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Josephine Rojek (nee DeStefano) passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 24th, 2023 surrounded by her loving family at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ.
Visitation will be held on Friday, September 29, 2023 from 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9 pm at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave., Westfield, NJ www.higginsandbonner.com The funeral is on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 8:30 am followed by the funeral mass at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Mount Saint Mary Academy, 1645 US Highway 22, Watchung, NJ. Interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ.
Born and raised in Elizabeth NJ, Josephine resided in Scotch Plains for the past 55 years in the home that her husband designed and built. “A house built for family and entertaining.”
A graduate of Battin High School, she began her career as an executive secretary at Jersey Mortgage Company in Elizabeth, NJ. When her husband returned from the Korean War, she helped him build his Insulation business, tirelessly working side by side. They were a dynamic team.
Josephine took immense pleasure in spending time with family and friends as well as hosting every holiday. She loved entertaining. When asked what her favorite recipe was, she often joked that it was “making reservations”.
She devoted much of her time and energy as a caregiver for various family members. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to be an active volunteer. An involved PTA member, she raised funds to start the library at Bender Memorial Academy. In the 1970’s, she volunteered at Rahway Hospital and was a force behind the “Shots for Tots” program. Later, she volunteered at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield until it closed. Until her death, she was an active volunteer for Mount Saint Mary Academy, MSMA House of Prayer and The Center for Hope Hospice. She was a dynamo in all that she did.
Josephine was an avid reader. She loved shopping for clothes, especially shoes. Always up for an adventure, she enjoyed learning new things and traveling with her husband. They always returned “home” to Aruba. One of her favorite activities when she was “relaxing” was sipping a glass of prosecco on her terrace while watching the birds in her yard.
She was predeceased by the love her life, Frederick M. Rojek, Sr. in 2016 and her parents, Angela (Katie) Mason DeStefano and John DeStefano; her siblings, Grace Mangina, C. Thomas DeStefano, Mary Sasala, George P. DeStefano, Salvatore DeStefano and Jennie Barton: and her son, Michael J. Rojek. A devoted mother, she leaves behind her daughter, JoAnn Rojek Minnicino and her husband Martin, and her son, Frederick M. Rojek, Jr and his girlfriend, Diana and her daughter-in-law, June Anne Holmgaard Rojek. In addition, she leaves behind her cherished grandchildren, Marissa J. Minnicino and her husband Chang Yaramothu as well as Haleigh Rojek and Michael D. Rojek. She is also survived by her many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and great-great nephews who loved Aunt Jo. Often described as a spitfire and a force of nature, her fun-loving nature, tenacity and generosity will be missed by all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Josephine’s memory to one of the following charities: Mount Saint Mary Academy, 1645 US Hwy 22, Watchung, NJ 07069; MSMA House of Prayer, 1651 US Hwy 22, Watchung, NJ 07069 or The Center for Hope Hospice,1900 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.