Josie Ortiz (before 1934 - March 2017), mostly referred to as Old Woman Josie, out near the The Car Lot, was a citizen living on the edge of town next to You and Your trailer and also near Larry Leroy. She called into the station often to tell Cecil what she knew, and also frequently voiced her opinions at City Council meetings.
Her home was the informal shelter for local angels, who helped her with various household chores and protected her from things such as the Creeping Fear. The black one helped change her porch light. She was the first person in Night Vale the angels revealed themselves to. As a result, her house is always surrounded by a halo of bright heavenly light.
Old Woman Josie, like most Night Vale citizens, was a lifelong resident of Night Vale. She was stated to be at the New Years' Eve 1934 party, even entertaining the other partygoers, "young as she [was]".
Josie was the chairwoman of the Night Vale Opera for many years until it folded in the early 90s when a massive puppy infestation destroyed the theater's infrastucture. She also used to be on the same bowling team as Cecil, but the two have spent less time together lately, possibly due to the discovery of the miniature civilization beneath the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex and Cecil having a new boyfriend. They have apparently reformed the bowling league as of Voicemail.
She is voiced by Retta.
Old Woman Josie is typically friendly and helpful. She bowls in a league with Cecil, and she often calls him at the radio station to report on goings-on she sees around Night Vale, things happening with the angels in her home, and more.
Old Woman Josie seems to know a lot about most people in town, but she is directly stated as having personal relationships with these people:
Cecil Palmer: It is mentioned that the two used to bowl on a team together in a league. They seem to speak to each other like good friends, though it's clear they haven't been keeping up with their friendship, and she calls into the station often to tell Cecil everything she knows or to comment on the goings-on around town.
The Angels: Josie first met the Angels in 1994 during demolition of the old Old Night Vale Opera House, but they would not reveal themselves for another 18 years . After the Angels reveal themselves to her, they often operate as indirect informants for Cecil through their gossip with Josie. She has opened her home to them, and they often accompany her on errands and around town, telling her things they know, ranging from baseball plays to what's in the deerskin suitcase. Though they seem to occasionally get on her nerves - standing in front of her TV, for instance - it seems they have a desire to protect her, even after they disappear from her home.
Allandra: Josie's daughter. Josie doesn't like to talk about her as she left Night Vale leaving her mother alone, they haven't seen each other for almost 20 years . After Josie broke her hip, Allandra came back to the town to take care of her.
- Episode 1, Pilot: Josie is first mentioned in connection with the Angels. She also brought corn muffins to the town meeting, though they lacked salt because the Angels needed her salt for a heavenly mission.
- Episode 3, Station Management: Josie is protected from the Creeping Fear.
- Episode 4, PTA Meeting: Josie agrees with the measure to remove the large, lead-plated door from Radon Canyon, adding that lead is a health hazard. In the same episode, Cecil is told by Josie that Carlos "was still absolutely perfect, and smelled of lavender chewing gum."
- Episode 5, The Shape in Grove Park: She is with one of her angel friends at the gas station when the angel claims to recognize Rita Hayworth, who Josie says was looking "a bit older, moderately obese, and considerably more Hispanic", though the angel insists it is Rita Hayworth.
- Episode 7, History Week: Josie digs up a box from a corner of her yard, carries it delicately cradled in her arms, and buries it in another part of her yard.
- Episode 11, Wheat & Wheat By-Products: Josie reports to Cecil that the Angels are blocking her view of the TV.
- Episode 13, A Story About You.: You live near Josie.
- Episode 14, The Man in the Tan Jacket: Josie calls in to say that her angel friends have informed her that TMITTJ's deerskin suitcase is full of flies. The angels would not tell her more, as doing so would jeopardize her Eternal Soul. She suspects that he's just an annoying fly salesman. However, an angel purportedly calls the station minutes later, claiming that The Man in the Tan Jacket is from a place "underneath the Earth", then whispers "A flower in the desert," probably indicating the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex.
- Episode 19A, The Sandstorm (Part A): Dana reports that Josie had updated her Facebook with an Instagram of some rune stones, which Dana translates to a warning about the sandstorm doubles: "They come in twos. You come in twos. You and you. Kill your double!"
- Episode 20, Poetry Week: Josie calls in to tell Cecil that the poem signed "E" is from one of the angels, and that all angels are named Erika, with a "k".
- Episode 24, The Mayor: Josie calls in to say that she has seen Mayor Pamela Winchell in a heated conversation with the Apache Tracker, who then opened a leather briefcase full of flies.
- Episode 32, Yellow Helicopters: Josie reveals that the angels have been gone for three straight weeks, and later calls in to say that a half dozen yellow helicopters are circling her home, and she is not seeing any sunlight despite her clocks telling her it is the middle of the day. She assumes it is the angels efforts to protect her. The helicopters have a large triangular logo with an orange "S". After a discussion with Cecil about their old bowling league, she tells him the sunlight has come back, ending her protection, and the line goes silent.
- Episode 45, A Story About Them: Josie's house has been "silent and empty for months now".
- Episode 48, Renovations: Cecil reveals that Josie and the angels have been in The Other Empty Desert.
- Episode 49, Old Oak Doors Part B: At Josie's request, the angels are protecting the empty lot that is the future home of the Old Night Vale Opera House.
- Episode 54, A Carnival Comes to Town: Josie is on hand for the foundation-pouring ceremony for the Old Night Vale Opera House.
- Episode 57, The List: Josie updates Cecil on the progress on the Opera House.
- Episode 63, There Is No Part 1: Part 2: Cecil tells Josie he'll see her at their next bowling league night.
- Episode 65, Voicemail: Josie is voiced by Retta. A recording of a voicemail message she left for Cecil is played, which is her asking Cecil if she and two angels can get a lift off of him in his car.
- Episode 67, Best Of?:
- Josie attended the New Years Eve 1934 party, "young as she [was]".
- Cecil referred to her as "middle-aged" in 1983.
- Josie held a benefit for the old Old Night Vale Opera House in 1984.
- Episode 68, Faceless Old Women: Josie updates Cecil on the progress at the Opera House.
- Episode 69, Fashion Week: Josie updates Cecil on the progress at the Opera House, and Cecil mentions that he'll be back to visit her after his planned move.
- Episode 70B, Review: Josie attends the opening night of the Opera House, and throws an after party that Cecil attends.
- Episode 71, The Registry of Middle School Crushes: Cecil implies that Josie and the angels are part of his heist plan.
- Episode 95, Zookeeper: Josie's daughter Allandra returns to Night Vale to take care of her mother.
- Episode 97, Josefina: Cecil interviews Josie about her life.
- Episode 102, Love Is a Shambling Thing: Josie is mentioned to be in hospice care in her home.
- Episode 103, Ash Beach: Cecil says that Josie is dying.
- Episode 104, The Hierarchy of Angels: Night Vale honors Josie's life, her ashes are scattered and her daughter begins to liquidate her assets.
In Parade Day Claire Wallace, a freelance photographer, sent in photos of a door that appeared in the empty lot across from the Rec Center. In these photos there's an old woman who's face can't be seen, but it can be assumed that this is Josie. In the first picture she's putting up a sign that reads “Future home of the Old Night Vale Opera House” with “Josephina Contracters, Inc.” in small print across the bottom of the sign. She's returning to the door in the next picture. Old Woman Josie seems to have a counterpart in Desert Bluffs by the name of Grandma Josephine.