John ’58 and Carol Dulmes Vruwink ’60 graduated from Central with degrees in art and biology. John returned in 1965 and taught art for 37 years. Carol also joined Central’s faculty, teaching accounting for 23 years.
After retiring, John and Carol lived on an acreage between Pella and Knoxville for 10 years. While there, they volunteered at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and developed an art gallery at Second Reformed Church. Carol also served as treasurer for Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. In 2010, the Vruwinks moved to North Carolina to be closer to family.
What do you miss most about Central?
Carol: Long-term friendships — and the students. I loved the diversity of my department — gender, ethnicity and areas of study. My best memories as a student were A Cappella Choir and band tours, and early morning birding expeditions. As a faculty member, the highlight was moving into Weller Center after many years of planning.
John: I miss having access to the art department — especially the glass studio — and comradery with faculty and students. I loved the small classes. As a student, serving on CAB was a favorite memory.
What are you doing now?
We serve on the Liturgical Arts Committee at First Presbyterian Church in Asheville. We’ve developed an art gallery and are involved with several ministries with our homeless neighbors, including Saturday Sanctuary, a ministry that provides a safe, warm place on Saturday afternoons with hearty food during the winter months. Carol rings handbells with the Blue Ridge Ringers (just completed our spring series of seven concerts during May) and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. John rents studio time at Asheville Glass for flame working and is still active with his horses. We enjoy the beauty of nature and art in the Asheville area and Blue Ridge Mountains — and we enjoy activities with our kids and grandkids.
Do you miss anything about Iowa and Pella?
We miss Second Reformed Church, Jaarsma’s Bakery, Christmas Candlelight Concerts, long-time friends. The weather? Not so much!