- August 19, 2021
Josephine Sneckus, 95, of Springfield, died on Monday, August 16, 2021 at Memorial Medical Center. She was born March 4, 1926, in Krasnja, Slovenia located in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. The daughter of Blass and Mary (Orajem) Strukel, she married Julius Sneckus in 1948 and he preceded her in death October 6, 1994.She is also preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Frank Strukel. Josephine came to the U.S. in 1933 at the age of seven with her mother and siblings, following their father who came to America in 1929 to make a new life for himself and his family.Survivors include one daughter, Teresa (Ron) Gregoire of Springfield; two grandchildren, Ryan (Mackenzie) Gregoire and Nathaniel (Jacqueline) Gregoire, both of Springfield; three great-grandsons, Brooks Julius, Beckham Hall and Caden James; one sister, Amaljia “Marge” Roth of Springfield; one sister-in-law, Virginia Kmet Strukel and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Josephine graduated from Lanphier High School in 1945. After graduation, she worked at Pillsbury Mill from 1945-58 as a quality technician in their lab and was a homemaker thereafter. She was a member of the Slovene National Benefit Society Lodge #2 (formerly Lodge 567), Polka Club of America, Prairie State Polish Club and the American Lithuanian Club. Music was an integral part of family life in Slovenia. Raised in a music-loving family, in 1988, Josephine, her sister and friend, Doris (Dorie) Ushman, formed a musical ensemble known as the Slovene Strollers. Dressed in their native costumes, Josephine played the Stumpf fiddle which she hand-crafted. The trio combined culture and a love of harmonious singing and upbeat polkas, to perform their ethnic music at the International Ethnic Festival, the Illinois State Fair, and at numerous local polka festivals, civic clubs, schools, churches, and senior centers.
Besides singing and dancing, Josephine was well known for her creative talents. She was an excellent seamstress and taught herself crocheting, knitting, needlecraft, bobbin lacing, and various other arts and crafts. She often won prizes for her work. Josephine was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was happiest when she was spending time with her family.
Visitation: 9:30 – 11:30 am, Monday, August 23, 2021, at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield. Funeral Service: 11:30 am, Monday, August 23, 2021, at Staab Funeral Home with Pastor Stan Sommers of Koke Mill Christian Church officiating. Graveside services will follow at 1:00 pm at Camp Butler National Cemetery.
A Celebration of her Life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Protective League, Forever Feline Ranch, or (AFTD) The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
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