Avis Elizabeth Van Zomeren

Honored by:George and Jan Beran
Brick location:PAVER:29  map

Avis Elizabeth (Van Houweling) Van Zomeren was born April 16, 1905 in rural Pella, Iowa. Following graduation from Pella High School, she taught rural school from 1925 to 1928 until her marriage to Gerrit Van Zomeren. They farmed in rural Pella until Gerrit's death in 1968. They were proud that all of their children--Janice, Bonnie, Darlene, Dick, Mary and Mark--earned college degrees. Avis and Gerrit were active in the community, were long-time Sunday School teachers at the Ebenezer Reformed Church in Leighton, Iowa, and were active as 4-H leaders and in Farm Bureau. During the 1950s, there was a teacher shortage so Avis was persuaded to teach country school. During the next twelve years of her teaching, she also earned a college degree from William Penn College and additional graduate credits at the University of Iowa. During that period, when she was in her late fifties, she was asked by parents of children with special needs to teach their children. The program she initiated eventually grew to be the very large agency Pella Opportunity Center. She spent her last teaching years as a teacher of Special Education in the Newton Public Schools. After retiring, she organized and conducted bus trips for senior citizens for eleven years, traveling all over the United States, including eleven trips to Washington D. C. She also initiated and carried on a Pella-area radio show, interviewing long-time elderly citizens about the early days of Pella. These recorded interviews are now held by the Central College Library. Avis was recognized in the 1970s by the Iowa Mother of the Year group for her contribution to the state through her family and her volunteer efforts. At her death on December 6, 1993 she was affectionately remembered by her children, their spouses, grandchildren Bruce Anne and George S. Beran; Carolyn Gregory and Cathy Bailey; Tom and Mary Lynn Wallinga; Elizabeth Amy Jane and Joel Van Zomeren and Mark and Cristina Drobisch. Since that time two more granddaughters, Avis Elizabeth and Nadine Marie Van Zomeren, have been added to the family circle, which also includes ten great-grandchildren.


Paver Inscription:

"Womn of our family:
Elizabeth Rosalie Beran
Avis Elizabeth Van Zomeren
Janice Ann Van Zomeren Beran
Ann Elizabeth Beran Stark
Teran Elizabeth Stark
Katherine Elizabeth Stark
Dolores Hall Beran
Jennifer Holtorf Beran
Abigail Elizabeth Beran"