Josephine Gratiaa Hempen


Josephine Gratiaa Hempen, age 82 of Carlyle, died Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at St. Joseph Hospital in Breese. She was born August 17, 1932 in St. Louis, a daughter of Philip and Genevieve (McGroarty) Gratiaa, and married Alfred Hempen on May 10, 1958 at Little Flower Church in St. Louis, and he preceded in death.

Mrs. Hempen is survived by children Katie (Craig) Siefker, Mary (Larry) Perez, and Ann (K.G.) Waunches, all of Breese, Phil (Lori) Hempen of Crystal Lake, IL, John Hempen of Carlyle, Markie Hempen of St. Louis, Julie (Todd) Siegler of Shiloh, and Ed (JoAnn) Hempen of Germantown; 17 Grandchildren, Rachel Siefker, Maria, Andria and Luis Perez, Sarah (Ryan) Hobbs; Julie, Sophie, Grace and Stella Waunches; Nikki (Drew) Kunde; Shelly and Genna Hempen; Sammi Jo Hempen; Ally, Hannah and Emma Siegler, and Jackie Hempen; and 2 great grandchildren, Austin Hobbs and Dylan Kunde; Mrs. Hempen is also survived by 2 sisters, Mary O’Gorman of Union , Mo and Marceline Gratiaa of Carlyle. She was preceded in death by her parents, Philip and Genevieve Gratiaa, her husband Alfred on Dec. 15, 1971, and a granddaughter, Sarah Josephine Hempen.

Mrs. Hempen and her husband moved to Carlyle from St. Louis in 1963, and operated Supreme Ice Cream until 1972. She obtained her Master in Education from Fontbonne College, and taught special education in Clinton County schools in the 1970’s. She then worked at Community Link in Breese until retiring in 1997. She was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle, where she was the organist and choir director for over 40 years. She also taught at the Parish School of Religion, and was on the liturgy committee. She was also a member of St. Ann Altar Sodality and a member of the Board of Directors for Southern Illinois Case Coordination Services.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Monday, March 9, 2015 at St. Mary’s Church, with Fr. George Mauck as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Friends may call at Zieren Funeral Home on Sunday from 3:00 -7:00 PM and Monday from 8:00AM until 10:30 AM.

For friends wishing to honor Mrs. Hempen with a memorial, the family suggests they be given to Chakota Therapeutic Riding Center, or 4p- Support Group ( , and will be received by Zieren Funeral Home who is in charge of arrangements.

Zieren Funeral Home
1111 Clinton Street
Carlyle, Il 62231
(618) 594-3151

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