Doris Genevieve Brokaw was born on May 2, 1918, in Somerville, New Jersey, the first child of J. Raymond and Jessie (Streng) Brokaw. She began her education in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School in 1936.
During the summer of 1936 her family came to visit their cousins in Iowa and during that time she met George William Van de Voort. Education continued to be a priority for Doris as she continued her education at the New Jersey College for Women in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which was a part of Rutgers University, and graduated from there with a major in mathematics and a minor in physics on June 1, 1940. While in college Doris performed a senior organ recital and earned Phi Beta Kappa Key honors. Following her graduation she and George were united in marriage on June 19, 1940, at the Second Reformed Church in
Somerville. Following their marriage they made their home on the Century family farm east of Pella, Iowa where George was born. Doris and George raised their seven children there: Jessie Lou, George William Jr., Glen Brokaw, John Albert, Alice Jeanne, David Alan and Lee Douglas; and provided advanced education for all of them. In addition to being a devoted mother and encourager, she continued to use her talents in various and multiple ways playing the piano and organ for church and other organizations in the Pella community.
They were members of the First Reformed Church in Pella until the family became part of a new congregation, the Trinity Reformed Church. Doris was active in the church activities there including Adult Choir, Ladies Guild, and the children’s education programs. She was active in the Central College Auxiliary and the Pella Community Hospital Auxiliary, of which she had served as president for a time.
On August 23, 1983, her husband, George, passed away at the age of 74 years. During her retirement years Doris accompanied the Sonshine Children’s Choir and served as an Elder at the Trinity Reformed Church. She remained active doing volunteer work for Work of Our Hands, and for Literacy Army for the Pella Community Schools. Doris resided in Pella on Peace Street until becoming a resident of the Pella Manor, Fairhaven East and then Jefferson Place. On Saturday morning, November 30, 2013, she passed away at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella at the age of 95 years.
Doris was the mother of seven children and grandmother to 12 grandchildren and great-grandmother to 5 great-grandchildren. They and their families are Jessie (William) Madden, Rock Island, IL, Joseph and Laura Madden, Newton, George and Julie Van de Voort, Ellijay, GA, BethAnne Van de Voort, Milton, GA, Holly and Troy Border, Statham, GA, Heather and Richard Ellison, Marietta, GA, Thomas, David Ellison, Glen Van de Voort, Waldport, OR, John and Deborah Van de Voort, Shawnee, KS, Erica and Jeremy Rasti, Baton Rouge, LA, Erin and Austin Nichols, Kansas City, KS, Alice and Robert Curl, Des Moines, Nathaniel and Deanna Curl, Bettendorf, Ila Curl, Andrew Curl, Des Moines, Jennifer and Kyle Luttgeharm, Lincoln, NE, David and Mary Vande Voort, Waunakee, WI, Scott and Amanda Vande Voort, Birchwood, WI, Emma Halverson, Benjamin Vande Voort, Steven Vande Voort, Mikana, WI, Bradley Vande Voort, Waunakee, WI, Lee and Pamela Vande Voort, Pella.
Of her original family Doris leaves her sister-in-law, Helen (Theodore) Brokaw of Canton, Pennsylvania. She was preceded in death by her husband, George W. Van de Voort; her son-in-law, William J. Madden; her parents, J. Raymond and Jessie Brokaw; her younger brother, Theodore H. Brokaw; and the following sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Wilma (Van de Voort) and Ben De Vries, Ada (Van de Voort) and Richard H. Smith.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at the Trinity Reformed Church in Pella. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.