A longtime local small business owner whose daughter Diane describes him as the personification of the American dream has passed away. Joe Voss, who with wife Adele owned Meadowbrook Natural Foods for the past 20 years, died Sunday.
Voss was the sixth of 11 children, born to immigrants in St. Louis County in 1939. His father, a German, was a “junk man” who supported his large family by collecting and selling scrap metals. Growing up in such adversity, Voss learned the value of hard work and as a teenager had some of his first jobs on vegetable farms.
He later put himself through college working full time while helping raise a family with his first wife, Bonnie, and served in the U.S. Army Reserves. He reached his goal of becoming a high school science teacher, teaching for 27 years, and led the Future Medical Club at Fort Zumwalt North High School in O’Fallon, having many students that went on to pursue careers in the medical field and kept in touch throughout the years. His own daughter, Diane Voss, went on to become a medical doctor.
He spent his summers continuing his education rather than taking a vacation and earned his master’s degree, becoming the first in his family to earn a postgraduate degree. Bonnie passed away in 1985 and he took an early retirement from teaching, moving to Riverton in Oregon County.
Joe remained active in his interests, and he and Adele met at a Mammoth Springer’s square dance after Adele put an ad in the paper announcing square dance lessons. They were married in 1995 and had a son, Jeffrey.
After Adele became employed at Meadowbrook Natural Foods, Joe took an interest in the business, and the couple bought it in 2000. In the years that followed, Joe continued on his path of lifelong learning, studying supplements and health support, taking classes from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and sharing what he learned.
He was a member of the Western Grand Squares dance club and the Ozark Mountain Long Rifles Rendezvous Club. He never met a stranger and had a story for every topic of conversation. Adele plans to continue running Meadowbrook Natural Foods.
A drop-in visitation will be held on Sunday, August 9, 2020 at Carter Funeral Home Chapel, West Plains, Missouri from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.