Emma Emilia (Gavenat) Voigt passed away on Sept. 5, 2018 at the age of 95 at Bethany Home, Lindsborg, Kansas. Emma had a long and eventful life living in 3 different countries during both turbulent war and peace.
She was gorn Jan.8, 1923 on a family farm near Dambowa, Lithuania to parents Johann and Anna (Pakul) Gavenas who had earlier met and married in the United States, then returned to newly independent Lithuania to support and care for the older generation.
Emma had two older brothers, Johann (Johnny) and Emil Gavenas who were born in Connecticut, and are now both deceased.
In her early years, Emma apprenticed to learn tailoring with a local business in Mariampole, Lithuania.
After her father died at an early age of 47 from cancer, Emma found herself in Germany working towards achieving her Master’s license in tailoring. She endured the ravages of World War Two while employed in a dress shop owned by an elderly matron who needed a young model with useful skills. With determination and hard work, she survived bombings and conflagration that many did not. After the war she attained her master’s license.
During trade school,she met her future husband, Richard F. M. Voigt who was likewise pursuing a master’s license in his specialty. They were married in May of 1947 and immigrated to the United States in time for Christmas 1949. A son, also named Richard, was born in 1954.
Her husband, a gifted toolmaker, passed away in 1987 after a long fight with lung cancer.
Emma is survived by her son Richard H Voigt and his wife Mary of rural McPherson County, Kansas and six grandchildren: Emily A. Voigt and her husband Rudi (Aniruddha Bhargava) in Seattle Washington, Elizabeth E Antoine and her husband, Guillaume, in Evian les Bains France near Switzerland, Katerina R. Voigt and Victoria T. Voigt near Madison, Wisconsin, Richard “Ben” Voigt in Alvin Texas and Thomas W. Voigt in Olathe.
All of her grandchildren are engineers.
A memorial service to celebrate Emma’s life will be held with family members at a future date.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Bethany Home Association and can be sent in care of the Glidden - Ediger Funeral Home; 222 W. Euclid St.; McPherson, KS 67460.