Josephine “Jo” Anne Millett passed away comfortably in the care of Serenity House due to complications from a stroke on August 27, 2020. She was 89 years young.
Josephine was born Josephine Anne Ludke November 2, 1930 to Easter Janssens and Herman “Bud” Ludcke. Also known as Jo Anne, she was predeceased by her first husband Charles Irvin Missman and her most recent husband Ralph Thomas Millett. She is survived by her daughter Denise Foxwell, her son Scott Missman, grandchildren Fern Wittman, Kevin Missman, Brian Missman, and Sarah Del Aguila, She was also a great-grandmother of four, and a great-great-grandmother.
As a multi-generational local resident, her roots run deep in Santa Barbara. Her great-grandfather Don Augustine Victor Janssens was a local dignitary who is buried at the Santa Barbara Mission with her great-grandmother, Maria Antonia Pico. She also has ties to local Italian families, as her grandmother was Dominica Lucia Cavalletto. There is evidence of some of the family history posted on the wall of the family adobe located on upper State Street where the old Copper Coffee Pot once was. A plaque is still attached to the outside of the building, commemorating the family.
Josephine attended local schools, Crane Country Day School ’44, where her mother was one of the original teachers, Laguna Blanca, 48’ and Santa Barbara State College (UCSB). She was a woman of many talents and she held many positions in life, such as secretary, schoolteacher, social worker, and she retired from UCSB as a computer programmer. She was a den mother, scout leader, junior high softball coach, CYO advisor, an avid square dancer, and talented lawn bowler. She was also a master at crossword puzzles and a wiz at Jeopardy.
Like her mother and her grandmother before her, Jo was very active in the community. She was a Life Member of the UCSB Alumni Assoc, Class of ’52, served on the Exec. Board of the UCSB Retirees’ Association, a Member Golden Arrow (50 years) of Pi Beta Phi national women’s fraternity, and Charter member of California Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, UCSB. She served on the Exec. Board of Taws ‘n’ Paws Square Dance Club and District Deputy for Associated Square Dancers of America. Jo sat on the executive board of the Santa Barbara Lawn Bowls club, and was an active member of the Exec Board of Town and Country Women’s Club of Santa Barbara.
She belonged to numerous organizations through her life in Santa Barbara: She was a life Member of Los Descendientes of Santa Barbara, Sierra Club, Santa Barbara Historical Society, Santa Barbara Genealogy Society of Santa Barbara County, Goleta Beautiful, South Coast Railroad Museum, and a summer docent at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History working with the butterflies.
Jo’s favorite hobbies were cooking and flower arranging. She was an amazing cook. In July of 1995, she won the News Press Cook of the Week, as well as numerous awards at the annual CFWS Arts Festival. Jo was well known for her beautiful flower garden. She regularly brought flower arrangements to friends and most functions she attended. Her garden boasted over 100 rose bushes. She won numerous blue ribbons and best of show at the CFWC annual Arts Festival for her flower arrangements.
Jo will be greatly missed by family and the many friends who loved her.
She was interned at Calvary Cemetery in a family only service. Due to the current pandemic we are all facing, a “Celebration of Life” will take place next spring, tentatively the day prior to Mother’s Day, Saturday May 8th at Tucker’s Grove.