Josephine Lorraine Fladger had a lot of fans, as a nurse tending to patients and as a candy maker and cake decorator catering to sweet tooths.

To them, the world is a little less sweeter today.

Mrs. Fladger, a Philadelphia native and mother of three, died Friday, Dec. 27, in State College, Pa., where she had lived the last three years with her daughter, Theresa Lunsford. Mrs. Fladger was 83 and had been suffering from breast cancer and heart disease, her family said.

"She had lots of friends and family - loved by everybody," said granddaughter Sakiyna Fladger of Las Vegas, who shared memories of indulging her sugar cravings with her grandmother's creations.

"Those coconut eggs," she recalled Sunday. "When I was a kid, Easter was a good time."

The fondant that coated so many of her cakes was also a huge hit, Fladger said.

Born to Walter and Johnnie Lee Thomas, Mrs. Fladger attended the former Philadelphia General Hospital nursing school and worked for 20 years in city hospitals, including Einstein Medical Center and Graduate Hospital, and as a private-duty nurse, her granddaughter said.

She joined her mother in operating the J&J Luncheonette in Philadelphia in the 1960s.

Her candies were sold from a shop she owned at 29th and Thompson Streets for a couple of years in the 1970s. Relatives did not know its name. She went on to help manage and make candy at Platts Candy Shop on Lancaster Avenue. She also helped bake and serve at Robert's Bakery at 30th Street and Girard Avenue.

Through the years, Mrs. Fladger raised her three children mostly on her own.

In the 1990s, she moved with her daughter to Columbia, S.C., where she helped care for family and neighborhood children until 2010, when she followed her daughter, who is also a nurse, to State College.

Despite failing health, Mrs. Fladger continued to travel, including last year to the Grand Canyon, her granddaughter said.

In addition to her daughter and granddaughter, Mrs. Fladger is survived by a son, James; several other grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Another son, John, died in 2006.

Friends may call after 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Wayland Temple, 2500 Cecil B. Moore Ave., Philadelphia. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Merion Memorial Park in Bala Cynwyd.

215-854-2466 @dmastrull