JOSEPHINE 'JO' SKYMER was born on Feb. 19, 1911 in Phila, PA to Alfio & Alfia Grasso. Raised in Paulsboro NJ, she married one-time amateur boxer and Camden resident Thomas "Tommy" Skymer in 1940..Her brother-in-law, Lew Skymer, also had fought, and had turned professional in the mid-1920s. She owned and operated with her husband the Thomas Beauty Salon at 108 North 5th Street in the late 1930s which had moved to 521 Cooper Street by the the late 1940s. Daughter Jo Ann Skymer Hirsch wrote in July of 2004 "My parents were both hair dressers ....... My father was a hair colorist and my mom a hair dresser."

The Skymers later moved to Lake Worth, FL, where they owned and operated the Thomas Beauty Salon there during the early 1950s with great success. In the mid 1950s Tommy Skymer founded the Merchantville Auction & Farmers Market, later known as the Cherry Hill Discount Market, which the Skymers ran as partners. Josephine Skymer founded her first lamp  and lighting business in the Market a few years after the family had come back north, around 1954-1955.
Sadly, the Cherry Hill Discount Market burned down on Feb. 9, 1965

With the Mart burned down and the Skymer's assets tied up in litigation from the fire Josephine Skymer on borrowed money then started the Jo Skymer Lamps business on Route 130 in Pennsauken, NJ. The business became quite successful, and although under new ownership in recent years, remains open today. So well known was the Jo Skymer named that the new owners now have a second location, also known as Jo Skymer Lamps. During her years in business, Jo Skymer Lamps was a family affair, where Mrs. Skymer, husband Thomas, son Thomas Jr., and daughter Jo Ann were all partners for many years. Jo Skymer retired from business in 1996. 

Josephine Skymer passed away on December 16, 2000.

Camden Courier-Post

January 8, 1938

Josephine, 89, of Newtown, PA, died on Dec. 16, 2000 at Pickering Manor, Newtown, PA. She was born on Feb. 19, 1911 in Phila, PA to Alfio & Alfia Grasso. She was raised in Paulsboro, NJ & owned and operated a beauty salon in Camden, NJ. Josephine later moved to Lake Worth, FL, where she operated the Thomas Beauty Salon. She returned to New Jersey and co-owned the Merchantville Auction & Farmers Market and later the Cherry Hill Discount Market until it burned down on Feb. 9, 1965. Josephine then started the Jo Skymer Lamps on Rt. 130 in Pennsauken, NJ where she & her son Tom worked until her retirement in 1996. Josephine is the wife of the late Thomas J. Skymer to whom she was married for 52 years & mother of the late Tom Skymer, Jr. She is survived by a daughter & son-in-law JoAnn S. & Richard Hirsch of Yardley, 2 grandchildren Amber Jo & Thomas James, III of Medford, NJ. She is also survived by her brother John Grasso of Pennsauken, NJ & sisters Mae Magennis of Lake Worth, FL & Anne Thomas of Gibbstown, NJ.Funeral service will be held Monday Dec. 18, 2000 at 2:30pm at the SNOVER/GIVNISH OF CINNAMINSON, 1200 Rt. 130, Cinnaminson, NJ. Her life celebration will be held at the funeral home from 12:30 to 2:30. Interment will be in Locustwood Mem. Park. Memorial contribution may be made to your local American Cancer Society or Mass Cards.

Camden Courier-Post

Decemnber 17, 2000

Thanks to Jo Ann Skymer Hirsch for her help in creating this page.