Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial for Ralph A. VenHorst, 89, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2011, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 417 Main St., Davenport.
Burial will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery. The family will greet friends from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 19th at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main Street, downtown Davenport. Mr. VenHorst died Sunday, May 15, 2011, at home after an extended illness.
Ralph Alvie VenHorst was born May 11, 1922 on the family farm in Pleasant Valley to John and Helen (Venus) VenHorst. Ralph attended Forest Grove School in Pleasant Valley, Sudlow and Davenport High School graduating in 1941. He served in the Navy during World War II in the Asian Pacific Theater achieving the rank of MOMMIC(T) (Master Mechanic).
On June 12, 1948, he married Marjorie Schnoor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bettendorf. She was the light of his home and his dance floor since they met at a 4-H dance at the Northwest Turner Hall in 1941.
He and his brother Jim VenHorst started a Mobil Service Station on Highway 6 in Bettendorf in 1941 with their brother Herman joining the business in 1946. In 1953, the three brothers built and opened the Trio Roller Rink in Bettendorf, now the site of Duck Creek Plaza. Ralph and Herman opened a Standard Oil Service station in Pleasant Valley in 1966.
Ralph’s many affiliations reflected his love of this community and his friends, along with his dedication to his profession. He was a member of St. Anthony’s parish, Farm Bureau, American Legion, Pleasant Valley Schools Athletic Boosters, Pleasant Valley Education Foundation, Moose Lodge, and Gasoline Retailers Association. He was a licensed pilot who used to fly single engine aircraft at the airfield at 18th Street and Spruce Hills Drive in Bettendorf in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In retirement, one of his great joys was his orchard and garden that supplied the neighborhood with fruits and vegetables.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pleasant Valley Education Foundation.