Josephine Makil was born in 1932 in Colorado. She studied at Otero Community College, An early interest in missions led her to study at Moody Bible College. She practiced Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Moody and met her husband, Gaspar Taqueban Makil (from the Philippines), there.
In 1959 the couple was assigned as Wycliffe Bible Translators. In 1959 Josephine became the first African American to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. In 1962 they began with the Roglai people in South Viet Nam. In 1963 there was an escalation of war in South Vietnam. Gaspar and one of her children were murdered.
Josephine and the three remaining children moved to Nasuli, Bukidnon, Philippines. In the Philippines she continued Bible translation projects, she set up a pre-school for missionary children, and she worked in medical outreach remote places in the Philippines tribes.
When she returned to the USA she worked at the recruitment of African Americans and worked in literacy among the Gullah people in the USA. Josephine said of her service:
I was actively seeking to walk with the Lord.She passed away in 2003.