Cover photo for Josephine E. Renshaw's Obituary
Josephine E. Renshaw Profile Photo
1923 Josephine 2019

Josephine E. Renshaw

October 20, 1923 — November 25, 2019

CARBONDALE – Josephine Renshaw, 96, of Carbondale passed away on Monday, November 25, 2019 at Illinois Veterans Home in Anna.

Jo was born Josephine Emilie DeMaria in Meriden, Connecticut, on October 20, 1923 to Italian immigrant parents James and Concetta DeMaria. She came of age at the outset of World War II and determined to do her part. She became a registered nurse, was commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps and served in England and France. She remained in uniform after the war ended and spent another year at the Army hospital on Staten Island caring for returning GIs. This was where she met John Renshaw, whom she married after a whirlwind romance.

Johnny and Jo eventually settled in Carmi, Illinois, where they reared four children while she continued to practice nursing until a health condition forced her to stop. Not long after, John suffered a debilitating injury that forced him to give up his business as well. They subsequently decided to both return to school, and they both acquired both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years. Jo then did counseling and was a supervising nurse for several more years. Soon after John died in 1999, she moved to Tennessee to be closer to daughter Jan and her family and spent several good years there. She returned to Illinois and spent the last few years near son Jim and daughter-in-law Kate, finishing out her days at the Illinois Veterans Home in Anna.

She is survived by daughter Jan (Jim) Tate and sons Jim (Kate), Jack (Ann) and Jerry (Laura); grandchildren Adam (Jenni), Amy (Jason) Anderson, Sarah (Dave Monaco), John (Cydney), Emily Tate, Graham (Amanda) Tate, Seth Milam, and Dana Milam; sister Ellie McQueen; great-grandchildren Sequoia and Gretchen Renshaw, and Audrey Anderson; numerous nieces and nephews.

Jo was a voracious reader, a prolific crocheter, quilter and sewer, a fine cook, a respectable alto and an expert gardener when she was able. She will be remembered for her community organizing and political activism in purging the corruption in local government when she first relocated to Carmi. Those efforts earned her lasting respect and friendships in the community.

Graveside services will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 1, 2019 at White County Memorial Garden in Carmi with Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Meredith Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. To share a memory or story of Jo visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Josephine E. Renshaw, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 1, 2019

2:30 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

White County Memorial Garden

Illinois 14, Carmi, IL

Military Honors

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Memorial Service

Saturday, December 14, 2019

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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