On Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, Cornelius van Zwoll slipped the surly bonds of Earth.
He was born in Rochester, N.Y. on Nov. 12, 1916, to John and Adrianna (Vander Pyjl) van Zwoll. Neil earned his bachelor's degree from Calvin College, his master's from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He served in the Army during World War II; Signal Corps (China, Burma, India). He was also employed by the National Security Agency and served in the reserves, retiring as a major. On May 29, 1946, Neil married Ruth De Beer in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Cornelius began his professional career as a teacher, then principal at North Paterson, N.J.'s Christian Academy. He taught in Waukesha, Wis., and in Michigan at Calvin College, Albion College and Alma College. In 1968, he took the position of chairman of the Russian and German Department at DePauw University in Greencastle. Throughout his career, he taught Latin, French, German, Russian and literature. He retired from DePauw in 1982.
In May 2001, Ruth and Neil moved to Mt. Carmel, Ill., where Ruth died on Dec. 23, 2003. Also preceding Cornelius in death were his parents, two infant siblings; sisters Katherine Heuvelhorst and Nellie Gray; brothers Richard, James and Lawrence van Zwoll; and granddaughter Sarah van Zwoll.
Surviving are sisters Lorraine Doornbos of Grand Rapids and Joan Smith of Oregon, Ill.; all three children of Neil and Ruth, Wayne (wife Alice) van Zwoll of Bridgeport, Wash., Dean van Zwoll of Oscoda, Mich. and Kim (husband Brad) O'Neal of Mt. Carmel Ill.; daughter-in-law Sue van Zwoll of Oscoda; three grandchildren, Rebekah (husband Chris) Skaggs, Mary Beth (husband Tony) Serra and Mark (wife Carolyn) van Zwoll; and two great-grandchildren, Odin and Elsa Skaggs.
There will be no services. Colvin Funeral Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be made online at www.colvinfuneralhome.com.