Josie DeCarlo, R.I.P.

Josie and Dan DeCarlo at an NCS Award Show (Dan won)

Josie DeCarlo, widow of comic book legend Dan DeCarlo and the model for the character Josie, has passed away in her sleep. I don’t have her age but her husband Dan was born in 1919. Dan passed away in 2001 and Josie continued to promote his name and work, and she attended comic book conventions as long as her health permitted.

Josie Dumont was a French citizen when she met Dan via a blind date in Belgium shortly after the Battle of the Bulge. Photos of her at the time suggest her as an obvious model for all the beautiful women that Dan was known for drawing throughout his career. She was a direct inspiration for perhaps his most famous creation, Josie. Josie (the woman) fashioned a pussycat costume for a shipboard ball on a Caribbean cruise they once took. Dan’s sketches of her in that outfit figured into the later life…and her first name provided the name of the star character when Dan shopped around for a proposed newspaper strip. When no syndicate jumped at what he offered, he offered Josie (the strip) to Richard Goldwater at the Archie company where he was already working. Goldwater accepted the idea and the comic was launched, later turning into Josie and the Pussycats, a rock group dressed much like his spouse had dressed on that cruise.

Dan was the star Archie artist for over 40 years but in 2000, he got into a legal altercation with the Archie company over ownership of Josie and took legal action. Josie stood beside him when he was fired by the firm. He died the following year.

She was a lovely lady and every one of Dan’s many friends and fans loved her just as much as they loved Dan. Funeral services will be held Monday is Scarsdale, New York. E-mail me if you need information.