her five great-grandchildren, Henry, Trevor, Anna, Josephine, and Christina; and several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband Alfred; her son, Clyde; her brother, Phil; and her two sisters, Gertrude and Rose.
Calling hours will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Hamilton Funeral Home on Mannix Rd. in Peru. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at St. Augustine's Church in Peru, and interment will follow at the parish cemetery.
Josie relished feeding others and wanted no one to go hungry. In lieu of flowers, a donation to a local food shelf would be a wonderful way to honor Josie.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. To light an online candle and offer condolences in the memory of Josephine Drapeau please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com