Kabance celebrating her 109th birthday in 2019
|Birth:||10 August 1910|
Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, Jackson County, Kansas, USA
|Age:||111 years, 43 days|
Julia Y. Kabance (born 10 August 1910) is an American supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group. A former member of the Women’s Army Corps, she is the oldest known living female American veteran of World War II.
Early Life and Military Service
A Native American, Kabance was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in Jackson County, Kansas, on 10 August 1910. She was named after her older sister, Julia Kabance (1888–1896) who died at age 7. She was the 11th of 12 children born to Frank and Mary Kabance, and she grew up on a farm on the reservation near Holton, Kansas. She went to Haskell Indian Nations University (then called Haskell Institute) and attended the University of Kansas for a semester, but had to drop out because she did not have enough money to continue.
Kabance joined the U.S. Army on 17 March 1943, at age 32, becoming part of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She remained in the Army for 33 months, serving as a clerical worker, primarily in Tacoma, Washington. Her hearing became impaired after contracting measles in 1945.
After leaving the Army, Kabance went back to Kansas to take care of her mother, who died four years later. She returned to work shortly thereafter, first for the Air Force in Topeka until the base closed. She then worked in accounting, first for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington state, and then on the East Coast, then back to the Northwest. She also spent a lot of time volunteering with the Catholic Church.
Kabance never married and had no children. She retired in 1972 while living in Fort Lewis, Washington. She lived independently in her home in St. Marys, Kansas until February 2019, when a leg wound affected her mobility, forcing her to move to a nursing home in Wamego, Kansas. In November 2019, she became the first Native American to receive the Distinguished Citizen Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. She celebrated her 110th birthday in August 2020. Kabance is the second-oldest known living World War II veteran in the United States, after Lawrence Brooks.
Her oldest brother James Kabance (1894–1996) lived to be 101.
- James Frank Kabance Find A Grave
- 108-year-old woman among few Native American WWII veterans Associated Press, 12 April 2019
- 108-year-old Kansas woman on World War II, staying single WIBW, 20 May 2019
- 108-year-old WWII vet remains committed to a life of service Sanford Health, 17 June 2019
- Good Samaritan story comes full circle for 108-year-old (video) Good Samaritan Society, 15 July 2019
- PBPN Member Kabance Celebrates 109th Birthday Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, 9 August 2019
- Kansas WWII veteran celebrates 109th birthday WIBW, 9 August 2019
- Meet Julia Kabance... Kelli Peltier KSNT on Facebook, 13 November 2019
- I need your help Facebook friends!! My Great Aunt Julia turns 110... Annie Kabance on Facebook, 29 July 2020
- On May 2, 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting Julia Kabance. a then 108 year old veteran... President, Department of Kansas, American Legion Auxiliary on Facebook, 3 August 2020
- This beautiful young lady is 110 years of age today... Topeka VA Medical Center on Facebook, 10 August 2020
- Kansas WWII veteran surprised with parade on 110th birthday The Union Journal, 12 August 2020
- TTiwenmo Eginigyen - Happy Birthday to our oldest member, veteran Julia Kabance! Cheers to 111 years! Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation on Facebook, 11 August 2021