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.