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Jane Rhein Voos Ph.D.

1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Jane Rhein Voos Ph.D. Obituary
Jane Rhein Voos, Ph.D.

Rockaway - Jane Rhein Voos, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of William Paterson University died peacefully at the home of her daughter Lenore Tracey in Hopkinton, MA, on July 6, 2018. She was born October 2, 1927 Johanna Martha Rhein in Nuremberg, Germany to Josef and Caroline (nee Lebrecht) Rhein.

She came to the U.S. in 1947, having survived the bombing and destruction of Nuremberg. She graduated from Hunter College of the City of New York. Throughout her life, she actively supported public education, having been removed from high school in her native Germany (as one of the last two students with any "Jewish blood" left in the school.) She was an active community member, a founder of the local Head Start program, an elected member of the Board of Education, member of the League of Women Voters, and served as court clerk in Rockaway Township, New Jersey, where she lived from 1957 to 2004.

She married Henry Voos in 1950 with whom she raised three children. She returned from child-raising to her doctoral program in biology at Columbia University and completed her degree in 1968. She then began close to 40 years of teaching and administration in the biology department of William Paterson University. An academic entrepreneur before the term was coined, she was elected department chair multiple times. She was instrumental in starting programs in environmental science, electron microscopy, and other specialty areas. She was a tireless worker who led by example. In 2004, Jane retired and moved to Massachusetts to be closer to family members.

A microbiologist by training, she was a naturalist at heart, expressing a deep and ongoing curiosity about the mineral, animal, and vegetable worlds. She was famous as a source for identifying plants, mushrooms, and other biological curiosities for friends and neighbors near and far. She was able to grow nearly any plant from a cutting (and took great pleasure in taking cuttings wherever she wished, no matter the warnings), travelling with scissors and plastic bags for the purpose.

Jane R. Voos was predeceased by her divorced first husband, Henry Voos and by her long-time partner Neil Grant. She is survived by her children Lenore Tracey (John), Richard, Angela (John Rommereim); her five grandchildren: William (Rebecca), Nicholas (Jada Strother), and Owen Tracey, and Woody (Cyo Nystrom) and Cleo Schneider; her great grandson, Russell Tracey; and her loving nephews Walter, Peter, and Thomas Musliner and their families. Jane ("I never met a cat I didn't like") Voos is also survived by Bitsie, the last of a long line of much-loved cats.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hunter College of the City of New York ( or the Bay Path Humane Society (
Published in Daily Record from July 10 to July 11, 2018
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