posted July 25, 2011

Mary DeYoung of Hope Mathematics Faculty Dies

Mary DeYoung

Mary DeYoung of the Hope College mathematics faculty died on Monday, July 25, 2011, after a brief battle with cancer. She was 58.

An associate professor of mathematics, she had been a member of the Hope faculty since 1982. She was a 1975 Hope graduate.

"This is a shattering development for Mary's family and the Hope College community. Few of us can match her zest for life, joy-filled teaching, and utter commitment to her students' best interests," said Provost Richard Ray.

Her teaching and scholarly emphasis was on mathematics education. The college presented her with its Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010 in recognition of her work and perseverance in preparing pre-service elementary teachers for careers in education, including through her teaching as well as by serving as the official academic advisor for many mathematics elementary-education majors and as an informal advisor for other elementary students.

Active professionally beyond campus, she spoke through the years at a variety of national professional meetings concerning the teaching of mathematics and the preparation of mathematics teachers. Her numerous publications included the cover article in the October 2009 edition of "Teaching Mathematics in Middle School," and a chapter in the 2007 book "Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessment in the College Classroom," which featured insights from more than a dozen Hope educators regarding effective teaching strategies.

DeYoung majored in mathematics at Hope - as had her father, William Vlieger of the Class of 1942. Her activities at the college, from which she graduated summa cum laude, included the Mortar Board honorary society, the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, the Alpha Gamma Phi sorority and the Nykerk Cup competition.

She and her husband, Steve, who survives her, were Hope classmates who met at the college.

She completed a Master of Arts in the teaching of mathematics at Western Michigan University in 1987.

From 1975 to 1980, she was a seventh- and eighth-grade mathematics and science teacher at Hudsonville Junior High School. From 1980 to 1982, she was a part-time teacher with Holland Community Education's Learning Center for Adults. During the 1996-97 school year, while on a leave of absence from Hope, she served as deputy head of school and a mathematics teacher with Black River Public School in Holland.

In addition to enjoying any game or activity involving math, Mary was an avid tennis player, bridge player, and loved to ride her tandem bike with her beloved husband Steve. Mary was active in Third Reformed Church by holding various leadership positions, being involved with the youth program, and was an advocate for those less fortunate than she by participating in various mission trips. She and Steve were active with the Holland Area CROP Walk for years.  She also worked with her husband in the family's woodworking business, Youngstirs LLC.

Mary is survived by her husband of 37 years, Steve; and her son and his fiancée, Andy DeYoung and Jessica Materson of Grand Rapids, and her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Allison (Rich) DeYoung of Sarasota, FL.  She is also survived by her mother, Sylvia Vlieger of Sioux Center, IA; her sister Judy and her husband, Ron Buseman of Sioux Falls, SD; her brother and his wife, Bill and Patty Vlieger of Houston, TX; and JoAnn and Vern Wichers of Le Mars, IA; her parents-in-law, Dr. James and Ruth DeYoung of Waupun, WI, Dirk DeYoung of Holland, Patricia DeYoung and Brad Nauman of Salt Lake City, UT, Paul and Bonnie DeYoung of Sussex, WI, and Sarah DeYoung and Scott Mason of Wauwautosa, WI.  In addition to the immediate family, Mary is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Memorial contributions may be given to Hope College for a scholarship in the name of Mary DeYoung or to the mission memorial fund of Third Reformed Church of Holland.

  • Visitation will be at Third Reformed Church of Holland, 111 W. 13th Street, on Friday, July 29,  from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
  • The Funeral service will also be at Third Reformed Church of Holland on Saturday, July 30 at 11 a.m., with with Reverends Kama Jongerius and Kent Fry officiating.
  • An on-campus Memorial Service will be at a future date to be determined.
  • Funeral arrangements are being handled by Lakeshore Memorial Services of Holland.