Martha VanderVorst, 87, of Gettysburg, South Dakota, passed away Monday, April 29, 2013, at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Funeral services were Saturday, May 4, 2013, at the United Methodist Church, Gettysburg, with Pastor Jeff Adel officiating. Burial followed in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
Martha E Siegle VanderVorst was born to Gottfried and Annetta Isaak Siegle on July 13, 1925, south of Pollock. She was educated in the Riverview School, Campbell County, South Dakota, and as a young girl was confirmed in the Pollock/Herreid Lutheran Church. She often spoke of her childhood growing up as the middle child with eleven loving brothers and sisters. She spoke of her early years working with her Dad and brother Adolph and riding the special family horse Beauty. During her life journey, she enjoyed time with each sibling during family reunions.
On April 25, 1949, she married Oliver H. VanderVorst in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and they began a lifetime of farming. While in Eagle Butte, their children Donna, Rhonda, and Wayne were born, raised, and educated. Martha was an active member of the United Church of Christ and a longtime member of the Green Grass Extension Club. She enjoyed working with children in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and serving as a 4-H Club and Cub Scout Leader. July 1968 she was featured as Farm Wife of the Week by the Aberdeen American News.
In 1972 the VanderVorsts purchased a home in Gettysburg and in 1974 began farming in Potter County. Following marriage, she would spend the next fifty-one years farming with Oliver and her family. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Gettysburg and cooked in the Gettysburg Memorial Hospital for ten years. She was an accomplished German cook, baker and gardener and it was a given she would share a plate at the table. She enjoyed visiting with family and friends in her German language. April 2000 she suffered a major stroke and on July 13 she moved to the Oahe Care Center where she resided until November 14, 2011, when she moved to Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell.
If Martha was to share today, her story to tell would be of the love she felt and the love she freely gave. Strong faith, a smile, honesty and sincerity would tell the story of accepting one day at a time.
Martha is survived by her children, Donna (Jerry) Wulf of Plankinton, South Dakota, Rhonda (Kelly) Dennis of Moorcroft, Wyoming, and Wayne (Cathy) VanderVorst of Gettysburg; special friend, Melissa (Leland) LeBeau and family of Eagle Butte; brother, Ray (Jean) Siegle of Aberdeen, South Dakota; sister, Freda Hager of Fargo, North Dakota; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Siegle of Citrus Heights, California, and Betty VanderVorst of Pollock; nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren including, Kimberly (Michael) Beens, Chaz, Shaynie and Lacey, Karla (Pat) Morgan, Anthony, Whitney, Mitch, Patrick, Cody (Kristy) Dennis, Kayla, Alicia, Lindsey, Colby, Wade Dennis, Bill VanderVorst, Tanner; Mindy (Cody) Stotz, Brylee, Kyle, Brandon, Morgan VanderVorst. She also cherished her many nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Oliver in April 2000; Karla’s husband, A.W. “Bill” Baum III in 2005; brothers, William in infancy, Adolph and Robert; sisters and spouses, Edna (Art) Heckelsmiller, Esther (Henry) Giese, Helen (Art) Dienert, Ruth Siegle, Ernie (John) Braun, Lorraine Grote, Bessie (Jake) Fuhrer; and brothers-in-law, Mike Hager and Wilfred VanderVorst.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Martha’s arrangements. www.familyfuneralhome.net