Josephine Guerre-Chaley, 91

Josephine Theresa (Russo) Guerre-Chaley, age 91 passed away peacefully at home on March 24, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Prosper S. Guerre-Chaley, Jr. They wanted a large family so their children would never feel lonely, and they had seven children together.

Josephine, who preferred Jo, was born in Conshohocken, the daughter of John Augustus and Catherine Elizabeth (Tornetta) Russo. She grew up with her four younger siblings, the late Sara Grobaker (Jim) Galarus (Ron), Rosalie Venezia (Anthony), and twin brothers Frank Russo (Carolyn) and Gus Russo (Lorraine).

Jo was the beloved mother of Jo Anne Forman (Walter Cholawsky), Prosper S., Katie Rumpilla (Brian), Rachel Conrad (John), Paul (Marie Chendorain), Rosalie Clouser (Donald), and Martha Buda. We were blessed to have her as our Mom.

Jo loved being a grandmother and every one of her grandchildren was special to her, all 29 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild. Aunt Josie was also close to several of her nieces and nephews and their families.

Mom loved to cook and host our holidays, and other special occasion gatherings. Easter was always a special time, the house would be filled with family for two days, as we cooked and assembled the traditional family Easter meal “Pasta Congata”. We’d hard boil eggs and dye them with the kids, and then on Easter, we’d hide them outside for the after-dinner Easter Egg Hunt. Every child had to find their “name” egg and then was rewarded with a prize! We’ve had 36 of us at the table to share Easter Dinner. Christmas night the family crowd was even larger, and at the Family Reunion on Labor Day weekend, there could be over 70 of us. So many special memories, there was always room at her table and she warmly welcomed whoever came along with us.

In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, she has actively helped people in need for most of her life.

Jo was the heart and soul of the Boyertown Multi-Service from its inception, until she retired in 1997. As the first executive director of the newly established Multi-Service in Boyertown, a position she held for 24 years, she increased the agency to 7 full time, 4 part time and over 500 volunteers. Meals on Wheels launched shortly after opening the agency, and next was the Food Pantry, now known as Preston’s Food Pantry. The agency continues to thrive today. She also led the development of the BACH house.

In 1986, she was the first woman to be chosen as Boyertown’s “Man of the Year”, and the last “Man” of the Year. She also served as a Judge of Elections in New Hanover for many years. Jo was an avid reader and a lifelong learner. After retirement, she took every History class MCCC offered. She traveled to Israel, Italy and Oberammergau to see the historic sites and was thrilled to be able to float in the Mediterranean.

She was a leader and volunteer for many community organizations: Boyertown’s Sister City program, traveling with locals on a mission to the sister city of Bogodukhov, Ukraine and hosting the women of that town in their home; founding President of the Swamp Creek Woman’s Club and the Swamp Creek Co-Op Nursey School; the March of Dimes; New Hanover election polls; New Hanover Historical Society. For 56 years, she was an active member of St Columbkill’s R.C. Church. Once homebound, she continued to read the weekly parish bulletin, watched mass on tv, and always had her rosary nearby. She taught all of us “God is Love” and made a point of helping others before serving herself.

Mom, Mommom, Gmom, Josie, Aunt Josie, Jo will be deeply missed by her 7 children and their spouses, grandchildren and all who knew her. Her memory will live on in the hearts of those she touched during her life.

Family & Friends are invited to join us as we celebrate a life well lived:

Friday, March 31 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Catagnus Funeral Home, 1020 E Philadelphia Ave, Gilbertsville PA.

Saturday, April 1, from 9- 9:45 a.m. at St. Columbkill’s Church, 200 Indian Spring Rd, Boyertown PA, with Mass following at 10:00 a.m.. Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jo’s name may be made to Boyertown Multi-Service, 200 West Spring St, Boyertown PA 19512. Please sign into the online guestbook here at

Add My Condolences

Condolences my friend.

~ J.R Williams
5/7/2023 4:32:43 PM

Mrs Conrad - we are so very sorry for your loss. May you and your family find comfort in your memories.

~ Scott & Suzanne Green Dagsboro, DE
4/1/2023 2:07:42 AM

Dear Jo Anne and Family, I am so sorry to learn of your dear mother’s passing. I remember her fondly. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. What a Beautiful family she and your Dad had??

~ Mary Ann Lepera Di Rado
3/31/2023 8:10:33 PM

Martha, my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

~ Joel Tambo
3/31/2023 5:36:13 PM

Kev and I are very sorry to hear of your loss. Your mom was an amazing lady!

~ Marty Anderton Sassamansville, PA
3/30/2023 5:56:55 PM

I am sorry to hear about your mom passing, you have my condolences. Curt Matthews

~ Curt Matthews
3/30/2023 5:34:55 PM

So sorry for your loss . She will be missed. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. It was an honor to know Joe she was a lovely lady and a good friend. A very Christian person may her soul rest in peace.

~ Carmen Alvira Gllbertville, Pa
3/29/2023 10:39:06 PM

Martha, So sorry for the loss of your mother. Thinking of you.

~ Pam Yasenchak
3/29/2023 7:13:41 PM

I’m so very sorry to hear about Aunt Jo. What a wonderful lady! Sending my prayers and hugs to your whole family.

~ Judy Kuchinski
3/29/2023 6:41:46 PM

My condolences, thoughts & prayers go out to all of the family. I met Jo when I was an employee at Sealstrip/Tearstrip and she was such a sweet and kind woman. I’m sure she will be missed by many, but as Christians we know it’s not the end & we will meet our loved ones again. Jo is now enjoying eternal life with Our Father God and just think of all the glorious Easters and times she will have forever.Gods Blessings to All.

~ Millie Geibel Reading, PA
3/29/2023 6:24:58 PM

So sorry for your great loss. I didn’t know Jo personally but heard only great things about her through my twin sister Carmen Alvira whom worked for her for many years cleaning her home. My sister was very sadden but will always have fond memories of her. Lossing a love one is never easy but when you lose a Mother life is never ever the same. ????Rip Jo

~ Margarita Burgos Perkiomenville, PA
3/29/2023 5:17:10 PM

Deepest sympathy to the children and their families in the loss of Josephine. I have great memories of her, Joanne and Skipper from when I was a child. My Mom was known as "YaYa" and she worked at Rachel and Prosper War's.

~ Theresa M. McKeon Largo, FL
3/29/2023 2:16:02 PM

So sorry for the loss of Jo. I worked for her for 5 years at Multi-Service. She had a huge heart and compassion for the work she was doing.

~ Donna Eidle Matz Alburtis, PA
3/29/2023 1:09:48 PM

Our friend for more than 50 years, Jo made exemplary community service with kindness her mission.

~ Beatrice and Imre Szalai FREDERICK, PA
3/29/2023 12:31:32 PM

Sam, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother . It’s hard to lose a mother but I’m sure she is so happy to be there. Prayers for you and your family.

~ Kathy lammonds
3/29/2023 9:42:22 AM

So many years, so many wonderful times. We have an abundance of treasured memories.

~ Ceil & George Kirkwood Harleysville, PA
3/28/2023 7:58:38 PM

I'm am so sorry for your loss. Your Mom, Gmom, was amazing loving woman. I'm so glad I had the chance to get to know her. Know she will always be there when you need her, that love will never leave. I know she is at peace, and I hope all of you are too. Sending hugscto all of you!

~ Carol Comito
3/28/2023 7:18:21 PM

I loved Jo Anne's mom, Jo. I'd always ask Jo Anne to give her a hug and kiss for me. She was a bright shining light in my life! May she rest in peace. Love, Andrea????

~ Stefanick Andrea Estero, FL
3/28/2023 7:08:59 PM

Jo is legendary and leaves a legacy of kindness and community. Godspeed. Peace to her kids and their families.

~ Liz McCarthy waltham, MA
3/28/2023 6:32:56 PM

My sympathies go to all of Jo's family and friends. She was a great lady, and will be missed. God has welcomed her home, and we need to carry on without her.

~ Margaret Stone Pottstown, PA
3/28/2023 4:22:27 PM

a true loss to our community

~ Marti Powers
3/28/2023 3:57:47 PM

I would like to say how sorry i am to all if her family She was an amazing lady who lived her family and her community I had the great privilage to have been able to care for her for the past couple of years It was Chestnut Knoll at Home and my honor to provide that care We have all learned about and met many of her family Thank you for the honor to have been there through her final journey My deepest sympathy to you all Carry her memory in your hearts and Jo will live on I know i will never forget her

~ Linda Detwiler
3/28/2023 2:39:18 PM