Joanne Buhler Voth, 91, a resident of Rockingham, passed away Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at her home. Joanne was born Dec. 6, 1929, to Gerhard Buhler from Mountain Lake, Minn., and Leucile (Steiner) Buhler from Bluffton, Ohio.
She graduated from Bluffton College in 1951 with a degree in Elementary Education.
On Sept. 2, 1950, she married Leland Willis Voth, son of The Rev. William C. and Matilda (Kliewer) Voth in the First Mennonite Church, Bluffton, Ohio.
Joanne grew up in Bluffton, Ohio, and attended Bluffton College. She was an exchange student from Bluffton College to Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., where she met Leland Voth.
Joanne's goal in life was always to live for the Lord. She taught school in Columbus, Ohio, and in Freeman, S.D., while Leland taught at Freeman Junior College. After four years there, they went overseas to work at the Mennonite Vocational School for Orphan Boys, Kyungsan, Korea. They served 9 1/2 years there under the Mennonite Central Committee.
When Leland joined the Agency for International Development in 1967, they remained in Korea until being transferred to Laos. Joanne worked in Laos under the Lao church and also with UNICEF in producing a manual for teachers of preschool children. After their transfer to Zaire (DR Congo), she was active in leadership of the International Protestant Church and continued working in pre-school education with the government until she began working for the U.S. Embassy as the Community Liaison Officer.
While living back in the U.S. for five years, Joanne was active in the church and together with her husband helped develop small groups in a large growing church where they both served as lay pastors.
In 1985, they moved to Jamaica where Joanne worked for the U.S. Embassy in visiting American prisoners. After four years the Voths returned to the U.S. where Joanne became a volunteer spiritual counselor for women prisoners in the Fairfax County Jail, Fairfax, Va. She and Leland retired in 1993 to Bluffton, Ohio, where two of their children live. In 2000, they moved to Harrisonburg, Va., to be near their youngest daughter, Pamela, and her family. They joined the Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Praise Fellowship.
Surviving are four children, Nancy (Jerry) Suter of Pandora, Ohiio, David (Laura) Voth of Bluffton, Ohio, Pamela (Merlin) Shank of Harrisonburg, Va., and Kevin (Sandra) Voth of Atlanta, Ga.; sister, Ruth (Kenneth) Graber of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and seven nieces and nephews.
In addition to her in parents, Joanne was preceded in death by a brother, Sam Buhler; sister-in-law, Inez Buhler; sister, Genevieve Fast; brother-in-law, Peter Fast; and a grandson, Timothy Suter.
Those wishing to view and sign the register book may do so on Monday, April 12, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the funeral home. The family will be present.
A private memorial service will be held; however, those wishing to may watch the service by visiting her obituary online at www.mcmullenfh.com after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to www.cfk.org.
Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.mcmullenfh.com.
McMullen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.