Josephine M. (Rancatore) Policelli

February 1, 1923 ~ May 11, 2021 (age 98)


Josephine Policelli recently passed away after 98 incredible years.

Jo was raised in Medford with her many brothers and sisters.

She attended the Immaculate Conception School and Girls Catholic High School in Malden, where she excelled in music. She went on to graduate from Boston University, and taught piano for many years to countless students.

So many students, in fact, that in her final days at Lahey Hospital, one of her nurses recognized Jo immediately- as her childhood piano teacher!

She met the love of her life, Frank, on a blind date after World War II and the two were married in 1947. They were married over 50 years, celebrating this impressive milestone with a long-wished-for trip to Hawaii.

They settled in Medford and raised three children: Joe, who inherited her musical ability; Ricky, who inherited her outgoing nature and sense of humor; and Lorraine, who inherited her kindness and strength, and was blessed to have Jo live with her and her late husband Bernie for the past 12 years.

Known to all as “Nana”, Jo enjoyed gardening with her husband, knitting, and crocheting, which she taught to many of the neighborhood kids.

She dearly loved her four granddaughters, Nicole, Gina, Stephanie, and Lisa. She always said she wanted to live to meet her great grandbabies, and was blessed with two, Tessa and Jamie, who lit up her life. She said she wanted to live long enough to see them walk, and she did. She then said she wanted to live long enough to hear them talk, and she did. She then said she wanted to hear them say “Good day to you Nana Jo!” --- we promise to work on that in her honor.

Holidays and birthday celebrations were always important to Jo. She shared her birthday week with her granddaughter, Gina, and her late daughter-in-law, Ann.

Nana always gave the best advice with wisdom, wit, and complete honesty. She was sharp as a tack until her final day. She taught everyone many life lessons – to be good, to be honest, and to care for one another. It’s these lessons that we will remember forever.

A lyric from Jo’s favorite song beautifully explains how we all felt about her. We will miss her dearly:

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero and everything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.”

Relatives and friends are most respectfully invited to attend a Funeral Mass for both Josephine and her son Joseph (who passed away in April of 2020 but could not have service due to covid restrictions)  in  St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St. (Rte. 62), North Reading on Tuesday, May 18th at 10:30am. Visiting hours at the Funeral Home on Monday from 4-7pm. Interment Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Josephine M. (Rancatore) Policelli, please visit our floral store.


May 17, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Cota Funeral Homes
335 Park Street
North Reading, MA 01864

Mass of Christian Burial
May 18, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Theresa's Church
63 Winter Street (Rt 62)
North Reading, MA 01864

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