Ralph & Marjorie VenHorst Family Scholarship
Ralph VenHorst was born in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, in 1922. Four years later, Marjorie (Marge) Schnoor was born on a nearby Davenport farm. Ralph was a graduate of the one-room school house, Forest Grove, and both he and Marge later graduated from Davenport High School. The two met in 1941 on a local dance floor, where Ralph literally swept Marge off her feet. Ralph went on to serve in the United States Navy for four years in the Pacific Theater while Marge finished her education at Davenport High. They married in 1948 and together they raised twelve children.
Ralph lived life with a happy smile and an optimistic attitude. He saw the world as his heaven and delighted in the simplest of pleasures. He found joy in such things as watching a bird build a nest, attending an auction, or exploring the world’s seas and glaciers. Ralph never met a lawnmower he couldn’t fix. He liked nothing better than enjoying a piece of ripe fruit that he and Marge had picked from their orchard or garden. Like the night they met, dancing with his wife also brought Ralph happiness throughout his life. To the sadness of all who knew him, Ralph passed away in May of 2011.
Marge was an excellent cook who was never intimidated by feeding her ever-growing family at home or the group of attendees at a PV Athletic Booster’s event. She was a 4-H leader who delighted in sharing her professional sewing skills on any piece of fabric, from prom dresses to play clothes. Marge has always been a caring and giving woman who put the needs of all others before her own. Like her husband, each day of Marge’s life has been filled with smiles and optimism. To this day, she glows when sharing memories of touring their beloved Pleasant Valley neighborhood with Ralph in their little red 1951 Singer sports car that Ralph and son, Roy, restored.
Throughout their life, Ralph and Marge were dedicated to family, friends, and community. They believed that everyone should be given the opportunity to succeed. Ralph and Marge agreed that success comes from strong personal perseverance along with a little help from others. Ralph often said “work hard,” but what he really meant was, “Go ahead and do it. Do it until you get it right. Learn from your mistakes.” Ralph and Marge raised twelve children, all of whom graduated from Pleasant Valley High School of which they were very proud. They shared a deep appreciation for the staff and community members who contributed to their children’s success in their education. As many did for their own children, Ralph and Marge wished to help others succeed, whether in a trade or through attending college. In the spirit of this endowment, an ideal recipient would exude a positive attitude, a commitment to family, and a pledge to community.
Criteria to Apply:
- Be a graduating senior from PVHS
- Plan to attend a two-year or four-year institution in the State of Iowa or enter into a local apprenticeship program
- Exemplify the spirit of hard work, positive attitude, and service to the community
Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:
- Write A Statement That Explains How Your Work Ethic Goes Above And Beyond The Typical Student And How This Will Make A Difference In Reaching Your Post-Secondary Goals.
Past Scholarship Recipients:
2017 Megan Hackney
2016 Shreeti Adhikari
2015 Shane Bleeker
2014 Lauren Anderson
2013 Owen Hoke
2012 Grant Lang