Miss_Julia_Kabance headshotOn a perfect summer day with the sun shining brightly, numerous cars were traveling across Kansas to Our Lady of the Snows, a small secluded church nestled inside the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation. Members of the community and folks from as far as Kansas City gathered to join PBPN tribal member Julia Kabance in the celebration of her 106 years of life.

A petite and lively lady, Kabance is the oldest member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, one of a handful of remaining Native American Veterans from WWII and a life member of American Legion We-Ta-Se Post 410.

She was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in 1910, the eleventh of 12 children born to Frank and Mary Kabance.Copy of Julia Y Kabance young army photo

She began serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1943 during World War II and was stationed at McChord Air Force Base, Washington in the Adjutant Corps. She became a disabled Veteran by 1945, due to the loss of her hearing.

At the birthday party hosted by the American Legion We-Ta-Se Post 410, Kabance received a few noteworthy gifts. The first was a beautifully beaded medallion on behalf of the PBPN Tribal Council. The second was a lapel pin of a small set of dog tags presented on behalf of VA’s Women’s Health Program. Accompanying the pin was a framed photo of Kabance from her days in service with well wishes from the staff of the Topeka VA hospital written on the photo matting.

“I sure don’t look like that anymore,” as she looked at her photo and gently laughed.

In addition to her health care, Kabance has a strong connection with the Topeka VA hospital. She volunteered there for 17 years –  serving her fellow Veterans in the medical center while representing both the American Legion in nursing services and the Disabled American Veterans is the physical medicine and rehabilitation services.

After receiving her gifts, Kabance provided an eloquent narrative regarding her life. She talked about how gratifying volunteer work has been for her and the patients at Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka. She encouraged everyone to remember and visit their elders. Then, it was time for cake and ice cream.

About the author: Michelle Simon is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

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Published on Sep. 14, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 113


  1. Carl Schlichting September 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

    You are an awesome Role Model that this generation should look up to. May you live another 106. You are blessed and a blessing.

  2. Louis Pacifico September 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    God Bless You.

  3. Gayle Laible September 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    God Bless You!!! Happy Birthday to an incredible woman.
    Gayle Laible

  4. Ava Mitchell September 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    God has blessed you all these years and he will continue too
    Thank you for your services of protection.
    Blessings and love and Happy Birthday.

  5. Clarke McKeever September 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Happy days and happy life Ms. Kabance. Your life and are a benchmark for all of those coming after you. You have reminded me of my mother who gave her life in a similar fashion. Happy Birthday and many more days!

    Clarke McKeever
    79th Tac Ftr Sqdn
    RAF Upper Heyford, Oxford, England
    1973 to 1975
    U.S. Air Force

  6. Grant Davis September 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    God bless you young lady from the retired US Navy.

  7. Grant Davis September 16, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Congrats Sgt Kabance ,for a dedicated life to be remembered by all.

  8. Candee Marrone September 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Happy birthday to a honorable lady who has served her country as well as our Veterans. Kudos to you, your heritage, your tribe, and the woman that you became ♡

  9. Joan Dube September 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Happy Birthday and thank you for your service Ms Kabance! My Mom Muriel is 100 and was in the Womens Air corp 1943 – 45. She served in Tampa.

  10. David Loppi September 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Happy Birthday Julia and many more may GOD bless and watch over you,and thank you for your service

  11. Sharon Vernon September 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    A very Happy Belated Birthday to a lady that has left a legacy to be remembered for her military service and a willingness to serve veterans after her discharge.


    Sharon Vernon
    Program Director
    Health and Social Services
    Swords to Plowshares

  12. Stephen Dohrmann September 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Best wishes to you, Julia! Thanks so very much for your service “beyond the call!”
    You’re an inspiration to all vets!
    Happy birthday and many, many more to come.

  13. kevin goodrich September 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Congrats young lady

  14. Steve Shaw September 16, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Congratulations on a long and prosperous life. Thank you for your service. I wish you a very happy journey through life.

  15. desert September 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

    May God bless this fine lady!! In fact, HE HAS!

  16. Dolores Rose M Coop September 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

    For Julia Kabance:

    Kchi Megwetch, SSG Kabance! Nishingwa!

    From DAV #40 Adjutant, Fort Wayne, IN

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