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Cora Helen Roelofs Verbrugge (1918 - 2002) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Cora Helen Roelofs Verbrugge (1918 - 2002)

Historical Note:

Cora Helen Tromp Roelofs (11 Jan 1918 - 09 Jan 2002) was born in Grand Rapids to George (nee Gerrit) Roelofs (1853-1919) and Nellie Tromp (1878-1939). He was a real estate dealer, insurance agent, and editor/publisher of Een Stem des Volks, who had emigrated in 1875.  He and his first wife, Mary Dijkema (1857-1912), had five children.  In 1913 he and Nellie Tromp married and they had two children, Robert (1914-1985) and Nellie.  After George’s death, Nellie married Theodore (nee Tiddo) Wolthorn (1880-1972), whose first wife, Wilhelmina Johnson (1883-1918), had also died.

Cora graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 1936 and attended Calvin College, there meeting Frank Verbrugge (1913-1985).  The two married in 1940 and in 1946 settled in Northfield, Minnesota, where Frank served on the faculty of Carelton College. In 1956, the family moved to St. Paul when Frank joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota. After helping her husband with his family’s history, Wither Thou Goest: The Life and Story of Jacobus and Maria Verbrugge in Minnesota, she began collecting material about and writing the history of her family, The Life of a Dutch American, George Roelofs, which she finished after Frank died. Frank and Cora had four children—Anne Louise (married Tomas Hughes Martin), Lois Marie (married Elmer Grant Gilbert), Robert Roelofs (married Noreen Elizabeth Hughes), and Martha Helen Verbrugge.

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