Jay Vernon Veldhouse was born on October 9, 1928, at the family farm home near Kanawha, Iowa, to Heiko H. and Grace E. Abbas Veldhouse. He attended country school his elementary years and graduated from Kanawha High School in 1945. It was a joyful time in America as World War II was winding down, ending in August.
Since Jay was only sixteen when he graduated, he stayed at home to farm for his dad instead of going to college. But the next school year he went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, taking pre-seminary courses. After a year and a half, he returned to Kanawha to farm his dad’s land once again.
On June 7, 1949, Jay was united in marriage with Audrey Rietema, his high school sweetheart. After farming three years, the academics again called him and he moved his family back to Michigan and attended Calvin where he graduated with a Mathematics Education Degree in 1954. He accepted a contract from Pella Christian High School and moved to Pella in August of 1954. Jay taught math, Latin, and history his first few years but as the school grew he was happy to leave history and Latin to the new teachers and remained teaching the math courses the rest of his tenure. He later added being the assistant principal to his teaching duties. Jay earned his Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Drake University. He enjoyed summer jobs working on the construction of Red Rock Dam, building grain bins, working at Pella Corporation, and lastly teaching drivers’ education.
Jay loved sports of all kinds, especially softball, baseball, and basketball; sports he had excelled in during his high school years. He coached baseball during his first year at Pella Christian. He enjoyed volleyball and golf with other faculty members. He ran the clock for many years for the basketball games. He instigated the beginning of the Student Council and remained its sponsor until his retirement in 1993. This group built a float for the Tulip Time parade every year, promoted the annual Christmas banquet and supervised other school events.