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Jacqueline L. Voyles

March 7, 1924 December 12, 2020
Jacqueline L. Voyles
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Obituary for Jacqueline L. Voyles

Jacqueline Louise Markey Voyles lived ninety-six years, just a little shy of reaching her goal of being on the Smucker’s Jar.

Her parents, Laura Shipinski(Gray) and Lawrence G. Markey met in Detroit waiting for the streetcar. Nine years after they were married Jackie was born in Detroit on March 7, 1924.

In February of 1928 Jackie’s mom died when she was only three years old. Jackie would recall her dad teaching her to count, reading stories and playing games by shaking pennies. The early years were difficult, Laura passing, the stock market crashing in 1929, her dad building a construction business.

When the time came for Jackie to start school, she started kindergarten at Noble school at the young age of four. She went to Noble for one semester and then went to St Mary's Academy in Ontario. Jackie enjoyed school and said the nuns treated her very well. Jackie stayed at St Mary's until she finished the seventh grade. She returned to the states to live with her father, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister.

After graduating from Cass Technical High School, Jackie went to work at Chrysler in quality control for gauges, this was during WWII. When she was 18, she received a job transfer to Chicago. She stayed in Chicago for a couple years and then returned to Detroit

In October of 1945 Jackie was invited by her stepsister to a party. The group was meeting at a bar and another girl was needed to balance the numbers. It was that night that she met Robert Edward Voyles, her future husband. They went to the party with the others but left early and went to a bar and talked for hours. They saw each other almost everyday after that and just before Christmas, Bob proposed. They were married in February 1946.

Bob was working selling industrial electronics and Jackie had quit working before they were married. Their first child John arrived in July, 47.

Jackie, Bob, & John moved into a house on Stahelin that her dad had built and owned for a brief time and then contracted a builder to build a house for them. Even though her dad did not build the house, he approved the plans and would visit the site often checking on the progress. They moved into the house on Lindsey very shortly after the birth of their second child Kathleen in May 1950.

The Voyles family grew over the next few years; Marjorie was born in 1952, Donald born in 1955 and Anne Marie arrived in 1959.

Times were hard and money was in short supply, despite Bob's good wage. They started attending Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and this provided much needed support, especially for Jackie. Jackie wanted to stay home and care for her children and was determined to do just that. She had always said she would stay a homemaker until they were out of bread and water and the day came when they were out of bread. Jackie found a job within walking distance from home. She worked at Pheney Glass for several years as a clerk.

In 1968 she began working at Wayne State University. She was soon doing bookkeeping, working on ledgers and accounts payable. The grant that she was working on was transferred from Wayne State to Wayne County and Jackie was transferred with the grant. She smiles as she says it worked out wonderful for her, because the pay and benefits were much better.

Despite many attempts for reconciliation and trying to make their marriage work, Bob and Jackie divorced in 1973. Jackie continued to work for Wayne County and care for her two children still living at home.

Jackie retired from Wayne County in 1986 and started the best years of her life. She loved being retired and has many good memories and made many wonderful friends and lived in three great senior housing complexes. She lived at St David’s Gate in Plymouth, Presbyterian Village in Pontiac and most recently at The American House in Pontiac. Her schedule was always full as she attended many of the daily activities offered. Many a night she could be found playing cards with friends and during the day when the weather was right, she was gardening. Gardening was always one of Jackie's loves. She raised money for the Garden Club at the village and she was president of the Garden Club and instrumental in having the gazebo built by the clubhouse.

Jackie had the opportunity to travel during her retirement years. She purchased a pop-up camper and then a mobile home that she vacationed at in the summers in Port Austin. She traveled with her friends and her children to many places both in the United States and Europe. Her favorite stop was Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. She visited the monument on the fourth of July while there was a concert and fireworks; it made it extra special. Jackie's favorite family vacation was a trip around Michigan in a pop-up camper when the kids were young.

Entertaining, parties, and get-togethers were another thing Jackie enjoyed. This probably started in her childhood, as she recalls her parents always hosting gatherings. Christmas was Jackie's favorite holiday. She remembered Christmas celebrations being special even when she was young. Even now, Jackie's small apartment was overtaken by Santa's and decorations. She loved having people over and celebrating this special time of year.

Jackie is most proud of her children. She had five children, eight grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. She took great pride in all their accomplishments.

After living ninety-six years, she saw many changes in this world. The thing that most fascinated her was man's travel to space. She would exclaim "that was amazing!"

Jackie’s faith was especially important to her and she said she depended on her faith every day. Her best advice was “Be kind; things aren't important.” Family and friends were particularly important to Jackie. When asked what five things she couldn’t live without, she replied, “my children, I wouldn't want to lose any of my children".

Jackie was preceded in death by her son John Edward, and is survived by her children Kathleen Voyles (John Prentice), Marj (Bob) Knurick, Don (Beth) Voyles, Anne (Mike) Kinsler, and John's life partner, Joe Kelly. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and many friends.

She touched many lives with her kindness and reaching out to people in need, even when she had little to give. Her footprints will be forever in our hearts and she will be missed.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Hugo of the Hills, 2215 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 10:30am. Seating is limited. Burial will follow in Grand Lawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.

Memorials may be made to Little Sister of Charity or the American Cancer Society.

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