Mabel Mae Voehl
Mabel was born Manuela Vasques to John (Juan) and Severina Vasques in San Julian, Jalisco, Mexico, on May 9, 1922. When Mabel was 2 years old the family immigrated to the U.S. They settled in Dwight, Kansas where John worked on the Rock Island Railroad. When Mabel started school, she couldn’t speak English but learned quickly and became the family translator at age 6. Mabel was active in school activities, sports being her favorite. The family moved to White City, Kansas where they purchased their first home. In her early teens she decided to change her name to Mabel. Mabel graduated from White City High School in 1941 and worked at various jobs at Fort Riley Army base and in Junction City, KS. This was the “Big Band” era and Mabel was an accomplished dancer, the activity she loved as much as sports. She moved to Seattle, WA., in early 1947 and she met a handsome sailor who was stationed at the base on Indian Island along with her brother. Love bloomed quickly and she married Norman Stanley Voehl, December 20, 1947.
Norman continued to serve in the Navy until his retirement in December 1962. During the Navy years the couple moved numerous times and their three children were born in military hospitals in three different states. After Norman’s Navy retirement the family moved to Goleta where he started a new career. Mabel was always a stay-at-home Mom, especially necessary since Norman had overseas deployments in his Navy career. She was involved in PTA, was a Girl Scout leader, taught CCD classes at St. Raphael’s parish. Mabel began bowling in 1963 and continued to age of 92, during those years she participated in many local, state, and national tournaments as well as local leagues. She was also active in the Catholic Young Ladies Institute, Elk’s Emblem Club and volunteered for other charitable organizations. Mabel’s love of sport never diminished and she continued to watch her favorite teams whenever possible.
Mabel was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Juanita Brooks, Ray Smith and Jerry Joe Vasques, her husband Norman who died in 2014 and a great grandchild, Emory Grace Middleton. She is survived by sisters, Ellen DeHoff , Council Grove, KS; Mary Lou Gallaway, Oklahoma City; children, Roxanna Sorenson (Jerry), Goleta; John (Pam), Littleton, CO; and Anthony (Kathy), Lompoc; six grandchildren, Tricia Middleton, Christopher Voehl, Rebecca Perols (Johan), Andrea Voehl, Natalie Morris (Jeremy), Stephanie Jackson (Elijah), and ten great grandchildren. Renee Parham (Ronny), Sean, and Rodney. Many cousins, nieces, and nephews, who have been very caring to her over many years.
Mabel passed peacefully of natural causes at age 98 on her wedding anniversary, December 20, 2020. The family would like to thank the staff at Abundant Care for the loving care given to Mabel in her last two years. Due to COVID-19 restrictions no funeral will be held and burial at Calvary Cemetery will be private. A celebration of life will be planned when circumstances allow. In lieu of flowers donations in Mabel’s memory may be made to Emory Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org or Wounded Warrior Project.