Winter 2018–2019

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Distinguished Residents: Josephine Saucerman

Family, friends and her new life at Gardens of Ocotillo leads to a life well lived.


Josephine Saucerman

Gardens at Ocotillo Senior Living  Chandler, Arizona


Josephine “Jo” Dorothy Molinari Saucerman was born in Portland, Oregon, on October 7, 1918, the youngest of 11 children. She was a preemie, weighing only five pounds when she went home from the hospital.

Josephine says her secret to living a long life is be happy, love people and laugh.

Jo remembers living during the war and during the Great Depression — specifically the rationing of goods. One of her outstanding memories is of her and her sister painting their legs with a seam down the back to resemble silk pantyhose. They weren’t able to purchase any silk hose as they were rationed to make parachutes for the war.

Jo met her husband, Willis (Bill) Saucerman in first grade. Several years later, they were reintroduced and went on their first date on January 10, 1945. They married February 15, 1945, when they were 27 years old. After they married, they traveled to different bases, including Texas and Tennessee, as Bill was an Air Force pilot. They had four children: John, Carol, Shirley and Rob. 

The family moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, in 1955, for what they thought would be a three-month assignment. They stayed for 35 years opening their own successful general construction business in 1960. 

Jo enjoys the vibrant lifestyle at Gardens at Ocotillo Senior Living and the friendships she’s made. In fact, she and three of her new friends made up “Golden Girls” t-shirts, which they wear during their wine/pizza parties on Saturday nights.

Jo recently attended an Arizona Diamondback’s game (part of her 99th birthday celebration) where she met and received a kiss from legendary player Mark Grace and broadcaster Todd Walsh, and was thrilled when her picture appeared on the Jumbo Tron