Ruth Bogaaard ’54 Van Voorhis

Iowa City – Ruth Jean Van Voorhis, formerly of Sioux City, passed away in Iowa City, IA, on January 30, 2021. Ruth was surrounded by her four loving children and their spouses throughout the time of her death. Though her family grieves her passing, they know that she lived a full and joyful life. A celebration of her life will be held this summer with family and close friends when it is once again possible to gather safely.

Ruth Van Voorhis was born on February 23, 1932, to Nicolas and Kate Bogaard in Orange City, Iowa. She completed a two-year teaching degree at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, before completing her bachelor’s degree at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She met her beloved husband, Lee, while teaching in Ames, Iowa. After their marriage in 1956, Ruth taught in Iowa City, IA, until she and Lee welcomed their first child. After moving around the country for Lee’s medical training and subsequent time in academic medicine, Ruth and Lee settled in Sioux City where they raised their children and cultivated lifelong friendships.

Ruth lived her Christian values and faith through her family, friends and community. She raised a warm and loving family while supporting her husband’s career. Ruth extended her care and generosity to her community through involvement in First Presbyterian Church, the Sioux City Symphony, the Boys and Girls Club, the Ronald McDonald House and other organizations. She found friendship and fellowship through her church, PEO and Questors. Her decades-long friendship with Sandy Sabel brought particular joy to her life.

Together with her husband, Ruth extended her warm hospitality to a wide variety of people over many decades, including exchange students from France, Brazil and Tanzania, aspiring tennis players and golfers, Viennese choir boys and the First Lady of Tanzania.

Ruth and Lee were the proud parents of four children: Brad (Toni) Van Voorhis, Laura (Ken) Goddard and Jane Van Voorhis (Kurt Anstreicher) of Iowa City and Susan (Jim) Bohnenkamp of Marion; nine grandchildren: Grace (Ben) Maddox, Emily (Sean) O’Hare, Peter Van Voorhis, Garrett (Sophie) Anstreicher, Caroline Van Voorhis, Nathan Goddard, Kate Anstreicher, Rachel Bohnenkamp and Connor Bohnenkamp; and four great-grandchildren: Evelyn Maddox, Gideon Maddox, Annie O’Hare and Rowan Anstreicher. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband and her four siblings and their spouses.

Ruth Van Voorhis leaves behind a legacy of love, generosity and a commitment to serving those less fortunate. Memorial gifts may be made to the Bird House in Iowa City, UnityPoint Health in Sioux City, Iowa, or the Ruth Van Voorhis Scholarship in care of the Siouxland Community Foundation.

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