Friday, April 11, 2014
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Saturday, April 12, 2014
10:30 AM EDT
St Valentine Catholic Church
14841 Beech Daly
In State 10am until mass begins
Life Story / Obituary
Although she cherished so many of the things she loved, there was nothing that was more near and dear to the heart of Josephine Podulka than being with her family and friends. She lived life to the fullest each day and was a firm believer in giving her best to everything she did. In many ways Jo was the matriarch of her family that grew to include children and grandchildren who were her greatest source of pride and joy. She had an amazing sense of humor and an infectious laughter that she loved sharing with all who were near. Jo will be deeply missed while her memory is forever cherished by all who were blessed to know and love her.
Daily life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs became hard to come by, which drove the unemployment rate to over 25 percent at its peak. Things only went from bad to worse when a crippling drought blanketed our nation’s heartland for nearly two years adding strain to the agricultural industry that had already been struggling for quite some time. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1931 that brought great joy to a young family from Detroit, Michigan, as they announced the birth of their baby girl on December 18, 1931. Josephine was the youngest of eight children born to her parents, James and Mary Rajda, and she was raised in the family home on Livernois and Michigan Avenue alongside her siblings, Rose, Clara, Cecilia, Walter, Tadeusz, Stanley, and Dorothy. The Rajda family was given a tough pill to swallow with the death of Josephine’s mother when Jo was only four years old. This left Jo to be raised by her oldest sister, Rose, from the time she was seven. She was a student at local schools and graduated from St Casmir High School in 1949. After graduating from high school, Jo spent some time working as a secretary.
Life was forever changed for Jo when she met and later married Conrad Podulka in 1950. Together they were blessed with the births of three children, Janet, Craig, and Robert. While her children were growing up Jo took a break from the workforce to focus her attention on being a mother. After her children were grown, she entered the workforce again. Jo spent several years working as a teller at NBD Bank, which is now Chase. She initially lived in Garden City, but in 1966 she moved to Westland.
In many ways Jo was the matriarch of her family. She was filled with unspeakable joy to welcome seven grandchildren into the fold including Bryan, Paul, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Bradley, Blake, and Brent. Jo loved being with her family whenever she could, and the holidays were always a special time at Jo’s house. Of course she was the one to do all the cooking, too. She made sure that there was always more than enough food to go around, and when people couldn‘t eat any more she asked, “What’s wrong, don’t you like it?” In addition to holiday meals, Jo had family over for numerous meals “just because” as well.
Although caring for her family was first and foremost in Jo’s life, there were countless other things that enriched her life’s journey. She loved going to St. Aidan Catholic Church for several years and highly valued her faith. Jo was a game player whether playing board games like Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, or Yahtzee, or various card games. Jo traveled with trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, and the Wisconsin Dells being among some of her favorite destinations. She was an avid reader who loved a good mystery, and she loved shopping.
A woman who was deeply loved, Josephine Podulka impacted the lives of those around her in such a special way. She loved to laugh and never could get enough of hearing funny stories or jokes, which made her so much fun to be around. Jo was a vibrant and fun-loving woman. She was one of the sweetest people around and she will never be forgotten.
Josephine Podulka died on April 8, 2014. Jo’s family includes her children, Janet (Hugh) Doody, Craig (Mary), and Robert (Debra); grandchildren, Bryan (Vanessa Barrons), Paul, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Bradley, Blake, and Brent; nieces and nephews, Ken, Jim, Alan, Barbara, and Kathy. Jo was preceded in death by her nephew and close friend, Stan, who called her “Old Aunt Jo.” Family will receive friends Friday 2-9 p.m. (Rosary 7pm) at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home. Mass of Christian burial Saturday 10 am at St Valentine, in State 10:30am until Mass begins. Interment St Hedwig Cemetery. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.