Josephine Granucci Bourgeois

Josephine Granucci Bourgeois, 87, of Annandale, passed away unexpectedly on April 21, 2021.  She leaves behind many heartbroken family and friends including her beloved husband of 55 years, Jay, her three children, Paul (Colleen), Vickie, and Cathy (Jeff) Foster, as well as three grandchildren, Charlotte, Nicholas, and Christopher. 


Mom (JoJo to many) was born in San Francisco on June 26, 1933 to Esperiano and Lena Granucci.  A fluent Italian speaker, proud of her Tuscan heritage, she never missed an opportunity to parla l'italiano.  Deeply affectionate, she delighted in showing her love, which she frequently did with her hugs, cooking, humor, kindness, friendship, sense of adventure, loyalty, and devotion to family.


Mom graduated from George Washington High School and then San Francisco State University, where she earned a degree in education.  She was teaching kindergarten when in February 1965 she met a tall, handsome Naval officer at her girlfriend's wedding.  She and Dad were married in San Francisco in December of that year, the start of 55 years of travel, transfers, and love.  While stationed in the Philippines, she gave birth to Paul, with Vickie and Cathy following after they returned to the States.  Mom adored being Nonnie to her three grandchildren, and was looking forward to Charlotte's induction into the Naval Academy this summer.  Mom was equally thrilled when Jeff joined the family in 2019; she and Jeff affectionately referred to one another as girlfriend/boyfriend. 


When we were young, Mom actively participated in our lives, supporting us through sporting events and wherever our interests led.  She was a substitute teacher in Fairfax County, often at Camelot Elementary, where, every so often, she was placed in one of our classes.  As great a teacher as she was, Mom always said she thought she was a better mother.  Her grateful and heartbroken children couldn't agree more:  being a mother was her true calling.  


Mom was also an active volunteer throughout Dad's career, whether at the Navy Relief Society or as a long-time member - and sometimes president - of the Naval Dental Officers' Wives Club.  She and Dad enjoyed many parties, reunions, and travels with the lifelong friends they made during Dad's 30-year Navy career.  When Dad retired, Mom embarked on a new career (1991-1996) at Freddie Mac where she again left an indelible mark on those who knew her.  She stopped working at Freddie Mac so she and Dad could travel more; they drove cross country, went on an Alaksan cruise, visited Paul and his family in Italy, Japan, Hawaii, and spent time with their parents.  To mark their 45th wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad treated us all to a repeat of their Alaskan cruise.  We treasure those memories.


Mom was generous with her love and her time; she spoiled us with both.  She enjoyed trying new things and was always up for an adventure, often with her partners-in-crime, her daughters.  Navigationally-challenged, she and Cath (similarly challenged) embarked on many "Mom and Cath's Excellent Adventures" only to eventually find their way, laughing the entire time.  Her last trip to Italy (2016) with Vic and our friend Christy is the stuff of legend.  Mom loved watching Nicholas perform and Christopher play ball.  She was very proud of her family.  Even in her 80's, she was game to get up on the dance floor, drive a mower, and ride shotgun on any adventure at any time.  


Mom is survived by her beloved husband of 55 years, Capt. Aubrey Joseph (Jay) Bourgeois, DC, USN, (Ret.), her son Capt. Paul (Colleen), SC, USN, (Ret.) of Bainbridge Island, WA, her daughter Victoria of Oakton, and her daughter Catherine (Jeff) Foster of Falls Church.  She is also survived by her three grandchildren, Charlotte, Nicholas, and Christopher Bourgeois, by her brother Ronald (Vickie) Granucci of San Anselmo, CA, and by extended family in California, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. 


Funeral arrangements are being made by Advent Funeral Home. The family will receive visitors from 3 – 6pm on May 2. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Monday, May 3 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Annandale, with internment to follow at Columbia Gardens Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Josephine's memory can be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, 1503 Michaels Road, Henrico, VA. 23229-4822.  


Columbia Gardens Cemetery was recently certified as a national arboretum and encourages people to plant trees in the memory of their loved ones.  If you are interested in doing this, the cemetery recommends sending a donation directly to it with a note that the funds are for a tribute to Josephine Bourgeois.  The cemetery will then work with the family to determine what and how many trees can be planted in Josephine's memory. 


We are profoundly grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love from so many people.  Though our lives will never be the same, we take comfort in our memories with her, and in knowing she was loved as much as she loved in return.