Kansas City lost a small but mighty civic leader on September 1, 2022. The erudite and gracious Antoinette “Toni” Voss of Kansas City, MO died peacefully at the NorthCare Hospice House in North Kansas City following an acute bout of pneumonia with complications from COPD. She was 90 years old.
Born on August 7, 1932 in New York, Toni lived most of her early life in Nazareth, PA with her parents, Catherine and Edgar Person. She was a voracious reader and graduated top of her class from Nazareth High School in 1950. She then moved to Philadelphia to study nursing at the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing. Toni earned her BSN degree from the University of Pennsylvania and finally a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University in 1969. While yet a student at Columbia, Toni met her “Beloved,” James Walton Voss. Toni married Jim on June 17, 1971, after a spontaneous “How about we get married today?” proposal from Jim. Per Toni’s conditions, they wed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Nazareth, with Toni’s parents, the pastor, and his wife in attendance. The hamburger-and-fries meal from McDonald’s following their wedding became their anniversary ritual meal.
Toni led a life of service. She spent most of her professional career working in supervisory positions within home health care agencies, in New York, Colorado and Kansas City. Toni devoted much energy to a variety of civic initiatives and organizations in greater Kansas City including the Heart of America United Way, Platte County Health Department, Northland Health Care Access (which she helped launch), the Salvation Army, Partnership for Children, Platte County Eleemosynary Society, Citizens Association, Northland Coalition, Platte County Women’s Exchange, Northland United Way Services and Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs – Art and Literature Club. Toni held leadership positions in most of these organizations, but also volunteered for tasks including fielding telephone inquiries or taking meeting minutes. One of her long-standing passions was the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Kansas City. Toni also was active in outreach efforts in her congregation, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, KCMO.
Toni believed a robust democracy required an informed and thoughtful citizenry as well as its “elbow grease.” To this end, Toni not only volunteered with the LWV but also worked on the campaigns of political candidates and office holders. Toni focused her efforts on the vulnerability of women and children with respect to health care.
Toni’s endeavors did not go unnoticed. She received numerous awards–regional and national–for her contributions to the public good.
A dashing pair, Toni and Jim loved to hit the dance floor whenever occasion provided one. They raised a toy poodle, Buttons Voss, who loved to travel with them in Toni’s purse or Jim’s coat pocket. They became beloved adopted grandparents to several friends’ children, spoiling them into adulthood. After her father died, Toni (and Jim) invited her mother, Catherine, to move to Kansas City. She lived with them until her death in 2000.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She will be missed by her sister-in-law, Rosa Voss, and many family-like friends including Jefferson, Dani, Jake and Liam Wolfe, Robert Wolfe and Bill Wolfe and families, Kathleen Cross, Robert and Harriet McGarvey, Joe and Nicholas Bock, Jessica Sarin and Susan Lyke.
A Memorial Service will be held for Toni 11:00 a.m, Saturday, September 10, 2022 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5409 NW 72nd St. KCMO 64151. In lieu of flowers, you are encouraged to make a donation in her name to either Gloria Dei Lutheran Church or the League of Women Voters of Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties at Treasurer, PO Box 10416, Kansas City, MO 64171-0416 or click the donate button at this website to find Toni’s link https://www.lwvkc.org.