Josephine Mary “Mary Jo” Osterhout Springer made her journey to heaven on Sunday, May 15, 2016, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.
When Josephine was a little girl, her aunt said that Josephine Mary Osterhout was way too big a name for a little girl. So, she began to call her Mary Jo. The name stuck so she went by Mary Jo most of her life.
Mary Jo was born in Satsop, Washington on May 1, 1929. As a child she lived in a variety of locations across the northwestern United States. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and earned her RN degree.
Mary Jo worked at the Veteran’s Hospital’s tuberculosis unit, in Boston. She also worked for a time in the neonatal unit.
One day Mary Jo was lamenting to her downstairs neighbor, Em Soulia, that she had no prospects for a husband. Em mentioned that she had a single uncle. Mary Jo persuaded her to introduce them via letter. So, Earl and Mary Jo began writing back and forth. They also exchanged pictures. Earl couldn’t get away often because he had a dairy farm to run but he came to visit her in Quincy, Massachusetts once and she went to visit him in Broadalbin, New York once. Then on November 8, 1958 they were married at the Wollaston Church of the Nazarene in Quincy, Massachusetts. Earl and Mary Jo lived on the farm in Broadalbin. Daughter Katrina, lived with and cared for her at home the last six years as she battled Alzheimer’s.
When Mary Jo first arrived in Broadalbin, she was a nurse to the late Mr. Chalmers. She did a few stints as a nurse at the school and at camp.
Earl and May Jo raised and sold vegetables and had a bakery on the farm for many years. Life was very busy but fulfilling.
Mary Jo enjoyed cooking, sewing cloths for her family, gardening, planning parties and dinners, playing the piano and singing at church. She taught children’s church, Sunday school and whatever else needed doing at church. On the way home from church she would get all of the kids singing. What a wonderful time that was!
Alzheimer’s began to run its course nine years ago but today she is free of its ravages and rejoicing in heaven with her heavenly father and those who have gone on before. Her deepest heart’s desire was that her family and others would all have a personal relationship with God and be with her in heaven someday. Our life here on Earth is only a small blip compared to eternity so we must make it count for the ever after. She had a very full wonderful life that touched lots of other lives and fulfilled its purpose.
She was predeceased by her parents, Calvin and Stella Osterhout; brother, Bill Osterhout; and husband, Earl Springer. She leaves behind four children, Debbie (Dan) Sams, Larry (JoAnn) Springer, Verlene (Claude) Perhealth and Katrina Springer. Her grandchildren include Trista (Jesse) Lampkin, Annika Sams, Steven Perhealth, Justin Perhealth and great-grandson Colton Lampkin. The family is looking forward to seeing her in heaven someday where they can have long meaningful conversations with her once again.
A viewing will be held on Friday, May 20, at 10 a.m. and the funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at the Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home Inc., 111 County Highway 106 (corner of Route 29 and Black Street), Johnstown. Burial will be in East Galway Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Johnstown Church of the Nazarene, in care of the funeral home.