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Achterhof, Floyd E. and Estelle (Vermeer)

ACHTERHOF, VERMEER

Posted By: Kaleigh De Vries (email)
Date: 5/20/2020 at 21:07:27

Floyd was born January 17, 1921 to Ralph and Maggie Achterhof in a home located on E. 1st Street, Sioux Center, Iowa. Ralph was born on a farm by Orange City. Maggie was born in South Holland, Illinois.

Estelle was born April 12, 1920 on a farm between Sioux Center and Orange City, Iowa. Her parents were Richard E. Vermeer, who was born near Alton, Iowa and Kate Roos, who was born near Ackley, Iowa.

Floyd attended public school in Sioux Center as well as delivering an evening paper route. As a young boy he loved salesmanship. He took his coaster wagon to sell excess garden produce or any item that was marketable. In high school., his interest turned to sports, basketball and baseball besides his studies. About that time, the popcorn stand downtown became a sideline. After graduation in 1938, he bought a little southside cafe on Main Street which he operated until he had sufficient funds to go to business college (Tri-State) in Sioux City, Iowa.

Estelle Vermeer Achterhof attended country school, West Branch #4 for eight years. I remember the flood of September 1926, my brother, Andrew Vermeer and I had taken pumpkins to the country school that morning in a coaster wagon. As the sky darkened that afternoon, our teacher sent us home early. He put me in the wagon and he ran for home as fast as he could go. The rain came down in torrents and by the time it was over we had 12 inches. People lost their lives at the Million Dollar Corner.

The teachers I remember are the Borgman girls, Margaret and Becky Muilenburg and Gert Rons. They made school interesting and fun especially at program time when we'd invite parents and friends and it became a social evening with lunch served by the mothers.

A funny, and we might call it a learning experience happened one day when a stray German Shepherd dog gave birth to her pups under the porch of the very first old schoolhouse. It happened during schooltime and the big boys thought it was their duty to keep count. By the time it was over, she had seven pups. I don't remember what happened to them.

When Estelle was old enough to join 4-H she entered with enthusiasm. In the 30's our world was very small. It included the square mile around our school district, our relatives, and church. So the 4-H program enlarged our learning to homemaking, cooking, sewing, music, etc. We also learned to conduct a business meeting. We were elected to office in the local club, county club and even had to try at being elected to state office. Estelle, a the age of 17 was entered in the health program. First in local, then in county and on to state at the State Fair. There she was chosen Health Queen of the Iowa 4-H program of 1937. That was also the year Estelle graduated from Sioux Center High School. As she attended country school so she taught country school students for three years.

Floyd Achterhof and Estelle Vermeer were married in June 1941. World War II was hovering on the horizon and times were very uneasy. Some young men were enlisting in the armed services but when December 7th dawned and Pearl Harbor was bombed it was an avalanche of men leaving Sioux Center. Floyd enlisted in November of 1942 and was gone before Christmas of the same year.

Our daughter Marasha was born January 30, 1943. Her little life lasted two years, two months and two days. She had an incurable disease of the liver.

After three years of service in the Coast Guard, Floyd was discharged. Estelle went back to teaching school again.

In 1946, our first son arrived. We adopted him from the American Home Finding Ass'n of , Ottumwa, Iowa. He was named Michael Ray Achterhof, now lives in Boyden, Iowa and is attending N.I.T.C. at the present time. He married Shirley Arens Vander Kieft from Inwood. They have three children: Waylen James, age 11; Bobbi Jo, age 6; Justin James, 6 months.

In 1949 we adopted Patricia Susan at the age of three months from the same Ass'n in Ottumwa, Iowa. She now has two sons: Floyd Joshua Greve Bleeker, age 19 and Jeremiah James Bleeker, age 17. Patricia has her own business as a licensed massage therapist in Glendale, Arizona. Her sons are living in Sioux Center, Iowa.

In 1959, Richard Jay Achterhof was born to Floyd and Estelle and he is now living in Orange City, Iowa working for Diamond Vogel in commercial sales. He graduated from Central College, Pella, Iowa in 1981. He married Paula Ver Steeg of Orange City in 1988. She works in Northwestern State Bank. Their little girl Margaret J. was born May 9, 1988. We now have two Maggie Achterhofs. The great-grandmother Maggie Van Kley Achterhof 100 years old who is now living in the nursing wing at this time and the young "Maggie" as she is so lovingly called.

After Floyd Achterhof was discharged from the service he supported his family mainly by sales. He was a furniture and hardware salesman, a chemical salesman and as owner of a motel in Jefferson, Iowa we can say he was also a room salesman.

In 1986, his retirement year, we had hoped to spend winters in Arizona and summers on a lake in Minnesota, but a rather severe stroke to Floyd prevented travel. We now live in a duplex, which he just built with his brother Lawrence and Jean on 2nd Avenue SE, Sioux Center, Iowa.

by Estelle Achterhof
A People with Convictions: A History of Sioux Center, Iowa 1970-1991


 

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