Carol Roden ’68 Van’t Hof
Carole Sue Van’t Hof (Roden), age 72, of Grand Rapids passed away peacefully surrounded by family the evening of April 24, 2019.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on November 27, 1946, Carole is the daughter of Edward Thomas Roden and Grace Hoekstra Roden Voit. She attended Thornridge High School, class of 1964, where she excelled as a student, graduating as her class salutatorian. Carole later enrolled at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where she was an outstanding student, earning a BA Degree and a teaching certificate.
She met the love of her life and future husband, Paul, at Hope College, and upon Carole’s graduation from Hope in 1968, she and Paul moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Carole began, served and completed her fulfilling and 37-year-long career as an educator of lower-elementary children at Kentwood Public Schools in Grand Rapids. There she developed her talents and acumen as an educator beautifully and with distinction, earning accolades such as Teacher of the Year, and pioneering practices in early childhood education. Carole believed all children could learn and was utterly devoted to the development and education of young minds. She used her gifts to touch and nurture the lives of countless students.
Two of the children she touched most were her children, Jonathan Paul Van’t Hof (Samuel Taylor), of Washington DC, and Sarah Grace Van’t Hof-Laughter (David Laughter), of Grand Rapids, who survive. She is survived by her devoted and loving husband, Paul Leon Van’t Hof, whom Carole married on August 12, 1967 in South Holland, Illinois. Also surviving are Carole’s two brothers, Ronald (Debra) Roden, and Raymond (Karen) Roden, all of Grand Rapids and a number of beautiful nieces and nephews. Carole was a friend to whomever she encountered and her concept of family extended well beyond the immediate. S
he approached life with gratitude and optimism, even in times of hardship, which propelled her through a long battle with cancer. Carole loved to garden, go antiquing, research genealogy and travel with her family.