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).
In 1959 the couple was assigned as Wycliffe Bible Translators. Josephine became the first African American to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. In 1962 they began working with the Roglai people in South Viet Nam. In 1963 there was an escalation of the war in South Vietnam. Her husband, 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, set up a pre-school for missionary children, and worked in medical outreach remote places in the Philippines tribes.
In 1972, Josephine returned to the USA on furlough but continued serving as an ESL teacher to the many Southeast Asians in Denver. In 1976, she returned to Dallas, Texas, serving as the Director of Early Childhood Program and at Wycliffe’s Dallas training school.
Josephine passed away on April 25, 2003.