(Abraham Lincoln students prepared biography for the 2017 ALHS Hall of Fame Induction program)
Graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1967, Josephine Widtfeldt worked in a secretarial position before her career with the government began in 1970, She worked in the Operation Plans Department at Strategic Air Command with the Air Force on Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska.
Transitioning from the Air Force to the Army in 1984, Josephine found herself at the Main Post in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Working for the Garrison Chaplain, she owned multiple titles, from secretary, administrative assistant, religious support assistant, to the director of Outreach Ministries. This is where she effectively began utilizing her resources to provide to thousands of military families throughout Fort Huachuca over a span of her thirty-one years in service at this base. Many military families are in need of financial support, especially moving from base to base, and Josephine recognized this and devoted her time on Fort Huachuca to better the lives of these families.
On becoming the Outreach Ministries Director in 1994, she helped establish the creation of the Chaplain’s Food Locker, a program providing 75 to 100 families a year with a week’s worth of groceries and ultimately aiding to more than 1,800 families. Creating and coordinating the annual Christmas “Giving Tree” program in 1995, this program eventually aided more than 10,000 children in need of presents and clothes throughout its twenty year period. She often referred to these soldiers and their families as her “children.”
Others programs that Josephine created and coordinated on Fort Huachuca include the Thanksgiving Dinner Program in 1997, where approximately 4,500 families received a provided Thanksgiving Dinner over a span of eighteen years. Josephine loved cooking, especially desserts, and would often cook these dinners herself. In addition to this, she established the Chapel Turnaround Point, a program where soldiers could drop off and pick up clothing and household goods for no cost over the span of 17 years. She provided the drive to individuals who carry similar aspirations to hers, overseeing the chaplains and creating a network of support between surrounding local businesses, military units, and service organizations.
She married Robert Moore in 1999.
Josephine has been awarded many honors. This includes the Civilian Service Achievement Award for Excellence four times, presented by United States Department of Army. Upon her retirement in 2015, she was recognized for her 47 years of service by receiving the Superior Civilian Service Award for the second time (first in 1996), signed by General Robert Ashley. This is the third highest honor a civilian can receive.
Josephine Widtfeldt-Moore embodied providing love and care to individuals who needed it most, resulting in so many carrying Josephine in their hearts. She was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in 2014, and passed away in March of 2015. Looking back at her many accomplishments and awards, she still felt she could do more. Josephine is quoted saying “I haven’t done all I can.” Her legacy lives on through her founded organizations at Fort Huachuca, her husband, family members, and the thousands of lives that she inspired.
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