Barbara Ann Voss, age 89 years of Niles, Michigan, wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, reader, and cook died peacefully at 12:10 p.m. on Monday, June 28, 2021 with her family gathered around her bedside at her home following an extended illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care of the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home.
She was born on December 6, 1931 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Claude and Margaret (Langbridge) Gibbs, and graduated from Edwardsburg (Michigan) High School. She continued her education at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and was pinned as a Registered Nurse at Hinsdale (Illinois) Adventist Hospital. She served as a nurse at the former Pawating Hospital (now Spectrum Lakeland Niles) for many years before moving to the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company where she continued to serve as a nurse for the employees there. She later became a realtor, working from the offices of Century 21 in Niles for ten years.
Barbara was a member of the ladies’ auxiliaries of the Niles Eagles, Niles Moose, and the American Legion. She enjoyed traveling with her husband throughout the United States, but mostly enjoyed her home state, and visiting family in Florida.
She was an avid reader, usually biographies and history, but also read Danielle Steel’s bestsellers and cookbooks. She wrote some of her own recipes, completing enough for an entire volume of her own cookbook. While she could make every recipe taste great, friends and family always looked forward to her goulash and fried chicken, but they all knew better than to expect her to prepare freshly caught fish from the river.
On August 31, 1969 in Niles she married Lewis Kenneth “Whitey” Voss with whom she celebrated the remarkable Fifty-first anniversary of their wedding just months before he preceded her in death on this past November 7, 2020. She was also preceded in death by her parents, and by children Lewis “Kenny” Voss, Jr. who sadly died in an accident in 1982, and by Beth Ann Hernandez in 2004, and Rhett Martin; and by Barbara’s siblings, Maynard, David, Jean, Mary Jane “Snookie”, Marion, and Kate.
Surviving family includes her children, Kathy Nikodem, Gregory Nikodem, and Michael Nikodem, Sr., all of Niles, and Scott (& Chris) Nikodem of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Darryl (& Renee) Voss of Cicero, Indiana; stepsons Robert Voss and Richard Voss, both of South Bend; eighteen grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
The family of Barbara Voss will receive relatives and friends on Friday, July 2, 2021 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles followed by Committal Services at the graveside in Silverbrook Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Mark Youngberg of Calvary Road Community Church in Niles officiating. Contributions in memory of Barbara may be made to the Niles District Library, 620 East Main Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120, https://nileslibrary.com/. Online condolences may be left at:
Barb’s life is a testimony of service to others, whether helping folks with healthcare, helping people find new homes, or entertaining and feeding family and friends at home. Doing those things was important, and she always served well, but far greater was the personal relationships, especially with her family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Voss, please visit our floral store.
Niles District Library
620 East Main Street, Niles MI 49120