Mary Joan Voss, formerly of Grundy Center, Iowa, passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 24, 2023, at Terrace Glen Village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. She was 92 years old at the time of her passing.
Mary Jo was born on March 25, 1931 in rural Reinbeck to William and Leila Mitchell. During her childhood, the family moved to a farm in Grundy County where Mary Jo later graduated from Grundy Center High School in 1949. She attended Cornell College for 2 years and then continued her education at the Iowa State Teachers College (now known as UNI), graduating in 1953. After graduation, Mary Jo began a 16-year teaching career in Cedar Rapids at Arthur Elementary School before returning to her hometown of Grundy Center to teach the following year. On June 18, 1954, Mary Jo married Harold Voss after he returned from a 2-year stint with the Army in Korea.
The newly married couple spent the first few years of marriage living in Grundy Center before moving to the farm where Mary Jo grew up. They raised three sons while Mary Jo continued to teach kindergarten in Grundy Center and Harold began his farming career. They moved again in 1970 to the family farm west of town they would call home until Harold passed away in June 2014.
Mary Jo was a faithful servant of the Lord and was very active in the American Lutheran Church. She shared her talents there, teaching Sunday School for many years. Mary Jo also enjoyed volunteering within the Grundy Center community. She served on the library board for 25 years and was part of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for over 70 years.
Mary Jo was a generous person who loved to serve others. Some of the things that brought her joy included coffee with friends, reading, gardening, traveling to Florida over the winter, playing cards or board games, taking pictures and scrapbooking, watching her children and grandchildren’s sporting events, and spending time with family. Mary Jo was a friend to many and an enemy of none. Even in her later years as dementia took over and verbal communication became less, she remained gentle in spirit and kind at heart. Those meeting her for the first time and caring for her would often comment on how much they loved our mom and we would often hear the sentence, ‘she’s one of our favorites.’ It goes without saying that she was our favorite too as she modeled a mother’s love and a servant’s heart that oozed kindness, love, an uplifting word and a knack for bringing people together. Her love for gathering family and friends together for a home cooked meal, desserts and laughter was one of her specialties.
Left to share fond memories of Mary Jo include her sons: Jerry (Kristy) of Port Charlotte, FL, Dave (Lory) of Sumner, IA and Greg (Deb) of Cedar Rapids, IA; 7 grandchildren: Ryan (Christina) Voss, Erin (Matt) Galley, Megan (Alex) Lebeau, Bailey (Matt) Schindel, Brock Voss, Jake Voss and Reid Voss; 10 great grandchildren: Dakota and Emma Galley, Jolie and Julien Lebeau, Brady, Ava and Hanna Hall, Jordan Voss, and Beckett and Maren Schindel; and 2 brothers: Larry Mitchell of Ames, IA and Gordon (Pat) Mitchell of West Des Moines, IA.
Preceding Mary Jo in death are her husband Harold, her parents William and Leila Mitchell, and her sister Marcia Rygh.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the American Lutheran Church of Grundy Center.