In Loving Memory
Josette George Kaufman

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The Phi Sigma Sigma pyramid was built upon a foundation of strong, courageous, intelligent and kind women; it is those same women who, with their guidance and love, ultimately, made us reach for the tip of that pyramid, growing taller and stronger with each passing year. I admire these women for building a fraternity I am proud to call my own. I never knew Josette personally, but I consider her a friend, a confidant, a counselor, a teacher, and most of all, a sister. And for that connection, I am most grateful. LITP.
- Heather (Stoffel) Gillenkirk; Epsilon Nu, 2003
So many have spoken far more eloquently than I could about Josette's wonderful attributes, talents and personality. I can only add that she was a true Panhellenic sister whose opinion I valued, and whose style was unforgettable. We will truly miss such a wonderful woman, and our NPC delegation expresses our deepest condolences to Josette's family and to her Phi Sigma Sigma sisters.
- Lynne Chambers, NPC Delegate, Alpha Sigma Alpha
I joined Phi Sigma Sigma as an MBA student. My first event was Convention in Orlando in 2000. Josette walked over to me wearing the cutest summer dress and carrying a Kate Spade bag with matching shoes, which I had to compliment her on. She smiled and introduced herself (though I knew as she was Grand Archon when I initiated). She could tell I felt a little uncomfortable being a chapter delegate at age 26 while all others were younger. Her kindness and reassurance always stayed with me. I was so excited to call my husband all the way back home in Burbank CA to tell him of my day. Over the years I served as a volunteer and tremendously enjoyed conversations with Josette. She was so kind to my husband as well, who was SHMOOed. since he had to travel with me as I am on dialysis having lost my kidneys. Her inspiration and kindness will always be remembered. Her light will always shine over Phi Sigma Sigma. You will always be loved Josette and always be in our hearts and missed.
- Tish Wheeler-Diaz Zeta Alpha 01
No words seem to truly describe the friendship Josette shared with so many of us. I still continue to think of her as my classy sorority sister! I never saw her that I didn't get a hug. She left an impression on my heart that will remain with me forever. I'm going to miss her terribly. I know many of us are going to miss Josette's support, wisdom and love. She did so many wonderful things for so many people and not just those of us within Phi Sigma Sigma. She is now a beautiful light among us. I hope we can honor her spirit and dedication to helping others in the years to come and especially while celebrating our Centennial.
- Vanessa Freeman Zerhusen, Theta Rho, 96
I have had the pleasure of sitting as a guest of SC along with Josette for the past few years. Josette was always the first to greet me at the door at HQ with open arms and was always the first to give a hug goodbye til our next meeting. At meetings I would attend in the interfraternal world, there would always be great stories from other organizations about the wonderful Josette. There is a suit that I have that she admired at one of our SC meetings and at the next SC meeting she told me she had found a suit similar to mine. That suit hangs in my closet and now when I look at it, I will always remember Josette and the smiles that she would bring. Josette -- you are dearly missed.
- Barbara Glas, Delta Psi '98
We shared the dream of service to Phi Sigma Sigma together...we discovered the amazing world of Panhellenic service together...we imagined your contributions to the legacy of Phi Sigma Sigma as Grand Archon...and we lived interfraternal commitment through the NIF. We all have felt the sunlight you brought into a room and your gift of effortlessly serving as a role model for everyone you met. You left our presence too soon Josette, but you will never leave our hearts.
- Louise Kriegsman Kier Zirretta, Zeta '72
Our entire staff sends condolences to everyone in the Phi Sigma Sigma family on the loss of Josette. She was such a good friend to many of us, particularly our founders, T.J. Sullivan and David Stollman. Countless hugs and words of encouragement were exchanged since the early years of our company. Josette and other leaders of PSS played a key role in the early survival of our company by giving us a curriculum development contract in those early years, helping to keep our doors open. We will always remember the unconditional love and friendship she gave us, both personally and professionally. She was such a credit to your organization and to the interfraternal community, in general. What a loss. Thank you, Josette, for all you did for us and for the credit you brought to our industry. You are a shining example of what a sorority woman could and should be, and we will miss you tremendously.
- T.J. Sullivan, CAMPUSPEAK
Josette was a friend, advocate, mentor, welcome-er and consummate professional. I revered her style, spirit and demeanor. While we served on the NPC Budget and Finance Committee I came to feel as though we were kindred spirits. I don’t doubt that we are, but it is such a joy to hear that so many others feel exactly the same! I treasure my time with Josette, particularly at the most recent AFLV Central Conference. She will continue to inspire those of us who knew her to be stronger, to laugh more easily, to wait a little longer before responding and particularly to be more welcoming. Peace to her Phi Sigma Sigma and National Panhellenic Conference sisters and all who mourn for this amazing woman.
- Ruth Gallagher Nelson, Alpha Phi, NPC 2nd alternate and Budget & Finance Committee
I will always have a special place in my heart for Josette because she was Grand Archon when I joined. I will forever cherish the random airport lunch dates we had after LC's and conventions. She was so down to earth, gave amazing advice, and was jealous that Louisville had a Trader Joe's! I feel lucky to have known such an wonderful woman and sister. Once a Phi Sigma Sigma...Always a Phi Sigma Sigma. LITP
- Andrea Fogle, Epsilon Chi '05
Josette's energy and laughter were integral to Beta Psi. She was a true leader. It was always inspiring and a pleasure to read about her accomplishments over the years with Phi Sigma Sigma.
- Denise Adams Benbow, Beta Psi, '83
As I read all of the memories and touching tributes to Josette, I can see her smiling in my mind. I am a hugger, and Josette gave a mean hug. I'm an emotional individual, often easily brought to tears, and during my time on Supreme Council, Josette was there for me on a few occassions to help steady me, guide me, support me, mentor me, and give me one of those fantastic hugs. What an incredible woman, she touched the hearts and lives of so many, she was such an amazing friend and sister. I know that she has left her legacy among us all, she has made so many of us better women and people just in knowing her. I just hope that she knows the amazing impact she has had on this world, and I hope that she is smiling down on all of us, having a cocktail, cheering us on as we continue in this endeavor called life. Until we meet again Josette, I look forward to the day. Once. Forever. LITP.
- Nicci Hollar Cleenput, Gamma Nu '97
Many years ago Louise Kier Zirretta told me about a rising star in the DC alumnae panhellenic, a University of Florida alumna, Josette George, who we just had to get involved in the Fraternity. Little did we know then the star that Josette would become, steadily rising through the volunteer ranks in Phi Sigma Sigma to Supreme Council and ultimately becoming our Grand Archon. She was a uniter, especially during times of organizational change. She listened to, embraced and loved all of us. It was an honor to serve with her. Her love for the inter-fraternal world never wavered, and so she returned to NPC where she spent years not only representing Phi Sigma Sigma with distinction, but unselfishly sharing her remarkable talents, becoming the best of the best among NPC leaders. While I have so many memories of Josette, my favorites will always be our time together when she lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland: advancing within and ultimately making the decision to leave Fannie Mae for her next career at the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, her joy at the Phi Sig initiation of her Mom Nancy, her meeting and falling in love with her beloved Steve, attending her wedding and ultimately initiating Steve into Phi Sigma Sigma’s order of the SHMOO (Suffering Husbands Martyred On Occasion). These times were filled with countless hours of golf, cocktails, and above all, laughter. My heart is with Steve, Nancy, John, and all who love Josette as they heal from the unspeakable shock and grief of her loss. May they be comforted by the memories that will last forever, knowing she now soars with angels and flamingos, watching over us all, ever encouraging us to love each other and laugh.
- Kim Hildred, Gamma Epsilon, '78
I met Josette in the 90s while working as a Greek advisor. We hit it off immediately. One night, she called and asked how I would feel about serving as the NPC Delegate on Supreme Council as she prepared to become the next Grand Archon. I thought she had called the wrong Gina. She talked me through why she thought I was the best person for the job and when she was finished she had convinced me that I was. That is how good Josette was! I smile when I think of our many adventures at NPC meetings that included our emergency shopping trips, a scary encounter with a raccoon, and teaching me the first rule of packing was to always travel with your own corkscrew. Along the way, we became close friends and shared many life milestones together. Josette was the person who could find the good in any person or situation, a voice of calm and reason, the person who taught me to rise above and to never lose sight of the long view, that we were part of something so much bigger than any one of us. Josette was “servant leadership” personified. I am still trying to imagine my life without her here, but I know she has taught me (and so many others) well. I am thankful to call Josette “Sister,” but even more honored that I could call her “friend.” Thank you for the gift of yourself that you shared with me and so many others. We are better people for having you in our lives. You are forever in my heart. Once, Always. -Gina D’Amato-Kaufman, Gamma Xi ’91
- Gina D'Amato-Kaufman
I have tried several times to share my's been very difficult to share, so I stop and come back and try again. But today, Josette when I feel the presence of so many Phi Sigs sisters around you, I know I have the strength. I had the honor of serving on Supreme Council with you starting in 1992. It seems like just yesterday when that journey started. And through the years you became our NPC strength, my NPC strength and advisor, and always my friend. Over the years, we didn't talk as much, but when I saw you at Phi Sig conclaves, you were so full of strength and love. You have made a wonderful impact on so many -- take care Josette and until we meet again in a far more wonder place - My love.
- Dana Vandecoevering, Delta Delta 1983
Josette and I first met in 2000 when she warmly welcomed me to my first national presidents' meeting. We discovered we both lived in the DC area and that led us to meet for several lunches to share the joys and frustrations that come with being national president. I remember that one of those lunches was scheduled for September 11, 2001. We talked on the phone, and Josette told me she was waiting at her office for the traffic to die down before she headed home. She was at her office until 7:30 p.m. The past few years I have worked with three young alumnae of Phi Sigma Sigma. When I told them I knew Josette Kaufman, they looked at me in awe! Each one individually had a story to tell me of a time Josette visited her chapter. One of them even brought her roommates to meet me because I knew Josette Kaufman!! I enjoyed relaying these stories to Josette and seeing her humble smile. The impact Josette had on the collegians throughout Phi Sigma Sigma was so evident. Only three weeks ago six of us who served as national presidents together happened to be at NGLA. We had an impromptu reunion, reminiscing and catching up on each other's lives. There was lots of laughter! I will always cherish the memory of this last time spent with Josette and of the friendships formed from our mutual desire to see the women's fraternity movement continue to provide an experience of excellence for future generations. My thoughts and prayers are with Josette's family, her Phi Sigma Sigma sisters and all her NPC friends who mourn the loss of this wonderful woman. Josette will always be in my heart.
- Sarah Lindsay, Delta Delta Delta, National Panhellenic Conference Delegate and Past President
Josette - I am still so very shocked to see that you have gone to join the angels. You have made such a profound impact on me personally, professionally and of course for our wonderful organization. I knew I could always count on you for your guidance, knowledge and strength to guide my chapter in rough and good times. It was truly because of you, so many times over the years, that you have guided me to bring the Delta Iota Chapter to the heights it has grown. You have been such a fantastic mentor and role-model for me as well. I have truly enjoyed each and every moment we have shared, and will continue to be in awe of the impact you have made on the Panhellenic and Phi Sigma Sigma worlds. I strive to be as strong, level headed and passionate as you - someday my friend, we shall meet again, and I'm confident that we will pick up right where we left off - with a hug and a smile. Our Pyramid shall continue to grow, but a very special brick has now turned truly golden. Love and roses forever. Once. Always. Your sister forever.
- Becky Pifer, Phi Sigma Sigma,Delta Iota Chapter, 1985
Oh Josette's laugh! Hearty, joyful, mischievous. She was the friend/sister you wanted at the meeting, in the room or at the party. As I reflect on my memories with Josette when she lived in the DC area, they are filled with laughter: laughing while trying to find lost golf balls in the drink, or the woods, or the beach (again); laughing after a not-so-graceful spill on the sidewalk after a St. Patty's Day celebration; laughing while hanging out in a cigar bar, with a cosmopolitan in one hand and a good smelling cigar in the other. Some of my favorites memories of DC include Josette. Thank you sister for your passion and your commitment. Thank you friend for the joy you brought to so many. While we mourn today, I'm certain Heaven is throwing one hell of a party to welcome you home.
- Michele Dominiak - Theta Theta '97
Josette you were always so welcoming and friendly to all. I enjoyed many years of working with you on NPC issues and others involving campuses where we shared chapters. Your presence will be greatly missed by all of us. I am glad I had the opportunity to know you. Alpha Sigma Tau sends our deepest condolences at this time.
- Beth McOsker, NPC Delegate Alpha Sigma Tau
I will never forget how kind and welcoming Josette was to me when I joined the Pi Phi Delegation and then became the NPC Delegate. Her friendship and leadership will be greatly missed. And I will surely miss sitting next to her in the delegate meetings. Thank you for all you have given to the interfraternity world, Josette. Pi Phi sends its sympathies to the Phi Sigma Sigmas and the family.
- Linda Ibsen, NPC Delegate, Pi Beta Phi
So sad upon hearing of Josette's passing, a sister I had the pleasure of knowing for over 30 years....I have a few good stories about Josette and me, but one that I will always treasure is this--- When I first left PA and moved to the MD/DC area, I called Josette and told her that I was interested in working with one of the local chapters perhaps as an advisor. I said, "How about Beta Upsilon?" And she replied, "How about Beta Alpha??" And the rest is history... Josette was one of the good ones, and only the good die young. You will be missed by all that have known and served with you. Love in our bond, Nash
- Nash (Nancy Ash Hay), Beta Rho '76
My deepest sympathies to Phi Sigma Sigma and the entire NPC community for the loss of Josette. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Josette as national president of her beloved sorority, thru NPC with her leadership on the Executive Committee and as a fellow board member on the North American Interfraternal Foundation. She was a wonderful leader and such a big supporter of other women. She will be missed and we all share the sorrow of her passing.
- Cindy H. Stellhorn, MJ Insurance
I was proud to call Jossette a sister. you shall be missed in the sisterhood.
- Laurie Elise Garvin, Beta Delta '88
Josette was our chapter advisor in the mid and late 90's. She was so patient and kind to us. Our chapter was going through some transitions and she walked us through it with an open and loving heart. When I heard of her passing, I instantly remembered the day that she gave me my archon pin. She made it such a special moment for me. What a wonderful woman she was. Josette, you will forever be in my heart.
- Paula Morgado Pina, Beta Upsilon '97
Josette was a dear friend and sister. She helped me to navigate the often muddy waters of the panhellenic association the campus of the chapter I advise. She always took time to sit with collegians from my chapter. She listened patiently to the complaints, fought tirelessly to help us preserve the panhellenic spirit while also advancing the interests of Phi Sigma Sigma on the campus, and gave sound and solid guidance. I always knew that no matter the issue, she would help us resolve it in the best way possible. I will miss her smile, her hugs, and her no-nonsense way of cuttint to the heart of the issue.
- Tracy Lee Sievers, Iota Beta chapter, 2001
I first met Josette as an undergraduate, when I was serving on my campus Panhellenic. She was the voice of reason that gave me the strength I needed to fight for what was right for my chapter and my Panhellenic community during a particularly difficult time. After graduation, I had the privilege of getting to know her as not just a valuable advisor and mentor, but also as a friend. Eventually being asked to serve with her on our Panhellenic delegation was a true honor and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. She will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in peace dear sister.
- Marcie Sabrin Berson, Beta '94
I will never forget the first words we spoke. I was Panhellenic President at West Chester University and called you, our Area Advisor, about a violation (not Phi Sig!). I called you "Ms. George". You said, Michelle, we are sisters you can call me Josette! That was almost twenty years ago. Since that time, you've been the single biggest influence on my sorority experience and are the reason I am still a volunteer today. You chose me for our NPC delegation and introduced me to some of the most wonderful women from all different sororities. I was then and remain in awe of all you accomplished, with such poise and grace and such ease ( although I know it was not always as easy as it seemed). I will miss our talks, at NGLA and NPC meetings, our texts in between and those rare opportunities when we got to hang out. You always took the high road, caring more about others than yourself, embodying the true spirit of servant leadership and sisterhood. I miss you dearly my friend, but I know you are not really gone for you are always with us in spirit. xoxo Once, Always...
- Michelle Moskowitz Kahya, Zeta Gamma, 1995
At my first conclave in 1999, Josette stood out to me amongst the women because of how she immediately put me at ease when I first met her. I immediately knew that I wanted to continue volunteering with Phi Sigma Sigma because of her. I witnessed how she mentored many women into great leaders and volunteers. I was very lucky to know her, admire her, and witness the great woman that she was.
- Jenny Crafford Bernard, Delta Psi 1997
As a member of a Canadian Chapter of PSS, Josette truly taught me what being part of an international sorority was all about. I have the fondest memories of meeting her at my first panhel conference, visiting and staying with her in Maryland and the numerous phone calls that followed over the years. We eventually lost touch but I know I am a richer person because our paths crossed when they did. I am deeply saddened by the news of her passing and send my heartfelt condolences to all that were blessed to have known and loved her.
- Kerri Torrey, Zeta Eta '94
Josette was a woman of great grace and dignity. She was a leader who chose to rise above organizational politics and to always seek the organizational good. Josette always had a warm welcome and smile for everyone she encounted,seeking the best in each of us. But for me her greatest legacy is that she BELIEVED. She believed in the sorority experience. She believed that sisterhood was for life, and she believed that each generation of sisters has a duty to enrich the lives of the generations that follow. . I am proud to have called Josette my sister.
- Candace Hogan Gamma Nu 86
Our Josette will live forever in our hearts and memories! A proud and revered sister of Phi Sigma Sigma and the fraternal world, we will always remember her engaging warmth and captivating smile that made us all feel welcome to call her our friend. As a true role model to all, she displayed the true virtues and values set forth by the Founders of all 26 NPC organizations. A toast to Josette's family and Phi Sigma Sigma for sharing her with the so many of us. As the St. Francis of Assisi Peace Prayer closes, "And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life," we celebrate Josette's amazing life! Fraternally, Tricia
- Tricia Barber, Alternate Delegate Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity
My thoughts are with Josette's family, friends and her Phi Sigma Sigma sisters. She was such a special lady who exemplified Panhellenic sisterhood. She will be missed. May her memory be forever a blessing.
- Beth Gruber, Past National President, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority
Many times we laughed together and a few times we cried. Today my heart is saddened to have lost such a true friend. A role model for all - a true sister, caring, understanding and giving of one's self. You will missed by many. My prayers go out the Phi Sigma Sigma community, those at the foundation and family. Josette, thank you for being you. With love, Patty
- Patty Gesell Kappa Kappa Gamma NPC Delegate, NGLA Board of Directors
I was so enriched for having known Josette these past two years. She had a grasp of the non-profit concept and zeroed in on the key elements of an idea or a dilemma. Her insights were clear and well spoken. Josette, may you rest in peace, Phi Sigma Sigma fraternal sisters, you have lost a wonderful member. I was blessed to have known her and worked with her. May her legacy remain.
- Anne Marie Gavin, Delta Zeta, former NPC Fdn trustee
It is a challenge when someone with such strength of character, such a vibrant smile and such a profound sense of commitment leaves us. After the shock and despair dissipate, the memories come flooding back, and those are what we hold on to. Josette was one of those people who made you feel welcome and valued. I will be forever grateful for how kind and thoughtful she was at my first NPC Presidents' meeting. Her sense of humor, insight and collaborative nature were blessings to all of us. To her family and sisters, you have my sincerest and deepest sympathy. This extraordinary woman will be missed greatly.
- Kim Starr, Past National President, Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity
Our deepest sincere condolences to Josette's family, friends, Phi Sigma Sigma sisters and Inter-fraternal friends on the loss on a wonderful lady. I got to know Josette the last couple of years working with her on the NPC Budget and Finance Committee and especially this year as our B&F Chairman. She was an amazing volunteer and leader. Josette will truly be missed by all. Love,
- Laura Ladewig Mauro, Zeta Tau Alpha Former National President 206-2010, Current NPC Delegate
I first met Josette at a division conference in 1996. Our chapter had just been newly installed that month as the Theta Rho chapter and it was our first appearance with a national representative. Myself and two of my chapter sisters drove over night to make sure we could make the conference. I was a scared new archon meeting a real life NATIONAL. I still have the picture of Josette and us in front of the Myrtle Beach Hard Rock Café. Who would have known that two short years later, I would have the pleasure of working with Grand Archon Josette George while serving as a chapter consultant and later as the Chapter Service Coordinator in Central Office in Boca Raton, FL. I will never forget the cards of encouragement or the calls of reassurance fromJosette She provided me strenghten in my times of need. She is truly a treasured sister.
- Carrie Hill Smith, Theta Rho '96
To the Family of Josette George Kaufman, Please accept my deepest condolences. Sincerely yours, Mrs. Diane Rubinstein
- Diane (Katz) Rubinstein, Rho,
I will always remember the kindness and friendship extended to me by Josette at my first NPC meeting as National President where we sat near each other in business meetings and at Presidents' meetings. Her kindness to me and to all truly exemplified Panhellenic meaning and spirit. It didn't hurt that we had a very similar sense of humor - while at NPC meetings and in outside contacts! Time and distance and changes in our lives may have occurred but Josette was like a favorite pair of old shoes - you slip them on and your whole self is flooded with a great sense of comfort, ease, and 'it's good to see you again dear friend'. May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand my friend.
- Rosie O'Boyle, Theta Phi Alpha Past National President
Sadly, I did not have a personal relationship with Josette, though she was part of the recolonization of our Beta Psi chapter at the University of Florida. After reading all of the wonderful tributes to my fellow chapter sister, I am truly saddened that I did not have a chance to know her better. It is clear from the remembrances that Josette was a very remarkable and special person that touched the lives and hearts of everyone near her. My heart and prayers go out to her family, my sorority sisters and all in the Panhellenic family who called her mentor and friend. LITP, Josette….
- Shelly Scott, Beta Psi '89
Still am in shock about the news of the passing of one of the most wonderful, caring, dedicated and fraternal women ever to have graced this earth, Josette George Kaufman. It was just two weeks ago that I saw you at NGLA and for that I am so grateful to have spent time with you there. We have had many conversations over the years since I have become a professional and you were always there to listen and share pertinent advice. You had a true gift, one that was unmatched by any other Phi Sigma Sigma. NPC, Phi Sigma Sigma, and NGLA were so lucky to have you as a leader among those organizations along with the countless students and professionals whose lives you have touched. You will be remembered for that and so much else. Thank you for your contributions to this world. In honor of the late Past Grand Archon Josette George Kaufman, I, Thea Schoenberg (Zeta Pi) would like to recommend that Phi Sigma Sigma adopt the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades as one of our official National Philanthropies.
- Thea Schoenberg, Zeta Pi '05
It occurred to me yesterday that in all my years as a volunteer with Phi Sigma Sigma, I have never heard a negative word spoken about Josette. She was the rarest of leaders in that she was so straight-forward, but always kind, always focused on doing what she thought was right. She always spoke her mind and everyone always respected her. She was a mentor to so many and I am still stunned that we're even having this conversation. I don't know what else to say, but will share a funny connection that we had. There was a time period for about 6-9 months when Josette's cell phone used to randomly call me from her purse. I would answer and she wouldn't be there. The first couple of times, I would assume it was a missed call and call her back. She'd always say, "hi, sweetie, why are you calling?" but in such a way like she was waiting for my call and had nothing better to do but chit chat. And I would say, "I don't know, Josette - why am I calling?" and we'd figure it out and laugh and that was how we always caught up.
- Heather Kelley, Beta Psi '97
I am pretty sure there would not have been a recolonization of Beta Psi without Josette's influence and willingness to put us through the recolonization process. As a Beta Psi I "knew of" Josette before actually meeting her. She is like other singular sensations, a one name moniker is enough for everyone to recognize. I was blessed to have my replacement shingle signed by her, our chapter sister and was truly humbled to see her install my big sister, Alicia Scott as current Grand Archon. Her legacy is immense and we were all blessed to have called her sister.
- Rebecca Harris, Beta Psi '92
I remember back as a new member reading names of Past Grand Archons and thinking I wish i knew these ladies. The next year, I got to see everyone at conclave. As my years went on, I got to know more and more of Phi Sigma Sigma's amazing sisterhood. One of these, was Josette. I remember last year at LC 2012, was the first time I really got to talk to Josette and not just see her from a distance. I remember standing there talking to her with my sister about NPC rules and regulations and her telling us that we are always free to call her with questions. She was very sweet. I was really looking forward to seeing her again at centennial this year but instead, we will be remembering her amazing life and dedication for Phi Sigma Sigma. Once A Phi Sigma Sigma, Always A Phi Sigma Sigma. Forever in our hearts!
- Jenna Baer, Beta Pi '07
We all are given gifts and Josette's was the gift of warmth, ease and kindness. You could always count on Josette to greet you with a smile, never intimidating and leave you with a joke. She will be greatly missed in Phi Sigma Sigma and in the Intrafraternal world. Thank you Josette for your service to women around the country.
- Elizabeth (Dominiak) Campbell, Theta Theta '95
Josette, I will forever remember you as the Grand Archon at the time I was initiated into Phi Sigma Sigma. I remember learning who our SC at the time was and the day that I first met you how special that was to me. Over the years I was lucky enough to get to know you more and enjoyed hearing stories of your years in PSS. Every time I saw you, you had a big smile on your face. I am so lucky to have gotten to know you and share time with you. You were an amazing woman, mentor and leader. Truly a classy sister. You will be missed. Once, Always...
- Missy Spishak, Zeta Kappa '01
Awww Jo! We were not prepared to lose you so soon! My big sis and great friend. Those college days were something else!!! Brings a smile to my face. Fearless. Confident. Visionary. Sister. Friend. RIP Jo! Your legacy lives on in others! You lived life well!
- Cammie Beamish Farooq, Beta Psi '82
I will never forget my first introduction to Josette - what a classy Lady. I was scared to death to be initiated in front of 400+ women but she made me totally at ease. I will miss her greatly.
- Dr. Ginny Richerson, Phi Sigma Sigma '96
When I think about sorority, I can't really remember a time not knowing Josette. So many times over the years, i knew I could count on her for a sound piece of advice, for being level headed and forward thinking. When I got the call early yesterday morning, I just felt shock for the rest of the day. To have our sister taken away from us too soon. Josette-I want you to know how much I have always appreciated you. You are the ideal Phi Sigma Sigma sister and our pyramid will not be the same without you in our midst. My love to all your family and friends both in Phi Sigma Sigma and the NPC world and all the other spheres that you have influenced.
- Diane Spatz, Nu Chapter-University of Pennsylvania, Chapter Key Advisor for XI Chapter
Dearest Josette, I am not at all surprised to read tribute after tribute to you acknowledging you for your inspiration to others, your calm and influencing ways, your beautiful smile, your wit, your sense of humor, and your ability to make everyone around you feel special. It was an honor to work with you in NPC for so many years. I admired you and I learned from you, Josette, and I thank you for being a perfect example of what "class" is all about. You will be missed by everyone so very much. Thank you Phi Sigma Sigma for sharing Josette with all of us in NPC. Delta Gamma Fraternity sends our deepest condolences at this very difficult time.
- Barbara Probst, NPC Delegate, Delta Gamma
Josette will be dearly missed by so many people. She touched the lives of her Phi Sigma Sigma sister, NPC friends, and interfraternal partners in countless ways. I will be forever grateful for the kindness and warmth she showed me when I joined the Pi Phi delegation. She was always a friendly face and trusted partner. Sitting next to and getting to know the Phi Sigma Sigma delegation has been such a wonderful bonus to my time serving NPC and it will be hard to get used to Josette not sitting next to us. My sincere condolences to her family and close friends during this difficult time.
- Ashley Dye, Pi Beta Phi NPC Alternate Delegate
My sincerest sympathy to all of the sisters of Phi Sigma Sigma. Your loss is tremendous as I know you have lost one of your dearest friends, role model and leader. Josette was one of a kind. We shared the same term as national presidents and had a great time working together and developing a very fun friendship. Josette, I'm sorry that we didn't hold each other to our dream of taking a cruise after our terms ended. It would have been the cruise of a lifetime. I guess just the notion of taking that cruise kept us going. I shall miss your presence in our fraternal world and our friendship. Please watch over us. All my love, Angela
- Angela Guillory, Past National President, Sigma Kappa
I remember my undergraduate years learning your name and just imagining someday being able to meet you in person. Little did I know my dreams would come true a few years later when I was honored to serve Phi Sigma Sigma as the Director of Recruitment and Extension. Josette you were my go to lady! Any extension or recruitment questions you always knew the answer. No matter what time of day I needed you, you were there. You had this great way of just understanding me and when things were stressful you could calm me down by telling me that we would come up with a solution together. Josette, you made my time at HQ a true joy and when I think about who I want to be like when I ‘grow up’ it’s you. Thank you for impacting my life in such a positive way, thanks for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best possible version of myself. I am honored to not only call you my sister but also my friend. My future trips to West Palm will always make me think of you. Until we meet again Josette. Once, always.
- Laura Landry, Zeta Rho '07
Reflecting on memories of Beta Psi today, reflecting on meeting & knowing the great women of Phi Sigma Sigma. Josette, we will miss you and hope we can accomplish even half of what you saw in all of us. Thank you.
- Rachel Sapala Demmon, Beta Psi '94
I met Josette when she first rushed Phi Sigma Sigma. From the start she impressed me with her kindness, creativity, focus, generosity – and friendship. Josette had the ability to get things done, and she worked hard for the issues that mattered to her – and to others. I was beyond proud of her when she was elected to lead Phi Sigma Sigma, a job she conducted with competence and style. Her efforts and successes in her personal and professional life will be remembered and honored. She will be missed.
- Ellen Smith, Beta Psi '68
Josette will be deeply missed by the fraternal and non-profit community. Her dedication to Phi Sigma Sigma, the National Panhellenic Conference, NGLA and other fraternal organizations have left a lasting legacy in the Greek community. Josette took me under her wing when I first joined the AST NPC Delegation 13 years ago and she has been a dear friend and mentor ever since. She truly embodied the Panhellenic Spirit.
- Jamie Jones Miller, National Vice President/NPC 2nd Alternate Delegate, Alpha Sigma Tau
Dearest Josette, It is hard to believe you are truly gone. I remember how you welcomed me with such warmth when I joined the NPC delegation for my sorority. Words cannot truly express the loss we all feel with your passing. May your family and Sisters feel the love and admiration we all have for you and know that you will be truly missed. Interfraterally, Lisa
- Lisa Chamberlain -Yeman, Delta Phi Epsilon, Former NPC Delegation Member
My Dearest Josette, it is with a very heavy heart that I say goodbye to a dear friend. You were taken from us way too soon but we give thanks for the many ways you touched each and every one of us. We are blessed to have benefited from your giving spirit as individuals and as a sisterhood. I miss you already for who else shares my secret that cookies can be spelled AFA… And while Jenn and Tate Sweeney are past the dress up phase, who else would let them clomp around in her fancy shoes while we held meetings in your Reston condo. May you rest in peace knowing that you have left a legacy of ideal womanhood for Greek women around the world and may we all aspire to the grace, warmth, and kindness that you exuded in every aspect of your time with us.
- Linda Beavin, Beta Rho '80
Josette, I truly loved working with you, and I will never forget the great times we had on NPC's long-range planning committee. Your leadership and grace helped the conference tackle some very difficult issues when you served as chair, and we are stronger because of you. I loved your sense of humor, and I loved how you appreciated mine! You were taken from this world far too soon. It's hard for me to make sense of this loss. I love you lots. Laura
- Laura Malley-Schmitt, Alpha Phi, NPC Delegation
It was my great honor and pleasure to be a friend through our many shared years on our NPC Delegations! The best , though, was when we were room-mates for a long-range planning meeting and truly had a chance to BOND! NPC meetings will not be the same for me without looking across the NPC room and finding Josette smiling back at me!
- Cinda O'Connor, Alpha Gamma Delta, NPC Delegation
Josette, I had the honor of serving with you on SC from 1998 to 2003. We had many trips together most memorable in Colorado. We had many conversations about how to improve the sorority. You always listened respectfully and led with grace. Not only did you serve Phi Sigma Sigma well, you shared your friendship with so many sisters. I am honored to have known you as a Grand Archon and to have those more special times of knowing you on a personal level. Thank you for your service to PSS and just as importantly to the interfraternal world. Thank you for choosing PSS! We are a better organization because of you. We are blessed to have you now as our own guardian angel. You are missed and loved.
- Lynn L. Coffey, Delta Lambda '86
It was the fall of 93 when I really got to know Josette. As a Chapter Consultant I spent much of the fall at the Beta Psi Chapter with recruitment. Josette came for a long weekend and we were roommates in the chapter house. We worked as a team with the chapter that weekend and our friendship grew from there. I enjoyed serving on Supreme Council with you. As many have mentioned your love of NPC, Phi Sigma Sigma and just general sisterhood was one that was ever present and was spread when you walked into a room. Your smile will forever live in my heart. Thank you for making me a better person! God Bless you and keep you! We are all so lucky to have such an angel keeping watch over us.
- Tracy Johnson, Epsilon Alpha '93
I am so sad to hear about the loss of such an amazing sister. I met Josette while working at Phi Sigma Sigma Headquarters in 2011-2012. It was such an honor to cross paths with this inspiring woman! I remember booking many flights for her, to and from LCs, Conferences and meetings. My greatest memory of Josette is always getting to pick her up from the airport for meetings at HQ. She always had a smile, no matter how cold the weather was in MD, as she was coming from sunny FL. The car-rides from the airport to HQ were always filled with great conversation and words of wisdom from Josette that I will always cherish. And we ALWAYS had to make a quick stop at Trader Joe's! These are some of the best memories I have of Josette. I have so much love and respect for this amazing sister. Once, always.
- Katie Lantz, Zeta Chi '11
I am sadden by the loss of a dear friend. What can i say about someone who was there when my husband proposed to me, traveled to Los Angeles for my wedding, and conveniently had an SC meeting in Maryland when I gave birth to my first child, and bringing everyone to the hospital to see the me. You were the life of the party! I never knew anyone else who had the uncanny ability to talk to animals the way you did, it was the same ease that made you the great mentor to so many. Our trips to Rehobeth Beach, with the worlds best parking spot, only to find out we needed a parking pass after we got towed! Driving all night with to visit Coastal Carolina, and on the way back racing ahead of a tornado. We shared many adventures in Phi Sig, and I would not have miss them for the world. Thanks for being an outstanding friend, role model and mentor. XOXO
- Nancy Pfeffer, Delta Gamma '87
Josette and I started together on Supreme Council, and I will always remember her as the wonderful combination of kindness, competence, humor and compassion. I remember one of our earliest SC meetings when we really got to know each other. Josette, you had an amazing ability to make others feel as if they'd known you forever, and to feel very special. Your warmth and dedication knew no bounds, and I am beyond sad at the news of your loss. I hope that your family and closest friends take some measure of comfort in the tremendous legacy that you have left and the impact that you have made on so many. You will be missed more than words can ever say. xoxo
- Kim Kowalski O'Halloran, Gamma Nu '88
I knew Josette only as our esteemed Grand Archon when as I was ending my collegiate career. But paths crossed and we met in person when I joined Supreme Council. I will never forget her smile and her sincerity and during my personal SC ritual ceremony at the Phi Sig office. After our trip to Trader Joe's I knew I had a partner in crime. Jossette- you will always be very near and dear to my heart. A true friend and a mentor. May you live on forever in heaven. Diokete Hupsala. LOVE YOU!
- Carrie Leonard Nocella, Epsilon Delta '99
Josette, you were my grand archon when I took to the road as a chapter consultant. I remember being stranded in a lonely airport in the middle of the night and nervously calling you from a pay phone. You authorized a first class upgrade so I could get to the next destination safely, and I was so grateful! Through the years, we volunteered together and I eventually made my way to SC. I wish I had told you how much I respected and admired your candor, your sense of humor and style, and your ability to build bridges. Thank you for checking in on me when I first joined SC, and thank you for being part of my life. I am so blessed to have known you. Once, Always.
- Wendy M. Lau, Theta Upsilon '98
Ir was with supreme sadness this morning that I learned of the passing of Josette. I will always remember with great fondness the chats we had at NPC meetings or at NGLA. She was an inspiration and a friend. She will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her Phi Sigma Sigma sisters and with her family.
- Carol Mooney, Alpha Sigma Tau, NPC 1st Alternate Delegate
You always had a calming effect on all of us. Through conclaves and extensions, it was a privilege to work with you. My favorite memory though wasn't at a sorority event but rather a weekend in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. We threw our hat into country line dancing and our deluxe Outdoor World accomodations included sleeping on a table. Your effort to teach me how to ride horseback was futile. The weekend though was filled with laughter. Take care old friend. You will be missed.
- Maria Malaxos Vittoria, Delta Tau '88
My heart is sad today with the loss of Josette. I have so enjoyed knowing Josette in our NPC sisterhood circle. Most recently we served together on the NPC Foundation Board. I so appreciated her pragmatic and logical approach. Additionally, her steady and calm demeanor became, in my mind, her banner of strong leadership. She always listened intently, process before she spoke and provide sound options. Thank you to her personal family and Greek family for sharing Josette with all of us. We will miss her.
- Janet Dodson, AST and NPC Foundation President
There are people who come into your life for a reason and Josette, you will always be one of those people to me. From a night out of margaritas when I was a chapter consultant to sharing numerous conference calls and meetings when we were on Supreme Council together, you were such a large part of my Phi Sigma Sigma story. I missed you this past weekend at LC # 2 and was looking forward to reconnecting this summer. I wish you peace and know that you will always be looking down on us.
- Cindy DeNormandie, Zeta Tau '98
From sitting on the floor of a hotel room with me as a collegian to our final chat at our last LC. I looked to Josette as the epitome of Phi Sigma Sigma, I am the lucky one because I am a better person for knowing her. Thank you for being such an amazing sister, mentor, and guide! You will never have to wear panty hose again...
- Joanne Barrick, Epsilon Epsilon '96
My heart is heavy today with the loss of our beloved Josette. I have known Josette for many years in our NPC sisterhood circle. Most recently we served together on the NPC Budget and Finance Committee and the NPC Executive Committee. She was known for her pragmatic and logical approach. Her steady and calm demeanor became her trademark as a strong leader. I could always count on her to listen intently, process the discussion, and provide sound advice. It was a true honor to serve with her. She will be missed on many fronts, as she brought value to any setting as a team player. We had discussed plans for her to continue as NPC Budget and Finance Chairman during the 2013-2015 bieninum. I regarded her as my dear friend, colleague, and Panhellenic Sister. This is a huge loss to the Greek movement. Chi Omega sends our deepest sympathy to all Phi Sigma Sigma Sisters. We loved Josette. xo Jean
- Jean Mrasek, Chi Omega, NPC Delegate/NPC Vice Chairman
Josette was a light in the Fraternal world. A welcoming friend, a mentor, and an advocate. I was fortunate enough to work with her within NPC, and NPC was fortunate enough to have her as a board member and as a member of the executive committee. Her insight, wit, and wisdom will be terribly missed, but she will live in our hearts, and her impact will be seen for many many years to come.
- Erin Nemenoff, Theta Phi Alpha, NPC Delegate
Josette, I will always remember your profound humility in the leadership that you brought to so many. You embodied the true definition of a servant leader, and from you I learned so much. During my most challenging time you said: I am glad I got to hug you this weekend. For now and ever more I will remember those words and the comfort that they brought to me. Your leadership shines brightly in Phi Sigma Sigma and the Interfraternal world, and for that we will always be thankful. Those who knew you best will ensure that your spirit lives in perpetuity, Once, Always.
- Gretchen Ehle, Kappa '00
We have lost a brick in the walls of our pyramid today. We will remember Josette for her friendship, faith, sincerity, love and strength. Once,always!
- Aggie Malter, Gamma Xi '80
How I privileged I feel to have known Josette and to have conducted her oral history a number of years ago. When I first met her while she still lived in the Washington area, she seemed like a breath of fresh air in the alumni hierarchy. In my world before that, the alums presented as a bit more distant....Josette never met a stranger, as they say. I hope and believe she knew how much all of us appreciated her involvement and love for our sorority. May she eternally rest in peace. And may we always remember her for the beautiful lady she was. Phyllis
- Phyllis LaBorwit Dreyfuss, Beta Alpha '66
I remember rush week in the fall of 1980, and meeting Josette, who at that time was the President of Phi Sigma Sigma in Gainesville, FL. It was because of Josette and another sister, Cathy, that I pledged the sorority. Josette became my first big sister and gave me my pin, which I still have to this day. We had so many wonderful moments at the house with Josette and the other girls. Josette made things fun. She was very outspoken and a true leader. She never lacked energy; she was always on the go. Over the years, after graduation, we lost touch but a few years ago we ran into each other again on Face Book. I was not surprised to learn that Josette was still involved with Phi Sima Sigma, only on a grander scale. Josette epitomized the true Phi Sigma Sigms spirit. Josette will be forever missed, not just by me, but by many others. All I can say is "Josette, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for others."
- Magteld La Bella, Beta Psi '81
My dearest sister Josette - what a wild ride we had and I am devastated to see it end. I was really a baby – 28 years old – when I was elected to serve on your first board. In those days, I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. As director of programming I got to be “your person,” help draft your speeches and staff you at events. On the many, many times we roomed together, you tolerated my chaos and made sure I never overslept from my nightly “naps” by insisting on seeing my feet on the floor before you left the room. You once joked that you gave me my fairy wings but I thought it was true. We traveled to unexotic locales and stayed in hotels that were far from luxurious, but we did it with great wine and snacks from Trader Joes and they’re some of the best sorority memories that I have. You taught me about NPC, you taught me many, many leadership lessons. But most of all, you taught me the value of having amazing girlfriends in my life. Love you and miss you. Once, always.
- Sandy Grossman, Gamma Nu '91
I am grateful to have served with Josette as part of the NPC family. Her work and dedication on behalf of the interfraternal movement is inspiring and a wonderful example for so many. She was a tremendous leader and will be greatly missed.
- Jennifer Daurora, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority
As I stare at the screen I struggle to find the words to express the immense sadness I feel at Josette's passing. She was a wonderful person and such a huge part of the memories I have of Phi Sigma Sigma. From the first time I met her at my first convention to her installation as Grand Archon and beyond. She will be missed but will remain a part of my heart. LITP. Once, Always.
- Melissa Sylvester, Beta Psi '90
It's been years since I have had the pleasure of being in Josette's company, the news saddens the Phi Sig family. I met her when I was a field rep in 1991 and although I haven't worked with her much, she had the ability to make an impact the moment you met her. She has given so much to Phi Sig and for that we are blessed. I'm honored to call her a sister!
- Michelle Lukacsko Chini, Beta Delta '91
I never knew Josette, but I appreciate very much what she has done for Phi Sigma Sigma. Her service is inspiring. It was a shock to read of her passing. My condolences to her family and chapter. May they all continue in her footsteps, serving this hurting world. Gamma Tau founder, 1979
- Susan L Gabbard, Gamma Tau '79
I met Josette back in 2008 at my first NGLA conference. I was instantly in awe of her knowledge and expertise in Phi Sig and NPC. I spent time with her the following two years at NGLA as well as LC conferences, she knew me everytime and it was like we were friends for ages. I can't believe she is gone, but she will always hold a dear place in my heart. Her legacy will live on forever. Once, Always. LITP Josette, we love you.
- Jordan Caldwell, Gamma Gamma '10
I've been so blessed to know Josette and work with her through the NPC executive committee. She was a great leader and a calming voice for the organization and always and advocate for the staff. She will be missed tremendously.
- Nicki Meneley, NPC executive director
I am honored to call Josette my sister. She was the epitome of values in action. I will always remember her as an extraordinary leader within Phi Sigma Sigma and the greater fraternal world. Josette always greeted me with a hug and a smile from ear to ear. There are no words to express the deep sadness today has brought, but I am comforted by the knowledge that her legacy will live on in the lives of so many. Thank you, Josette, for your leadership, friendship, humor, class and your lifelong commitment to Phi Sigma Sigma. We are all so lucky to call you our sister. Once and always.
- Cara Fabrocini, Kappa '05
I first met Josette when I was a Chapter Consultant in '95, and then as Chapter Services Coordinator (back in the stone ages when Phi Sig headquarters were still in Boca Raton, FL). She was so easy going and could be counted on to say something funny and irreverent. I haven't been involved with Phi Sig in several years. But, I have to say that I always envisioned myself resuming my involvement at a future date. And, Josette was one of the people I had hoped to greet again as an old friend as if little time had passed. I was so saddened to read the news today. Josette was truly one of a kind. My thoughts and prayers are with her family...
- AnneMarie Tarpey, Theta '95
From the moment I met her at my first Convention in '03, I knew that Josette would be a role model for me. She was so classy, so graceful, and yet - so tough. I admired her leadership and deeply appreciated her kindness. She always made me feel special while employing her trademark candor to push me to do better; be more. She has been a superb leader for Phi Sigma Sigma and the Panhellenic community, and she will be deeply missed. RIP Josette. I'll think of you every time I see a flamingo or a fabulous dress/shoes pairing.
- Fiona Conroy, Kappa '04
In 1998 I met her in an elevator. I had just come off my first flight ever and I was in awe of the hustle and bustle of my first convention. Her kindness exuded and at the time I had no idea who she was. Like most Phi Sig's I later found myself starstruck and knew I wanted to be like her and tried to be in her presence all that I could. I was that member…the one who had the picture of you and the GA framed in your res hall room (before fb…lol). Years would pass and I would soon find myself tucked under her wing. She would remind me to stand tall, what fork to use, remind me that my shoes didn't quite go with the outfit, to jump at volunteer opportunities and to softly but courageously push and think outside the box. One of Josette's most recent text messages to me... "Have I told you lately how much I love you!" Yes, Josette …and I'll remember…always...LITP
- Kim Monteaux, Theta Alpha '02
The year was 1991 and I first met Josette George when I was our chapter's bursar. Josette was the regional finance adviser at the time and she came to my humble dorm room at GW. She sat with me for hours in my kitchen as we poured over the chapter's financial records. I was so moved that this elegant woman would spend so many hours with a 20-year old, reviewing our books like it was it was the Torah. It was at that moment that Josette George Kaufman became my friend, mentor, and big sister. From that moment, Josette took me under her wing. She introduced me to Alumnae Panhellenic, the Junior League, and Johnny Mathis. She sang the "Phi Sig Sig Sweetheart" song at my first wedding. She nominated me for leadership positions and placed such faith and confidence in me, faith in confidence I know that I didn't always deserve. While we lost touch with the distance of years and miles, I hope she knows how much I adored her and know that my life is better because she entered it at such a formative moment. I just wish I had another moment to hug her neck and let her know that I wouldn't be the woman I am today without her loving attention. Keep aiming high, sweet lady, keep aiming high.
- Diane Lebson, Kappa '92
How I remember the day that Josette knocked on my door in Reston, VA and introduced herself to me as the new Division Financial Advisor for chapters in the DC/MD/VA area. I was the Division President at the time and that was her very first position as an alumna. We worked together for a while and then she soared to incredible heights within our sorority and the inter-Greek world. I was so very proud to have been there at the start. Several years later, in 1997, Josette traveled to NJ to share in my wedding day. It was a gesture I never forgot. The beauty of our sisterhood is that we are always connected even when we are apart. I have only fond memories and know that I am a better person for having been acquainted with someone who epitomizes the essence of womanhood and leadership. May you rest in peace knowing that you made the world a better place for us all. God Bless You always.
- Laura Papazian Dean, Gamma Xi '86
Josette was a mentor and advisor to me and helped guide me and the Pi chapter through a challenging expansion process on our campus. Josette was patient and challenged me to learn and develop as a Panhellenic woman. Beyond her commitment to fraternity, Josette was a wonderful woman, and she will be missed. LITP
- Amanda Cohen, Pi '11
Josette you will always be "my" Grand Archon as you were the Grand Archon when I was initiated and Iota Gamma was installed as a chapter. I still remember being in awe of meeting you at Leadership Training School in 2001. You know who I was and made a point to come over and speak to me as the Archon of the newest chapter installed. I was so nervous but you quickly helped me dispel that nervousness. However, whenever I saw you, there was still that old collegiate part of me that was always thinking "that's Josette M George, Grand Archon when you joined Phi Sig." In my alumnae years, you have served as the inspiration for me to be actively involved in the local alumnae panhellenic chapter. You will be missed my friend and Phi Sigma Sigma sister. Godspeed until we meet again in Chapter Eternal. Once, Always, Forever a Phi Sigma Sigma
- Carolyn Veek, Iota Gamma '04
Josette was the Grand Archon when I was initiated into Phi Sigma Sigma, and from that moment, I have always been in awe of who she was as a leader, a sister, and a friend. I am truly lucky to have worked with her as a volunteer and alumna, and her humor, smile, and wisdom will be greatly missed. Phi Sigma Sigma and the intrafraternal world lost a wonderful sister and friend today. We will miss you every day, Josette.
- Tess Stovall, Kappa '07
Many would agree that when you think of Josette, the image of pink flamingos is not far behind. I found the following symbolic meaning of flamingos this morning and believe it to be very fitting: "Flamingos appear to encourage you to be more vibrant and social, to truly enjoy the company of others and take time out to play...Their natural charm, coupled with their ability to take on and share responsibilities equally, make flamingo people great team mates and partners." I will mourn the passing of our past Grand Archon, Josette George Kaufman; she was a model for us all and we will remember the warmth, love, and joy that she brought to the organization and community that she loved so dearly. I, and many others, are better today for knowing her and saddened to have lost her so suddenly. A piece of us will be missing at our Centennial Convention this summer, but I know that she will be smiling from above and is forever a bright, shining star in our eternal pyramid. Always and forever a friend and a sister.
- Amy Bien, Epsilon Pi '97
I met Mrs. Kaufman at AFLV 2013, just about a month ago at the affiliation luncheon. I was so inspired by not only meeting such an important woman, but by her presence. She was beautiful, funny, and someone to look up to. I was so excited to meet her, and am glad I knew her. She saw me later that day and acted as if we had knew each other for years. I added her on facebook and she assured me we would stay in touch. I was afraid to contact her, because of my fear of annoying her. But now I wish I had. I am sure she would have loved to hear from me, probably not as much as I would have. But pretty close.
- Fran Adams, Delta Psi '15
I moved to DC after undergrad, and quickly joined the DC Alumnae chapter so I could build a network of friends. I met Josette of course as she was active in anything that had to do with Phi Sig. She's not *that* much older than I am, but I so respected everything about her right away. She seemed so much more than her age would allow for. I remember a birthday party that her mother threw for her-it was so Josette. A wide range of people, a fun, classy event, with little touches that made me remember it for years to come, long after I left DC for other ventures. In the years pre-Facebook, when it was much harder to reconnect with old friends, i would think of that party and Josette every New Year's Eve (her birthday). I am honored to be her sister and so moved by the tributes to her. She was an amazing woman who will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Josette, RIP, Once, Always, and LITP.
- Denise Turgeon, Beta, '91
Josette, I am so saddened by your passing. I can't put into words the love you have showed me in Phi Sig. Thank you for being such a great role model, a friend and an example of an amazing Phi Sig. I am speechless by the void we all feel today. God gained a beautiful, kind hearted and a special angel today. Once, Always. LITP
- Christina Padron, Delta Psi '10
I first met Josette in the fall of 1988 during the recolonization of the Beta Psi Chapter at the University of Florida. She asked me why I wanted to join Phi Sigma Sigma- (at the time I was a glib 19 yr old who just wanted to be in the Greek system). So my answer was I wanted to be a part of something special, being a founding member meant I could have a hand in creating a legacy and being a part of history. She smiled with those kind eyes and let me know that I was on track to a great future with a growing organization. She wasn't wrong and helped me and my chapter sisters grow. She is an inspiration to me, and to many other women. Her presence is amazing in life and in death, LITP, Josette.
- Amy Sapala Poling, Beta Psi '91
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my sister and mentor, Josette. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Josette during my two years as Membership Manager as her staff liaison to NPC. She taught me invaluable lessons about being a Panhellenic woman, and about life and laughter. It takes a special person to be able to deliver meaningful advice and then a moment later fill a room with laughter, and Josette did that. I will truly miss you!
- Rachel Stinger, Theta Beta '08
I will miss you my sister Josette, you have left your mark on my heart. Your love for Phi Sigma Sigma, NPC and the intrafraternal world as a whole was evident, and our interfraternal brothers and sisters loved and respected you like no other. You have been a true mentor, confidant and sister friend to me as I grew up in sorority, you believed in me, supported me and I am so grateful to have had you in my life. Cheers to all the times we have spent together on the road for Phi Sigma Sigma, I am so blessed for the many memories.
- Michelle Ardern, Delta Iota '91
I am heartbroken today at the loss of Josette. She was my friend, my mentor, and my chapter sister. I am so grateful to her for seeing that spark in me and asking me to start volunteering for the Fraternity. I would not be the leader and person I am today without her love, guidance, and unwavering support. Words cannot express how much I will miss her.
- Alicia Scott, Beta Psi '94
I am forever grateful to have called Josette my sister and friend. My first interaction with Josette was as a collegiate she came and visited the Epsilon Delta chapter, we met at the Starbucks on the Orange Circle- I remember we all stood as she entered the Starbucks. Through the years she has guided and mentored me through my sorority years- always providing sage advice. Perhaps my greatest moment is having Josette and Steve attend my wedding in May 2012. I am forever grateful for my sister, Josette.
- Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg, Epsilon Delta '03