obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Josephine Mary

A true nurturer at heart, Josephine Murphy lived to love and serve others. She devoted her life to caring for her loved ones as being a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother brought her the greatest joy she had ever known. Although the way before her was not always easy, Josephine was content in all things, carrying herself with graceful courage and a quiet strength that is to be admired. Life will never be the same without Josephine here, but the priceless memories she created alongside her loved ones will be treasured for years to come.

It was great to be an American during the Roaring Twenties. Baseball came alive with legends like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, the lights of Broadway never shined brighter, and Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh took us soaring above the clouds. It was just prior to the historic crash of the stock market in October of 1929 that a young couple from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was pleased to announce the birth of their baby girl on May 24th of the same year. Josephine Mary was the fifth of eight children born to her parents, Samuel and Jennie (Muccio) Alioto. She was raised in an Italian Catholic family in the Old Third Ward in the prominent Italian community alongside her older siblings, Rose, Polly, Nina, Joey and Theresa, and her younger siblings, Sam and Frances.

As a result of the stock market crash, the years that followed were cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression when countless families across the country struggled to make ends meet. The Alioto family was not immune from the strain, and at times Josephine’s mother worked outside of the home at the local phone company, which meant that the children needed to help run the home and care for the younger children. Josephine attended local schools, but only through the seventh grade as she was needed at home.

During her years as a teenager, new and exciting changes were in store for Josephine when she met the young man who stole her heart. His name was George Murphy, and since he was not Catholic, which her mother would not approve of, she needed to sneak around in order to see him. When the couple discovered that they were expecting, they quickly ran to the justice of the peace and were married on April 2, 1952. Because her parents were upset, Josephine and George moved in with his family until they were able to move out on their own to Lyon St. on Milwaukee’s East Side. Their family grew to include George Jr., Richard, and with the birth of daughter, Rose, their family of five was complete. Josephine and George later renewed their vows on May 31, 1958, at St. Rita Catholic Church on the East Side.

From the time she became a mother, it seemed to be a role that was tailor made just for Josephine. Her family appreciated her cooking, and she was great at providing everything her family needed as well. Josephine kept a clean and tidy home as there was a place for everything and everything in its place, and she didn’t hesitate to put something back where it belonged either.

While her children were growing up she focused her attention at home, and once they were older she began working. For a time Josephine worked cleaning a local restaurant, Trovato’s. She later worked for Sally Papia at Sally’s Steak House, and she also cleaned homes part-time, too.

Extended family played an important role in Josephine’s life as well. When she and George bought a duplex on Buffum Street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, Josephine, George and the kids lived in the upper flat, while her mother and brother, Sam, and sister, Theresa, lived in the lower flat. Weekends and holidays were centered on family, which was only made easier when they all lived in the same building.

The things Josephine enjoyed were only made better when they were shared with her loved ones. She loved any and all parades, and she made it a point to take her children, and later her grandchildren, to every parade in the area including the Great Circus Parade and the Christmas parade. Josephine also liked attending the various church festivals. She loved shopping at the Grand Avenue Mall downtown after work, and her children and grandchildren were always more than willing to accompany her. Josephine was known to pick up a little something for her loved ones, often a special treat from Quality Candy. She always made the best Easter baskets, too, filled with goodies from Quality Candy. Josephine was continually on the lookout for ways that she could help others, never asking for anything – except maybe a ride to Bingo on the weekends or to the casino to play the slots.

Life was not without times of trial for Josephine. She was deeply saddened with the loss of her husband on June 22, 1991, just a short time into their retirement years. Steadied by the love of her family, Josephine moved in with her daughter shortly thereafter. Josephine suffered another devastating blow with the death of her son, Richard, when he was only 46 years old. During the weeks, months, and years that followed, she focused on her precious grandchildren. Josephine was equally thrilled with the births of her eight great-grandchildren. Doting over these younger generations was her favorite pastime.

As the friends and family of Josephine Murphy can attest, she was always busy doing something. She was a hard worker to be sure, and providing for her family was her greatest inspiration. Josephine’s proudest accomplishments were found in the faces of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She will be dearly missed and warmly remembered.

Josephine M. Murphy died on November 13, 2013. Josephine’s family includes her children, George (the late Helen) Murphy and Rose (Robert) Rugg; siblings, Frances (Ronnie) Marvin and Sam Alioto; 6 grandchildren, Jackie, Christopher, James, George, Stephanie, and Kevin; 8 great-grandchildren, Haggie, Antonio, Demonte, Jenessa, Janya, Jadan, James, and Michael; and other relatives and friends. Josephine was preceded in death by her beloved husband, George Murphy; son, Richard Murphy; sisters, Rose Guibourd, Polly Kallas, Nina Collura, Theresa Alioto; and brother, Joey Alioto. Visitation Thursday, November 21, at the Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 7:00 p.m. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery. Suminski Family Funeral Home, 1901 N Farwell Ave. 414-276-5122. Please visit to leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.

Past Comments


Mom Merry Christmas to u and dad thanks for watching over Tonio he misses u so he found your note u left him we miss u so so much your daughter RoseMarie also tell Richie Merry Christmas too…

Hi mom it’s been awhile since I wrote u so many things have happened Becky passed away Bob passed away and Burt passed away all in a role I miss u dad and Richie as I miss them too I feel alone sometimes I’ve been working a lot I sure u all r fine miss u mom love your daughter Rose Marie


Hi mom sorry I haven’t able to come see u I miss u and Dad so much Antonio is expecting another baby ..a girl .. Janya had A baby it was a girl too..she has such a nasty mouth I don’t speck to here at all James either they treat me like shit …I miss Bob a lot if u should see him at all please tell him I miss him and loved him well x mas is soon coming again it snowed today I love u miss u dad and Richie love your daughter Rose Marie

Hi mom Antonio had his second child it’s a girl her name is Josephine named after u she is a beautiful little girl I call her Josie mom I know u can see her up there from above she will grow to be a beautiful woman like u Weston her brother is a adorable little boy smart boy every thing is ok for me i quit my job want to go part time now I’m 62 now tired of working so much time for me to enjoy some stef has a growth on her kidneys god for bid it’s not a serious Illness please watch over her mom James and I still r not talking Janya had a baby girl I’m still seeing Bill he has kidney problems I love him so much I’m doing ok I miss u so very much wish u we’re here but I know u r from up above please give dad and Richie a big kiss for me love ❤️ you miss u your daughter Rose Marie


Hi mom Christmas is almost here and not in the xmas mood this yr ..its been snowing and very cold out…sorry I haven’t come too visit u as much just have been feeling blue lately …what r u dad and Richie doing for Christmas…hope getting into the xmas fun…well guess I stop writing u for now I will drop alittle message to ya on Christmas Day I love all of u so very much love your daughter Rosemarie..

Rose Rugg

Mom I am so mad at my self for not seeing u at the grave sight I’ve been having a awful time getting my stuff together hard keeping up with my bills and other crap …I miss u mom for the latest news on what’s going on Antonio lives in Colorado he’s married and doing well wants too join navy too…Stef and I r not talking ..James we talk every now and then …life really sucks for me …I strive Day too Day ..Barnaby is doing well how’s dad and Richie hope u guys r united together and find peace mom I really really miss u …I promise to keep writing u and come see u soon your daughter Rose Marie…

Hi mom Happy Birthday Nessie Barnaby and I came to see ya today .im so glad the flowers I got u for Mother’s Day was still by your grave …sorry I didn’t stay too long Nessie was cold hope u dad and Richie enjoyed some cake on your bday I sure miss you love you so much your daughter Rose Marie…

Hi mom I will be coming to see u and dad soon I bought a solar light for u and dad it lights up when it gets dark out side it’s lighted candles I need to get one for Richie it keeps a candle burning for u guys nothing really happening here….James came too see you’s on Father’s Day …I’ll come soon to put the lights on your graves I miss u and dad so much …love u your daughter Rose Marie…

rose rugg

hi mom stephanies surgery came out fine shes ok….its oct 1 2014 already dont know were all the time has went. its getting cold out u would not like it… james moved to georgia and kawanias having another baby a boy imagine that…mom please look over me im down and out i need your guidence…i love u.. well nothing new to add just wanted to tell u about stef and james.. james naming his boy kash monie rugg of course only james would pick that name hope i can get to see him…big kiss for u dad and richie love u all…miss u all love your daughter rose marie…

rose rugg

mom its been 1yr since you have left me Nov 13 and cant believe its been so having a hard time this time of yr with u not being here…i came to visit u and dad put flowers on your grave i hope u like…i also visited richie and put flowers on his grave…its very cold outside but hope your staying warm with dad beside you…i hope to come visit u at christmas time if weather permitting…i miss u and love u so very much your always on my mind…give dad and richie a big hug and kiss for me …love you …your daughter Rose Marie…

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