Hanel, Josefine Erika

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Josefine Von Donat Hanel, 88, of Radford, peacefully passed from this earthly existence into God’s warm embrace on Friday, January 14, 2011. She is now joyfully dancing once again with Papa and Maria in heaven. Josefine lived a long, wonderful life filled with adventures. She had a kind, loving heart; always listening, always caring. Josefine is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Christina H. and David Lovern; her son, Thomas Hanel; her son-in-law, Tom Pennino; grandchildren and their spouses, Jennifer and Ted Bowman, Jonathan Lovern, Isabella Hanel, Julianna Hanel, Paul and Meredith Pennino, and Michael Pennino. Josefine was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Hanel and her daughter, Maria Pennino. Josefine was born in Silesia, Germany on November 19, 1922 to Franz and Carola Von Donat. She grew up in a noble family, residing in an estate in East Germany. The day after Josefine graduated from high school she was drafted into a Nazi labor camp where she endured many hardships but did not allow them to break her will. Upon release from the labor camp, she briefly attended Architecture School, majoring in Interior Design until Hitler ordered all universities closed. She was then drafted into the German Air Force where she narrowly avoided death several times and courageously escaped only to find her home taken over by the Russians and her family dispersed. This is just a small glimpse of the life Josefine led before meeting Alfred and immigrating to America. Throughout all of these experiences and the remainder of her life she showed tremendous strength and spirit. Josefine was a member of St. Judes Catholic Church where she was an active member for many years. She also volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, New River Carilion Hospital, Radford Clothing Bank and Project Linus. She was an avid tennis player until age 83. Josefine is survived by a loving family who will celebrate her life for years to come. She also had so many friends who brought her much happiness in her life. She truly experienced a life from riches to rags. Knowing Jo, as her friends called her, you would never guess she had a noble upbringing because she was one of the most humble human beings you could ever meet. Josefine’s family would like to thank all of her wonderful friends and the many angels in the health care profession who have given her such good care; including but not limited to the staff at Heritage Hall and Warm Hearth. A memorial mass will be held Monday, January 17, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the St. Judes Catholic Church with Father Ken Shuping officiating. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until the time of the service and immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the St. Judes Catholic Church. Arrangements by Mullins Funeral Home in Radford. A final quote from Josefine’s life story in her own words: “It’s not the holy dollar in the bank, a fancy house, a couple of Mercedes in the garage; it’s all gone within seconds. What you have is you, what kind of person have you made out of yourself.”