Josephine V. Seaman, the former owner of a popular luncheonette and package goods store at Charles and 24th streets, died Monday of congestive heart failure at her Owings Mills residence. She was 65.
Known as Josie, she operated Josie's Luncheonette with her husband, Allen, from 1967 until the couple retired in 1985 and the business closed.
Workers from nearby advertising agencies, the city Board of Education and Chesapeake Cadillac Co. and residents of lower Charles Village crowded the restaurant's counter and tables.
Josie's was described by a Baltimore broadcaster as being "the coziest little place in the world."
Mrs. Seaman often jokingly told her customers, "If you don't eat here, we'll all starve."
A son, Mark Seaman of Cockeysville, said, "She even had that slogan put on her business cards."
"Josie touched the hearts and stomachs of over 300 friends and customers a day. My father handled the business end, and she ran the kitchen," he said.
"It was really a combination lunch counter and dry goods store," said a daughter-in-law, Rose Seaman of Cockeysville, because the Seamans also sold novelties, Christmas decorations and clothes.
"It wasn't uncommon for someone to be in the dressing room trying on clothes after ordering their lunch," Rose Seaman said.
Mrs. Seaman would arrive at the luncheonette between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. daily to meet purveyors and prepare cakes and pies and Italian dishes from scratch.
Even after having a hip replaced, she went to work, aided by a walker.
"Here was this petite woman working and cooking up a storm -- I never saw a person work as hard as she did," Rose Seaman said. "Her whole life was cooking, cleaning and her family."
Born Josephine V. Indolfi in Cumberland and educated there, she moved to Baltimore in the early 1950s and was a singer in local nightclubs.
She married Allen Seaman in 1954.
Graveside services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at Druid Ridge Cemetery, Park Heights Avenue and Old Court Road, Pikesville.
Other survivors include another son, Kirk Seaman of Owings Mills; a daughter, Sandra Seaman of Owings Mills; two sisters, Rosie Edwards and Carmen Garrett, both of Arbutus; two grandchildren; and longtime friend, Josephine Bianco of Ellicott City.