Josephine Bertha Locken passed away Wednesday September 7, 2011 in her home surrounded by her family. She was 92 years old.
Born in Killdeer, North Dakota on Saint Joseph's Day, March 19, 1919 to Katie and Ralph Kopp, she was the second of three sisters, Caroline the oldest and Margie the youngest. In school she excelled at playing the trumpet and in college she played in a swing band called "Four Kings and a Queen." Their music could be heard every week on the local radio station. She majored in Education and later taught school and led the school marching band. While in college, Josephine met her beloved Henry "Hank" Locken. They became engaged, but were separated when Henry was called to military duty during World War II. During the war, she moved with her family to Los Angeles where she contributed to the war effort by working as a riviter for a US aircraft factory. On September 9, 1942, while Hank was on a weekend pass, they were married in Kingman, Arizona and Josephine moved to Fort Hood army base in Texas. After the war, she and Henry were reunited in CA and La Crescenta became their life-long home in 1949. Her life centered around her loving husband and four children. Her grandchildren and a great-grandaughter were the joy of her life. She taught third grade at Our Lady of Lourdes School, where she was beloved by her students. She and Henry attended daily mass for many years and were active in the New Beginnings Club as founding members of Saint James Parish. She also enjoyed the "80's Ladies" group. She loved taking vacations with her family to Hawaii, Arizona and North Dakota. Josephine was a loving and nurturing mother and grandmother who had the remarkable ability to make each member of her family feel special. Her house was always full of her adoring children and grandchildren, who doted on her. Josephine is survived by her children Ken Locken, Judy Gurka, Kathy Kunke and James Locken; her grandchildren David, Allison, Jennifer, Rebecca, Christopher, Jonathan and Julianne and great-grandaughter Lyla. She was a wonderful mother-in-law to Dennis Gurka, Fred Kunke, Zaida Locken and Laura Locken. We will miss her kindness, graciousness and generous spirit. We were blessed to have this amazing woman in our lives and her legacy will always be with us. The family would like to thank and recognize the compassion and dedication of her caregivers Silvia, Leticia, Amy and Elsa. We will never forget your kindness. Funeral mass and reception in the church hall will be held at 11am on Saturday, September 10th at Saint James Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.