Josephine Vender Kaercher Schmidt, age 97, lived most of her life in Salem, Ohio and Grand Rapids, Michigan. She passed away peacefully on July 4, 2018, surrounded by family. She was preceded in death by her son, Lawrence “Larry” Kaercher (d. 2003); parents, Charles and Dominica Vender; her husbands, Lawrence “Whitie” Kaercher (d. 1963) and Louis J. Schmidt (d. 1998); and brothers, Joseph and Henry Vender. She is survived by her grandson, William “Bill” Bennett, whom she considered her surrogate son for 16 years; daughters, Patricia Bennett (Bill) Hyde and Barbara “Bunny” (Dix) Martin; step-daughters, Lorreva “Butch” (Jim) Foster, Phyllis Foster, and Pam (Tom) Stoepker; sister, Marie Hutchison; daughter-in-law, Robin Kaercher; grandchildren, Marla Bennett (Paul) Fiffick, Michelle Bennett (Steve) Moore, Cody (Johanna) Martin, Hayes (Suzanne) Martin, and Griffin Martin; step-grandchildren, Brent (Jen) Foster, Scott (Carrie) Foster, Audra Foster, Brian Foster, Quinn (Jeremy) Blaiklock, Michael (Sara) Foster, Jay (Sue) Stoepker; Amanda (Craig) Mackie, Will (Sandra) Hyde; and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and Godchildren. Josephine was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Salem and later of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. She was an innovative entrepreneur in hair fashion and art – first as owner of Kaercher Beauty Salon in Salem and later as co-owner of The Louis Gallery in Grand Rapids. Josephine was loving, giving and compassionate to both friends and strangers alike. She delighted celebrating life with mirth and mischief. Her unique creative talents were demonstrated in everything she did. Josephine passed away confident that her work on Earth was complete. Services will be held on Thursday, July 12 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 2750 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, Rev. Peter Damian and Msgr. R. Louis Stasker, presiding. Visitation at 10 AM in the church vestibule followed by Mass at 11 AM. Private burial at Blythefield Memory Gardens in Belmont. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept 142, Memphis, TN 38101, or to a charity of one’s choice.
My deepest sympathy on your loss. Josephine was one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve known. How I loved playing cards with her! I’m so grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. She was truly a blessing in my life.