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Donald J. Voss

Donald J. Voss, 89, husband of Rose (Pinto) Voss of Rowley, and Jensen Beach, FL, died Tuesday (July 18, 2017) in the Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport following his brief illness.

In addition to his wife Rose of 56 years he is survived by his daughter, Jacqueline V. Lees  and her husband Paul Lees of Rowley; three grandchildren, Olivia Rose, Rachel Anne  and P.J. Lees all of Rowley and many nephews and nieces. He was the brother of the late Robert and Edward Voss, Jennie Hunt and Mary Burgarella all formerly of West Haven, CT.

Don was born (April 21, 1928) in West Haven, CT son of the late Jackion C. and Jennie (Triano) Voss.  He was raised in West Haven.  Don attended and graduated high school in West Haven.  He began working with his father as a carpenter briefly and then joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 24 in 1945 where he earned a Life Time Member Designation after 50 years.  He served as the Treasurer of Local 24 for many years.  Donís strong affiliation with the Union bred his commitment to ensure he and his family bought American made products.

Don served in as a Seaman in the Merchant Marines in the early 1950s.  He was proud of his service and often told his family stories of his time at sea; many of which included how he stole into the kitchen at night to sneak ice cream from the cookís locked freezer; an offense worthy of court martial.  He often engaged in serious and dangerous work on the ship but made a point of telling the lightest of tales to his family; an indication of his ever-present optimism.

In 1960, he met Rose.  Once they decided to marry, they began to build their home on Voss Road in West Haven.  Donís father was a general contractor who wanted his children to live close and gave each child a lot of land. Don and Rose built their house amidst Donís family.  The house he built was one of his proudest achievements even in the face of his work life as a Master Carpenter and Millwright who built power plants, hospitals and bridges.

Don and Rose raised their only child, Jackie, in West Haven.  While living in West Haven, Don served as a member of the West Haven Planning and Zoning Commission and as the Volunteer Fire Chief of the West Haven Fire Department.  He still carried his badge in the car if he ever ďgot stopped.Ē

After he retired, Rose and Don spent many years at Nettles Island, Florida where they enjoyed a robust social life.  There were many afternoons in those early years lingering with friends on the dock, visiting and at the pool.  Don joined the Menís Club and Fishing Club at Nettles Island and often helped at the infamous fish fry on the Grand Canal.

In 1996, Rose and Don moved from Connecticut to Rowley, Massachusetts and built an in-law apartment annexed to Jackie and Paulís house.  In Rowley, they were an integral part of all aspects of Jackie and Paulís life.  Don was passionate about his family and instilled a strong family commitment.  Donís grandchildren were lucky to have lived with him their whole life and everyone looked forward to family dinners every night and a mean game of cards. 

Don was passionate about hunting, history and reading.   He also took pride in what his family called his corny jokes and had a very dry sense of humor.  Don could fix anything, figure out how anything worked and was generous with his skill and effort.  He was gentle, compassionate, intuitive, wise and patient.

His funeral will be held 10 am Monday, July 24 from the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich followed by the 11 am  Funeral Mass of Christian Burial in St. Maryís Church, 202 Main St., Rowley. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours will be Sunday 4 to 7 pm.  Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Endicott Team at Partners HealthCare at Home; Development Office 1575 Cambridge Street, 5th Floor  Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 952-6880.

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