What do braunschweiger and “catsup” sandwiches, fried liverwurst, or watermelon with tomato and bologna sandwiches have in common? You may be thinking the answer is “really gross processed meats”. However, the answer to this riddle is simple…. Despite the loving and attentive end-of-life-care that they provide, Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs serves none of the previously mentioned culinary delights. Furthermore, they do not serve lemon pie with “calf-slobbers”. Following a call from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Kathleen (Kathy) Leslie Voss permanently vacated Pioneer Manor on February 5, 2022 to join her husband (Ed Voss), her son (Less Voss), as well as a variety of other family members at the Eternal Buffet in God’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Kathleen (Kathy) Brown was born in Indianapolis Indiana on March 30, 1931 to Chester and Dorthea Brown. At the time of her birth, Kathy joined one older sister, Rosemary (by whom Kathy is survived). Kathy’s birth marked the beginning of a life that would be lived to the fullest. It was evident to all who knew her that God had sent a light to the world. A cheerful and mischievous child, Kathy would carry these traits into her adulthood, and spend the majority of her years socializing, adventuring, traveling, and moving.
Always one to look forward and not back, Kathy’s adventures began in 1945 when she, her mother, and her sister moved from Indiana to join her Uncle Ray on his ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico. While attending school, Kathy met her favorite cowboy, Edward Voss. Kathy graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1947 at the age of 17. Though she was still dating Ed Voss, her mother had forbidden her to marry until she was 18, so Kathy took a job at Montgomery Wards where she would work as a bookkeeper on and off for 13 years. The job at Montgomery Wards was always a huge source of pride for Kathy, and she spent her first year with the company saving for her wedding. However, it was also the key to her dirtiest secret and darkest obsession….
While waiting for his wife to age appropriately, (much like a fine wine), Ed continued to work on the family dairy. The year flew by in a flash. Ed and Kathy spent their free time dancing, fishing, socializing, and rodeoing. Ed loved riding bare back horses, and his lovely betrothed was always by his side, or cheering him on from the grandstands. This set the tone for their entire marriage. Finally, on April 7 of 1949, Ed gentled the most free-spirited woman he had ever known, and he and Kathy were married. This rough stock event would last 63 years until Ed’s passing in 2012.
Ed and Kathy settled down on a dairy farm in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Kathy continued to work at Montgomery Wards to support her addiction. Kathy’s deepest darkest secret was a high heeled shoe fetish. As Ed thought shoes were a frivolous expenditure, Kathy would hide her new shoes under the bed. When Ed was doing other farm chores, Kathy would wear her high heels in the milk barn to milk the cows. She would do this to scuff the bottom of the shoes. When Ed would question her on a pair of shoes he did not recognize, she would reply “These old things? Look how scuffed they are!” Kathy always swore this was the only lie she ever told her husband, and the story would become a source of laughter for three generations at every Holiday table or family gathering.
Ed and Kathy were blessed to have two children while residing in Las Vegas, Linda Voss and Les Voss. The small family of four would eventually travel to all the lower 48 states. Les and Linda often lamented the story of a summer that they spent camping as they traveled extensively throughout the United States while Ed and Kathy sought their next home. (As a side note, though most of us would find a summer of camping a luxury, neither Linda or Les ever wanted to go camping again…) Kathy would often comment that her life’s theme song was “My Elusive Dreams” sung by George Jones and Tammy
Wynette. From Las Vegas, New Mexico, to Colorado, back to Las Vegas, on to Corvallis, Montanna, then New Castle, Wyoming, and Chadron, Nebraska …. “We (they) didn’t find it there, so we (they) moved on”. However, many friendships and memories were built along the way.
In 1975, while residing in New Castle, Wyoming, Ed and Kathy welcomed their first grandchild. Attempting to defy the stigma of aging, the couple took on the alias of “Nana and Papa” as they believed they were too young to be “grandma and grandpa”. From this time forward, anyone born prior to 1970 knew the couple as Ed and Kathy Voss. Anyone born after 1970 knew them as Nana and Papa. Many born after 1970 would comment over the years that they “never knew their real names”. Ed and Kathy would eventually be blessed with seven grandchildren in total. Less and his wife Brenda would give them Tiffany, Brandon, Skipper, and Casey. Linda would marry Mike Feddersen and give them Stephanie, Courtney, and Samantha. The seven grandchildren would ultimately provide Nana and Papa with a total of 24 great grandchildren.
The adventures of Ed and Kathy Voss are too numerous to mention, and the story of one cannot be told without including the other. This is where the final chapter begins and ends. The couple did eventually retire to Hay Springs Nebraska, near their daughter Linda and her husband Mike. As for their son Less, he resided in Wessington Springs South Dakota until his death in 2021. Ed and Kathy spent their “Golden Years” much like they spent their entire life, they enjoyed fishing trips, rodeos, and card parties with friends from Zion Lutheran Church, who shared their unfailing belief in God. Kathy was a member of the Ladies Women’s Missionary League, she volunteered at the Senior Citizens Center, attended events at Pioneer Manor nursing home, and enjoyed shopping and attending craft shows with her friends.
Kathy will always be remembered for her generous spirit, her kind soul, and her hilarious “Nana-ism’s”. Never a person to say an unkind word, and always the first to offer unconditional love and encouragement, she will be dearly missed by many in this earthly life.
A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary, PO Box 443, Hay Springs, NE 69347.