Josephine Tuzee Schiller passed away peacefully in her sleep July 23, 2018 two weeks after her 100th birthday. Josephine was born July 8, 1918, five months before WW I ended and lived her entire life in Kalamazoo, as did most of her immediate family members. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central in 1936 and went on to work at the Gibson guitar factory making guitar strings. Following that, she worked in the Kalamazoo County building as a clerk on the government rationing board during World War II. While working at the rationing board, she met married the love of her life Albert Henry Schiller. Over the next eight years Jo and Al had four children together, raising them in Kalamazoo on Kalamazoo Avenue, all attending Kalamazoo Central, and sending all of them to earn multiple degrees from the University of Michigan, followed by long careers in architecture, business and education. Beginning later in her life, Josephine worked for over 25 years in retail for Jacobsen's stores on the Kalamazoo Mall. Since she knew so many of her customers, she enjoyed her work as well as strong sales.
Family was the most important to Jo. Her extended Dutch family lived in close proximity on Elizabeth Street and family members remained connected throughout their lifetimes. She was strong in her religious beliefs and was a member of the Church of God for many years. In her later years, after her husband passed away, she enjoyed extensive travel all over the world, joining several trips with her late daughter to Greece and Italy, visiting sons living in Aruba, Belgium and England and travels with friends throughout Europe and our own nation.
As a stalwart of "the greatest generation," Jo worked in the rationing office in Kalamazoo County throughout most of World War II. The work of every American was vital to the war effort and she made her contribution as a proud citizen. She spoke more than a few times that she felt this responsibility was her contribution to the total effort required to prevail in that conflict. She was proud of what she was able to do and proud of friends and family members who served in other roles and capacities.
Jo is preceded in death by her husband Albert, daughter Mary Jo La Plante, her siblings Grace Burwell, Aaron Tuzee, John Tuzee, and Kathleen Schreuder, and many members of the Bos family. Jo is survived by sons Brian Schiller, Park City, Utah; Gregory Schiller, Denver, Colorado; and Marc Schiller, Port St. Lucie, Florida. In addition she is survived by several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held for Josephine, Friday, July 27 at 11:00 A.M., Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park, South in Kalamazoo. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Park Village Pines Senior Living Center. Please visit Josephine's personalized webpage for an online guest book or to leave a condolence. www.langelands.com