Monday, August 15, 2022

Josephine Gibson Lehnberg, 96

WILMINGTON — Born January 2, 1926, in the country near Dawson, Georgia. As a young girl, she loved to eat peaches and ride on the tractor with the farm help. Jo always wanted to be a singer. She studied at East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University). She was one of the first women to get offered a scholarship to Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Her father did not approve so she did not go. Instead, she went on to do summer theater in Nashville and St. Louis. One claim to fame is that in 1949, she sang the National Anthem at the Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner where the President, Harry S. Truman gave the keynote address.

She moved to New York City wanting to sing on Broadway. In the meantime, she made her living playing piano for ballet classes. Finally, she got a part in Texas Lil’ Darlin’ which played on Broadway. There she met Werner Lehnberg, married in 1950, and moved to the suburbs in Chappaqua, NY. Instead of following a professional career in music, she held a home and raised three boys. Such a hand full! She acted in local theater, sang in church choirs, soloed for many years, and taught voice in her home.

After 20 years of marriage ending with the sudden death of her husband, she went de meis school and got her Registered Nursing degree. In 1974, she then moved from Mere 23 Wilmington and did floor nursing on surgical and cancer floors for about 10 year before ate switched to Admissions.

At heart, Jo is a singer. Jo loves to sing. She would say that singing is as natural as breathing and that the human voice is God’s only natural instrument. Church and spirituality are especially important to Jo. You can’t miss her faith. Her smile is her ministry.

A memorial service will be held in her memory at a future date.

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