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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.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark Hahn
    August 9, 2020 @ 10:54 am

    Joe, always Mr. Voss to me, was my high school Biology teacher. He was the high school teacher that had the greatest impact on me and my future. He encouraged my interest in the subject and inspired much needed confidence in my potential to pursue a career in a related field. I ended up retiring from my own career as a high school science teacher. Among many other lessons, he taught me that developing a relationship with the individual is more important than teaching the student.
    We also had a mutual interest in the outdoors and the environment, especially the western mountains. Mr. Voss was always quick to engage me in conversation on the subject and inspire me to actively explore the outdoors. We even made a trip to Colorado together to hike up Long’s Peak and for many years we continued to correspond about whatever “adventures” each of us had experienced. I have returned to the area many times since. In fact, I was there when I learned of his passing.
    The world has lost a very good man and I have lost a mentor.

    Reply

  2. Kathy Beaty
    August 10, 2020 @ 3:37 pm

    So sorry to hear of his passing.
    He was so kind and helpful at the store.
    May he rest in peace.
    Your in my thoughts and prayers.
    Kathy (Bray) Cozort-Beaty

    Reply

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