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1923 Florence K. Joseph 2023

Florence K. Joseph

August 2, 1923 — August 29, 2023

Baton Rouge



Florence Kurtyka Joseph, 100, passed away on August 29, 2023, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was born on August 2, 1923, in Forest River, North Dakota to Wladyslaw “Walter” Richard Kurtyka and Francis Mary (Kowalski) Kurtyka. Florence was raised and educated in Walsh County, North Dakota, where she graduated from Minto High School in 1943. She went on to further her education, attending Union Commercial College, where she studied bookkeeping, shorthand, typewriting, and business mathematics.

A WWII Veteran, Florence served her country joining the U.S. Navy / Waves in September 1943. She worked her way up to Yeomen First Class before the war ended, leaving with an honorable discharge in December 1945. While stationed in Washington, D.C., Florence met her husband of 33 years, George L. Joseph, who also served in the Navy.  They lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania then Chicago, Illinois before finally settling in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1953.

In Wheeling, Florence worked as a bookkeeper for Duffy Langhorne Florist and helped in her husband’s Optometric practice. She was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church on National Road. Florence loved to garden, create floral designs, sew, and crochet – but her life’s passion was her family, especially caring for and raising their four daughters. 

Atlantic City was her special place to vacation and in 1975, Florence moved to Margate City, New Jersey where she helped to raise her grandson, Scott. From there, she ventured to Sun Lakes, Arizona meeting up with her daughter Patti and sister Eleanor before returning with them to Mays Landing, New Jersey. Florence lived her final year with her daughter Eileen and husband Bill in Baton Rouge Louisiana.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter Patricia Ellen Joseph of Mays Landing, New Jersey; her brothers Henry, John and Frank Kurtyka; and her sister, Rose Mary (Kurtyka) Claus.

Florence is survived by her three daughters, Eileen Joseph Downing and husband Bill of Baton Rouge; Diane Joseph Burke and husband Mike of Bermuda Run, North Carolina; and Susan Joseph Graham and husband Jay of Littleton, North Carolina; and her sister, Eleanor Spicer of Gloucester, Virginia. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Scott Duncan and wife Dawn of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; Joseph Kayuha and wife Jessica of Baton Rouge; Brenton Burke and wife Diana of Princeton, New Jersey; Aaron Burke and wife Laurie of Manchester, New Hampshire; Tyler Downing and wife Lauren of Baton Rouge; Paige Downing Breard and husband Daniel of Baton Rouge; Alexander Graham and wife Ashley of Raleigh, North Carolina; Patrick Graham and wife Melissa of Cary, North Carolina; and Meredith Downing of Boulder, Colorado; and 22 great-grandchildren.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date with inurnment to follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling, West Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for memorials in honor of Florence Kurtyka Joseph to to benefit cancer research or a cancer charity of your choice.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at    

To order memorial trees in memory of Florence K. Joseph, please visit our tree store.


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