OBITUARY: Helen M. Voth

Helen M. Voth, 96, died April 6, 2020, at Newton Medical Center. Helen was born March 21, 1924, south of Belmont on a typical Kansas day, she liked to say, that involved snow, wind, rain and sun. She was the daughter of Fred E. Voran and Edna Graber Voran.

Helen grew up in a musical family where everyone sang and played an instrument. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood and loved to share stories of her rural life.

In 1942, Helen met her future husband, Dr. Orville Voth, at Bethel College, and they married Jan 7, 1945. During their marriage of 63 years and Orville’s professional career, they moved 18 times in six states. Helen made friends easily, and through every move, friendships were formed that stayed the course of time.  Orville and Helen’s last move together was to a Schowalter Villa duplex in Hesston where they met new and wonderful friends. Orville died shortly after this move in 2008. Helen moved in a Schowalter Villa nursing unit in January 2020.

The four daughters born to the marriage can affirm memories of their mother sitting at the piano and belting out a tune or two. Helen loved music but was afflicted with Meniere’s Syndrome in her 50s. Meniere’s affected her inner ear, which robbed her of balance, hearing and her musical life. Through a cochlear implantation, she acquired some hearing but was unable to continue with her musical interests. She managed to smile and make others smile.

Helen devoted her life to be a good wife and mother. She loved her volunteer work at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, often offering stories of her experiences. Her infliction with Meniere’s Syndrome also forced her resignation from that adventure.

She was preceded in death by brothers, Dallas Voran, Robrt (Bob) Voran and Paul (Bud) Voran.

She leaves behind a sister, Mary Lou Gaeddert (John), and sister-in-law Lois Strong. She also leaves behind daughters Judy Fisk, Marian Rice, Kathryn Voth (Neil McChesney) and Peggy Voth, six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many unrelated relatives of the heart.

Following cremation, a private graveside service will be at Restlawn Cemetery, Newton. A celebration of Helen’s life may be planned at a later time.

Memorials in Helen’s name may be made to the Hearing Health Foundation 575 8th Avenue #1201, New York, N.Y., 10018-3011 or left in care of Petersen Funeral Home in Newton.

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