Arlene C. Vandervort

Arlene Cathryn (Eggers) Vandervort, 90, died on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus. One of Arlene’s last acts on this earth was to vote by absentee ballot in the 2020 election.

Arlene lived in Fond du Lac her entire life. She was born on Aug. 24, 1930, to Earl John Eggers and Cathryn Stacia (Doll) Eggers at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac.

Arlene attended Jefferson Elementary School, St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade School, Roosevelt Junior High School, and graduated with honors, sixth in her class, from L.P. Goodrich High School in 1948.

During her school years Arlene sang in Glee Club and various choirs, then in church choirs at St Patrick Church and Sacred Heart Church as an adult. She was an accomplished pianist into her 20’s and played organ in her home.

Arlene met her future husband, William J. “Bill” Vandervort, Jr. in catechism class at St. Patrick’s when they were both eight years old. They were classmates and graduated together from Goodrich, but never dated until Bill asked Arlene to go roller skating. They were married on Feb. 3, 1951 at St. Patrick’s Church. Bill preceded her in death just nine months ago.

Arlene was a devoted wife and mother and overcame many health challenges to bring four children into this world. She was very proud of the fact that all her children attended and graduated from college, something she was not able to do herself.

She worked at Ray E. Woods Floral and Gifts and as a long-distance telephone operator prior to marriage, and then proceeded to operate and manage the couple’s family and household during her husband’s long career at Giddings and Lewis Machine Tool Co.

Arlene was an accomplished seamstress and tailor and sewed many of her own clothes in addition to making and mending her family’s clothes. She was particularly proud to make her daughter’s wedding dress, and her two granddaughters’ First Communion dresses.

Arlene loved playing cards, especially Bridge, and participated in marathon clubs around the city. Arlene and Bill were founding members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and she helped launch that church community’s Altar and Rosary Society. She was also a member of the Fond du Lac County Homemaker’s Club. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother and was actively involved in her sons’ Boy Scout projects. Arlene also volunteered her time for a number of charities. She enjoyed attending shows at the Fireside Theater and the Fond du Lac Concert Series.

Arlene could cook like nobody’s business. She made the best baked mac and cheese in the world, and her pot roast melted in your mouth. Her specialty was lemon bars, and she never met a Christmas cookie recipe she couldn’t master.

Bill and Arlene traveled to many places around the world, mostly with classmates Ralph and Carol DuQuette Steffen, to Australia, Mexico, Europe, the Holy Land, Alaska and Hawaii. Arlene rode shotgun in a 1966 Dodge pickup truck and camper, as the couple traveled thousands of miles with their family (including mother and mother–in-law, though not at the same time) on various trips to all the lower 48 states, Mexico and Canada. 

Arlene is survived by four children, Kathleen (Gerald) Farrell of Marquette, MI, Kevin (Mackie) of Boerne, Texas, Keith (Kay) of Ely, MN, and Kraig (Tina) of Roseville, MN; six grandchildren, Laurie (Jack), Michael (Leah), AnnMarie (Allyce), Kimberly, Rachel, and Travis; and ten great-grandchildren, Preston, Madison, Kyla, Mark, Grace, Emmett, Lennox, John (JJ), Sylvie, and Zachary.

Arlene is also survived by her sister, Shirley Kissinger; and her brother, Larry (Diane) Eggers, of Fond du Lac, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.

Arlene was preceded in death by husband, William “Bill” Vandervort, Jr., on Feb. 20, 2020, her parents, Earl and Cathryn Eggers, in-laws William, Sr., and Veronica Vandervort, and brother-in-law, Alvin “Sonny” Kissinger.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday Nov. 20, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 S. Peters Avenue in FDL, at 11:00 a.m. A visitation will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the church until the time of Mass. Due to the pandemic, social distancing and masks will be required. Entombment will be in Shepherd of the Risen Christ – Calvary Mausoleum.

Arlene’s family wishes to thank the Lakeview Place Staff and Caregivers and the Agnesian Hospice Staff who cared for Arlene with compassion and professional expertise.

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