Josephine E. (Joey) Gutzler, age 95 years, 10 months and 12 days, died Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Meridian Village in Glen Carbon, IL surrounded by her loved ones. Joey was born on March 17, 1924 at her family’s farm south of St. Rose, IL, the daughter of William and Mathilda (nee Korte) Alberternst.
Joey graduated from St. Rose School and worked for her Aunt Lizzie Thole on their farm across the road from her family farm. Eventually moving to Highland, IL, Joey worked as a nanny, later at St. Joseph’s Hospital and finally at the Moulton Bartley Shoe Factory before meeting her husband. On June 24, 1947, she married Wayne W. (Jake) Gutzler at St. Rose Catholic Church and together they had eight children including the only set of triplets born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.
During their marriage, Joey and Wayne became entrepreneurs joining Wayne’s brother Maurice in purchasing Tom-Boy Market in May 1957. Joey assisted in the operations of the grocery store at two separate locations while also raising their family. In July 1978 she and Wayne opened Highland’s Tru-Buy Discount Foods where she served as President until 2018.
Joey was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Highland. As a strong proponent of Catholic education, she sent her eight children to St. Paul’s Catholic School. She was also a member of the St. Ann’s Altar Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Daughters of Isabella. Joey served as a Eucharistic minister for shut-ins and devoted many hours to Perpetual Adoration at the chapel in St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Joey was central to her family. The simple things in life are where she found the most pleasure like dancing with her husband, weekends away with her girls, and hosting holiday celebrations for her ever-growing clan. Joey liked reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing euchre, bingo and taking the occasional gambling trip where she proved to be quite lucky.
Joey is survived by her eight children, Thomas (Cynthia) Gutzler, William (Barb) Gutzler, Mary Jo (Ronald) Moss, all of Highland, Kathleen (Douglas) Hastings of Edwardsville, James (Lori) Gutzler, Jean (RJ) Milano, Janet Laney (Brad Rench), Joseph (Gail) Gutzler, all of Highland and son-in-law Ronald Laney.
She is also survived by 22 grandchildren, Christopher (Mary) Gutzler, Jacob (Heather) Gutzler, Zachary Gutzler, Shana (Charles) Hepner, Chris Harbison, Emily Gutzler, Corey Moss, Chad Moss (Renee Richter), Analisa (Russell) Eilers, Alexa (Matthew) Huelsmann, Nicole (Craig) Potthast, Meghann (Jim) Stotlar, Nathan (Katie) Hastings, Hillary (Dan) Newman, Brett Gutzler, Ali Milano (Kyle Awtry), Tyler (Ryen) Milano, Adam Laney, Madeline Laney, Natalie (Robert) Hamm, Andrea Gutzler (fiancée AJ Burns) and Samantha Gutzler (Justin Fitts). Also surviving are 23 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, brother-in-law Maurice Gutzler and sister-in-law Anna Alberternst.
Joey was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Wayne, daughter-in-law Nancy (nee Graham) Gutzler, granddaughter Melissa (nee Moss) Brown, and siblings, Loretta (Vernon) Noll, Esther (Frank) Seitz, Dorothy (Conrad) Stone, Pat (Bob) Lang, Eva (Larry) Oder, Mary (Alan) Loeh, William Alberternst, James (Pat) Alberternst, Daniel Alberternst and brother-in-law Reverend James Gutzler.
Memorials may be made to the St. Paul Education Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association
Visitation: Monday, February 3, 2020, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, and Tuesday, February 4, 2020, from 8:00 to 9:30 am, at Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL.
Mass of Christian Burial: Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 10:00 am, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, IL.
Clergy: Fr. Pat Jakel, Pastor, St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, IL
Interment: St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Highland, IL
Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL.