Floral 16

Janice Vander Voort

March 19, 1938 ~ March 22, 2022 (age 84)

Obituary

Janice Lee (Beyer) Vander Voort was born March 19, 1938, in Prairie City, Iowa, the first-born child of Clarence Beyer and Clara Margaret (Jensma) Beyer. Growing up on the farm west of Prairie City, Janice worked outside with both her parents, in the garden, milking cows, harnessing horses and gathering eggs. She helped in the house too and like her mother, became an excellent cook and a skilled seamstress. Janice eventually had two younger sisters, Lana Kay and Jane Marie. Born in the Great Depression, a young girl during World War II, Janice contracted and recovered from Polio. Those were tough times, but she and her family were faithful and resilient.  Janice attended Cuckle Burr Country School, just across the road from her home and was the only student in her class. She participated in 4-H at a time when girls’ projects were limited to homemaking.  Her first two years of high school were in Prairie City, her last two years were at Pella Christian High School, where she played guard in 6 on 6 basketball and graduated with the class of 1956. Her family worshipped at the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church.

Sunday evening, May 9, 1954, a group of boys from Otley, Iowa, drove to Prairie City to see what they might see. In that car, was Daniel Vander Voort, along with his brother William and friend Lawrence Klyn. It was that evening, that Daniel met Janice, just outside the Reformed Church. Soon after, what would be a lifelong romance ensued. Daniel’s older brother William enjoyed telling of the Saturday night that he and Daniel first met Janice’s father Clarence, known around Prairie City as “Dutch.” Clarence was a hard-working man, powerfully built, and in those days, shaved only once a week for church on Sunday. Dark-eyed, deeply tanned, a cigar in the corner of his mouth, Clarence met the boys in his driveway. Clarence was a kind, good-natured man, a deacon in his church, but his rough, grizzled appearance made quite an impression on the boys and according to William, Daniel left with a keen understanding that Janice was one farmer’s daughter not to be trifled with.

On May 2, 1958, Janice and Daniel Renier Vander Voort were married at the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church, the Reverend Bossenbroek officiating.

Janice excelled in her studies at Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in Des Moines and graduated with an R.N. degree that same year.

As newlyweds, the couple made their home in Pella. Daniel worked as a mechanic at Ulrich Motors and Janice worked as a nurse at Pella Community Hospital. For most of her career, she worked at the Veteran’s Hospital in Knoxville, on the night shift. Janice was known, by both colleagues and patients, as a competent, compassionate caregiver.

As a young couple with no children, they enjoyed driving nice cars, boating in the summer and hunting together in the fall and winter. Daniel presented Janice with a single-shot Winchester .410 and was proud that his pretty, young bride harvested not just squirrels and rabbits but even a rooster pheasant on the wing with her little shotgun.

Their marriage was blessed with two children, Laurie Rene and Jeffrey Daniel. As a young family they enjoyed camping and riding dirt bikes, Yamahas exclusively. Colorado was always a favorite destination for Janice. She was captivated by the mountains and later when she and Daniel had the chance to travel to Europe, she loved the mountains of Austria.

What she’d learned on the farm as a child served her the rest of her life, helping with the care of cows and calves, gardening, canning, cooking and sewing. An excellent cook, she prepared anything and everything Daniel and Jeffrey brought home from their hunting forays. Her cheesecake and sour cream raisin pies received recognition at the Iowa State Fair and her birthday cakes and French silk pies won the hearts and minds of her grandchildren. Each of her grandchildren, and even some of their friends, received quilts from “Grandma Jan” fashioned from the numerous t-shirts they’d collected from their years in sports. She served on the Tulip Time Dutch Costume Committee, employing her meticulous attention to detail in outfitting the Queen and her court and she quilted with other ladies at Third Reformed Church until very near the end of her life.   

In retirement, they wintered in South Texas several years, but largely, their entertainment revolved around the activities of their six grandchildren. Birthdays, Christmas programs, graduations and weddings, of course, but mostly their athletic activities. Golf, soccer, track and field, softball, baseball, volleyball, football, basketball, wrestling, CrossFit, even motocross…Janice and Daniel attended hundreds of sporting events. Janice grew up shooting baskets in a hay mow and watched her grandchildren do it at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Janice loved life in the country. She cultivated iris beds started from bulbs she’d received from her grandmother Maude Jensma and planted many rose bushes. The changing of the seasons, the cows and calves, especially the Brown Swiss, dogs, cats and kittens, wild birds at her feeder, deer…she loved these things. A couple things she didn’t care for, were possums and raccoons. She and Daniel had that in common and even in her eighties, Janice was quick to head for a shotgun and a handful of shells when a coon was spotted. Oh, and she loved to have her nails done.

The beauty of the natural world spoke to her. It spoke of a Creator, her Creator and Janice longed for more. The Bible calls us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Janice chose, rightly so, to interpret that passage literally, in opening her home to and caring for, her mother and father-in-law in their latter years, and later, her mother as well.  She volunteered as a nurse at the free clinic; went on mission trips to Honduras and the Rosebud Indian Reservation; made meals and sent notes of encouragement to neighbors, old friends, new friends, anyone she felt was in need. If you were the recipient of her homemade buns and maybe home-grown tomatoes, surely you were tempted to postpone your recovery in hopes Janice would come back with another round. To her family, and everyone who knew her, she modeled hard work, conscientiousness and compassion for those in need.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Clara Beyer of Prairie City, Iowa, her parents-in-law, William and Wilmina (Dieleman) Vander Voort of Otley, Iowa, three sisters-in-law: Ann (Sabin) Vander Voort of Houston, Texas, Gerdena (Vander Voort) Woodson of Burlington, Iowa, and Christina (Vander Voort) Broyles of Dallas, Texas; four brothers-in-law: Joseph Broyles of Dallas, Texas, Wayne Woodson of Burlington, Iowa, Alvin Keuning of Monroe, Iowa, and William Vander Voort of Houston, Texas.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Daniel Vander Voort of Pella, a sister Lana (Beyer) Keuning of Monroe, Iowa; sister and brother-in-law Jane (Beyer) Victor and Mike Victor of Adel, Iowa, a sister-in-law Carol Vander Voort of Houston, Texas; two children: Laurie (Vander Voort) Haynes and husband Mike Haynes of Pella, and son Jeffrey Vander Voort and wife Christi (Koopman) Vander Voort, also of Pella; six grandchildren: Ashley Nicole (Gritters) Allers and husband Matthew David Allers of Webster City, Iowa, Brooke Ann Gritters of Pella, Jeffrey Matthew Vander Voort and wife Brooke Catherine (Fessler) Vander Voort of Pella, Wyatt Daniel Vander Voort and wife Angela Lynn (Hartford) Vander Voort of Woodland, California, Faith Christine (Vander Voort) Leander and husband Thomas Christian Leander of Washington, D.C., and Jack Charles Vander Voort and fiancée Jacqueline Elise Mace of San Antonio, Texas; three great-grandchildren: Laken Oshie Allers of Webster City, Iowa; Jeffrey Robert Vander Voort and Jane Catherine Vander Voort of Pella, with three more great-grandchildren due in May, along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and dear friends.  

 

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Services

Public Visitation
Sunday
March 27, 2022

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
1301 Main Street
Pella, IA 50219

Visitation With Family Present
Sunday
March 27, 2022

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
1301 Main Street
Pella, IA 50219

Funeral Service
Monday
March 28, 2022

10:00 AM
Third Church
708 East 13th Street
Pella, IA 50219

Interment following funeral service
Monday
March 28, 2022

Graceland Cemetery
Hwy T-14
Pella, IA 50219

Donations

Third Church - Quilting and Gardening
Pella IA

Family for a memorial bench
Pella IA

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