Jean Martens Voss

Date of Birth

March 8, 1925

Date of Death

November 22, 2008

City of Death

Santa Barbara

The much-loved Jean Martens Voss was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 8th, 1925. Jean passed away at the age of 83 on November 22, at 9:20 AM at Cottage Hospital surrounded by family and friends.

Jean was a woman of keen intellect, witty humor and a grand sense of adventure. Never one to keep her ideas to herself, and always eager to engage with others, Jean organized and shared this enthusiasm all of her life; she was said to have “class spirit and then some” while at Gulf Park College for Women in Gulfport Mississippi. This held true in later years as evidenced by her organizing everything from Great Books Discussion groups to her more recent weekly poker club at Friendship Manor.

Her love of learning took her from Gulf Park College to San Francisco State College and ultimately the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. While there she met her future husband, Frank Voss. They were married in mukluks and seal skins! Frank was from Jefferson City, Missouri where they initially settled on a family farm. In 1959 they relocated to Santa Barbara. Following Frank’s early death in 1971 Jean continued to reside in Santa Barbara with her 5 children.

She did many things during her 46 years in Santa Barbara from selling antiques to volunteering at the Natural History Museum. Recently she participated on a panel in Isla Vista telling of her experiences as the dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department during the 1968 burning of the Bank of America.

Her love of travel expanded abroad after moving with her children to England for 6 months in 1972. Her travels included Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, England, Russia, Mexico and Kenya but she had a special place in her heart for Paris. This love she also shared in a wonderful trip with her daughters and granddaughters in 2001. For many years she rented an apartment in an old silk mill in Malmsbury England spending time there with her granddaughter Victoria and her grandson Todd. Other trips with grandchildren included Florida with Serena in search of manatees, Alaska with Chris kayaking the glaciers, Hawaii with Evan and Aron snorkeling the warm water and Mississippi with James revisiting the South.

Jean’s open mind and heart allowed her to embrace, accept and be led by a Higher Power. She was generous and supportive in sharing with others the strength she found in her studies, her commitment and her community.

Jean spent the last several years of her life living at Friendship Manor in Goleta California. Still the ‘social bee’ she was an active and much loved participant of that community as well. Her family wishes to thank the many wonderful friends she made there for adding so much enjoyment to these last years. Most recently Jean proclaimed herself an original ‘Obama Mama’ and was thrilled to be alive to see the results of this historic election.

Jean is survived by her sons Henry Voss (Carol Lee), Nicholas Voss (Amy) and Christopher Voss (Leslie) and her daughters Jennifer Voss (Charlie) and Cynthia Dabney (Thomas). Her grandchildren Christopher, Todd, Serena, Evan, Aron, Victoria, James and Eric and her great granddaughter Caydence also survive her. She is predeceased by her dear friend Charlie Rock.

Services will be held on Saturday, December 6th at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Santa Barbara Cemetery at 901 Channel Drive with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Tewecado Mission School. The school was established for Taramuhara children in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and has been generously supported by Jean over the years.

Tewecado, Inc P.O. Box 36078 Tucson, AZ 85740-6078


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