DOORNWAARD, JOHN AND ALYDA (RENSINK)
John Doornwaard was born in Holland. He came to the United States in 1888 at 22 years of age, with his parents and a brother Bert. He worked as a hired hand on the farm and later married Alyda Rensink. They farmed until he developed a heart problem.
After they moved to town, he was constantly buying and selling houses, so they moved frequently. Their last home was built on 4th Ave. where Martin J. Moeller lives.
John Doornwaard’s home (presently that of
He was a very interesting conversationalist and could talk to anyone in spite of his Dutch accent. For years the bench behind the house was a gathering place where several neighbors gathered regularly to argue anything from politics to religion. He was an avid fisherman and they spent many months at Okoboji and Spirit Lake.
They had four children:
John and Alyda Doornwaard
Cena was born December 11, 1895. She worked as a clerk in a local dry goods store until her marriage to Albert Van Roekel, who died June 8, 1948. They had two sons. They farmed and operated a dairy - running a milk delivery route for some time. Cena passed away on 1975.
Tena was born June 4, 1900. She graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and also attended the University of Wisconsin for a short time. She taught school in Sioux Center and Pella and was an outstanding Dramatics coach. After her marriage to Dr. Henry Van Roekel in San Francisco, CA, they lived in Amherst, Mass. where he was a Professor on the staff of the University of Massachusetts. He did research. She was a collector of antiques and their home was completely furnished with antiques. Upon his retirement, they moved to Pella, Iowa. He died March 6, 1982, and she died November 27, 1982. They are both buried in the Sioux Center cemetery. They left generous legacies to the State University of Iowa at Ames and to Central College in Pella, Iowa.
By Harriet Doornwaard
Source: Sioux Center Iowa 1991 Centennial Book-- Contributor, Mary Haverhals
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