On Monday, November 15, 2021, Peter Dirk Verdoorn, loving husband, father of four children, grandfather of 17, and great-grandfather of 19 (soon-to-be 21) passed away at the age of 88.
Peter was born on February 23, 1933 in Hoboken, New Jersey to Arie and Anna Paulina (Hooning) Verdoorn. He had a fun childhood playing stickball near the Lincoln Tunnel and watching from his back porch in Weehawken the Queen Mary sail by on the Upper New York Harbor. After graduating from Weehawken High School, he joined the Navy toward the end of the Korean War. He served as a Machine Repairman on the USS Lexington. After being discharged, he stayed in San Diego, CA, and there met the love of his life, Joan (Soule) Verdoorn. They were married on August 23, 1958, in the Los Angeles Temple and celebrated their 63 anniversary this past August. Peter and Joan raised two daughters, Catherine and Cara, and two sons, Dirk and Jay. He received his BS degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT in 1961. He was the Executive Director of the Council of Governments for 24 years for San Joaquin County.
Peter had a passion for fishing, hunting, gardening, and playing sports. Spicer Reservoir was one of his very favorite places to fish. His garden and orchard produced enough each year for canning and also for sharing with friends and neighbors. He enjoyed playing basketball and was a good sport. If anyone was looking for an emcee for an event, he was the person they turned to. He had a quick wit, an infectious smile, twinkling blue eyes, and kept everyone smiling even up until the end of his life.
Peter was a man of faith. He served diligently his entire life in many callings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He knew how to serve and he did it willingly. Whether he was making homemade root beer for a building fundraiser or taking youth on hikes in the Boy Scout program, he always served with his whole heart. He was the Bishop of the Lodi 1st Ward for over five years. When at a church potluck, Peter was the first to volunteer to bless the food in order to be first in line after the amens were said.
Peter was preceded in death by his father, Arie, his mother, Anna Paulina Hooning, and his sisters, Anna Barbara VanDerMeiren and Anna Paulina Graham Clifford. He is survived by his wife Joan, his children, Catherine (Brian) Campbell, Lodi, CA, Cara (David) Whitehead, Santa Clara, UT, Dirk (Rachel) Verdoorn, Elk Grove, CA, Jay (Kim) Verdoorn, Provo, UT, his abundant progeny, his brother, Arie Verdoorn, Ephraim, UT, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 27, 2021, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1510 W. Century Blvd., Lodi, CA at 10 am. Services can be viewed virtually at bit.ly/pverdoorn. Donations can be made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Fund or Perpetual Education Fund.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Nov. 20 to Nov. 26, 2021.