Josephine Locati-Crumpacker

May 2, 1918 – Aug. 12, 2013


Josepine Marguerite Locati-Crumpacker died August 12, 2013, at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center, Walla Walla, after a short illness, at the age of 95. She was born May 2, 1918, in the old St. Mary Hospital, Walla Walla, the only child of Giuseppe and Pierina (Mainini) Locati, Italian immigrants from Lonate Pozzolo, province of Milan, Italy.

Josephine attended Davis School, College Place, through the eight grade. When she was in sixth grade she wrote a play about George Washington which was performed in the school auditorium. Her dream of becoming a nurse was thwarted as she was needed to work on the family truck farm. As a teenager she cleaned house for Mrs. Gose for 50 cents a day and lunch. When she was 18 she began work “in town” at Dickie’s Café. She later worked as a waitress at The Marcus Whitman Hotel, and especially liked working banquets. She and her friend Virginia Toppano Fazzari loved to make batches of fudge to be sold at the annual Catholic bazaar.

On June 20, 1942 she married Kenneth Crumpacker at the old St. Mary Cathedral in San Francisco, California. While her husband served in WWII she remained in San Francisco until the imminent birth of her daughter, Marilyn, when she returned to Walla Walla. She divorced Kenneth in 1950.

Josephine raised her daughter as a single mother at a time when divorce was frowned upon, and there were no social support systems. Her support came from her parents, with whom she and Marilyn lived. She worked as a dental assistant to Dr. Richard Shaver for many years, then for Dr. Francis Baffney. She then returned to The Marcus Whitman Hotel, working as cashier and hostess in the coffee shop. When the hotel closed, she moved to The Royal Hotel’s coffee shop performing the same duties. She enjoyed working with the public, and made friends of many of the regular customers. She retired in 1980.

She loved to travel, and drove alone to visit friends in Washington, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia. She fulfilled a life-long dream to visit Hawaii when her son-in-law was briefly stationed there with the U.S. Navy in 1971. Another special trip was to Washington, D.C., when her daughter and son-in-law lived in Virginia.

She was a talented seamstress and enjoyed sewing clothing for herself and her daughter. Her garments were as finished on the inside as the outside, and she took pride in matching plaids. She actively supported her daughter throughout her years at St. Patrick Grade and High Schools, and DeSales High School; and twelve years of 4-H. She was noted for her potato salad and chocolate cake; there was never a doubt as to who would bring them to Marilyn’s class picnics. Her favorite flower was Lily-of-the-Valley.

Josephine was a life-long member of St. Francis Catholic Church, a Life Member and past-president of Grant Farmer VFW Post #992 Auxiliary, a charter member of Walla Walla Italian Heritage Association, and a past member of the Walla Walla Business and Professional Women’s Association. Until it closed, she volunteered in the old tuberculosis ward at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. She volunteered for nearly 30 years with the St. Mary Hospital Service League, and for her local voting district. She was proud of her Italian lineage and supported the Italian Heritage Association in numerous ways, always volunteering to man the sausage booth. In 2011 she was recognized as co-honoree at the annual IHA Festa.

She was predeceased by her parents, both of whom she cared for until their passing. She is survived by her daughter, Marilyn McCann, and son-in-law Richard, whom she loved as her own. She also wanted mentioned Catherine Locati Coston, whom she considered a little sister as “Dolly” was raised until school age by Josephine’s parents.

At her request, memorial contributions may be made to St. Margaret’s Shelter for Women, 101 E. Hartson St., Spokane, WA 99202. In lieu of food to the family, they request that donations of nonperishable foods be donated at the church or to a local Food Bank of the donor’s choice.

The Rosary will be recited at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at 7 p.m. with Sister Helen Mason officiating. The funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at 2 p.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church, 722 W. Alder, with Father Michael Ishida, celebrant. Burial will be private. Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book at


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