Joseph E. Voges, 99, of Nebraska City, died Dec. 24, 2012 at Duff's Friend-ship Villa in Neb-raska City. Joe was born on March 15, 1913 in Nebraska City to William F. and Mary M. (Gude) Voges.
At the age of four, Joe's family moved to Wyoming where they farmed until returning to Nebraska in 1925. Joe graduated in 1930 and started to pursue his hobby of taxidermy shortly afterwards.
Joe worked at many jobs over the years. In 1938, Joe took over the Otoe Market and Cabins. During this time the camp had grown to 14 rooms, had automatic heat and air conditioning and was the first motel in the state to have television. Joe and his mother operated the business seven days a week until 1967.
Joe joined the Navy in 1942 with an advanced rate of 3rd Grade Storekeeper. He served on the Charrette Destroyer in Hawaii until his honorable discharge in 1945.
During his free time Joe worked on taxidermy. He owned and operated the Naturecraft Studios where he lived and did his taxidermy. When Joe first started not many practiced taxidermy commercially. For several years Joe was about the only well known taxidermist between Sioux City, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Mo., building up quite a permanent clientele.
He made many specimens for the the Nature Center in Nebraska City which he started in 1975. The Nature Center remains open today and has many tourists every year.
In 1958 Joe was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Otoe County Wildlife Club and served in that capacity until 1988. During this time the club moved from the original site overlooking the Missouri River on the east side of town to two and a half miles west of Nebraska City on 61 acres.
In an effort to get more involved with conservation, the majority of the acreage had 1,750 trees and shrubs planted the first year that were hoed and watered by hand, hauling water from town in thirty gallon cans. Seven nature trails, 400 species of plant life and wildlife abound on this property.
Joe is survived by four nephews: Duane Voges and wife Helen of New Castle, Calif., Richard Voges and wife Marguerite of Lincoln, Larry Voges and wife Arlene of Jacksonville, Fla., and Jack Forgace of New York; and other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Firmim and sister Dorothy.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Nebraska City with Fr. Mark Cyza and Steve Thomlison celebrating the mass. Burial will follow at St. Benedict's Cemetery in Nebraska City.
Military Services will be conducted by the US Navy Funeral Honors Detail.
A Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. on Friday evening at Gude Mortuary in Nebraska City.
Page 2 of 2 - Memorials may be given to the Nature Center in Nebraska City or St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nebraska City.
Gude Mortuary is in charge of the funeral arrangements.