Kaethe Voigt, 91, of Manteca, passed away peacefully on the evening of
September 19th, 2013.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Werner Voigt and her
grandson Zachary Grow.
Born to Otto and Elise Dietrich in 1922 in the cultural center of Weimar,
Germany, Kaethe was the eldest of 11 children. As a young woman, she was
more likely to read Goethe and Schiller than sew dresses. She preferred working in a dental office than at a bank. She loved her family, took a
genuine interest in people, and made lifelong friends.
She married the dashing Werner Voigt in 1943 and raised six beautiful
daughters, Helgard, Evelyn, Angie, Kathy, Marlis and Tanya with him until 1967 when Werner passed away from cancer. With 26 grandchildren and 100
great grandchildren, Kaethe’s legacy will be felt for generations.
Survivors of World War II, Kaethe and Werner escaped occupied East Germany
in 1948, holding fast to the dream of settling in Salt Lake City, which they did in 1951. In 1955, she became a US Army wife and made a home in Huntsville, AL; Anchorage, AK; Frankfurt, Germany; and Hayward, CA. She finally settled in Manteca in 1989. She graduated from Chabot College in 1977, retired from Alta Health Strategies in 1989, celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall, twice visited the Passion Play in Oberammergau in 1990 and 2010, and celebrated her 90th birthday at the beach in Asilomar with family,
friends, and a dune buggy wheel chair. She loved sunflowers, daffodils, and violets, “Gruenespeise” and Stollen, Beethoven’s 9th and Handel’s Messiah. She spent her life in service to that
which she loved most; the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her family. “Well, as long as you have your health and each other, that’s all that
matters”, she often said. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for famil, and those with whom she became newly acquainted immediately felt like family. “Omi”, as her grandchildren and great grandchildren called her, was both a title and a term of endearment. Her warmth, generosity, and compassion
quickly turned countless strangers into friends who also came to simply call her “Omi”. Her peaceful home, the hint of Chanel 19 and the echoes of many happy conversations in the air, was well stocked with shelves of books, Hummel
figurines, peppermint and butterscotch candies, a gumball machine, and an
endless supply of pennies. It became a Mecca for generations of family and
friends on both sides of the Atlantic. No trip to California or to America,
for that matter, would be complete without visiting Omi. At Christmas time, the books and figurines were replaced with delicate
“pyramiden”, colorful nutcrackers, and wistful wooden smokers, and entirely
too many people were happily crammed into her home to sing hymns and carols, re-enact the Nativity scene, and give gifts to one another. Not unacquainted with hardship and heartache, Kaethe taught her family determination and resilience. “We don’t give up”, she would say.
Tribulations notwithstanding, she recognized the hand of Providence in her life and had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Whether on her knees in silent prayer, singing in the Messiah, or sharing her inspiring
experiences with youth around California, Kaethe lived a life of love and
service. Her gratitude was boundless; her example, enduring, her family,
forever. In recalling her life, she recognized the difficulties but focused
on her many, many blessings, sweetly echoing her dear Werner, “Didn’t we
have a happy time? “Yes Omi, we DID have a happy time!
Memorial Services for Kaethe will be held Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 10 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1233 Northgate Dr.,
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Perpetual Education Fund,
1450 N. University Avenue
Provo, UT 84604
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Tuesday, September 24, 2013