Community - April 20, 2011


Jean Van Rensselaer

Jean Van Rensselaer, who served as an elder at Valley Presbyterian Church and headed its membership committee for many years, died April 4 of heart failure. She was 87.

Ms. Rensselaer grew up on a ranch in the Imperial Valley, where she became an avid equestrian. She earned an AA degree from Stephens College in Missouri and a bachelor's degree from UCLA, and began her teacher career at the kindergarten level.

She married Cort Van Rensselaer and moved to Los Altos Hills, where she taught third grade before becoming a full-time volunteer and homemaker.

During their marriage, except for short stints in Washington, D.C., and Colorado, the couple lived on the Peninsula and spent the past 46 years in Portola Valley,where there was room for Ms. Rensselaer's horses. They moved to The Sequoias retirement community in 2005.

Ms. Rensselaer was a member of P.E.O. chapter HV in Palo Alto for more than 60 years and served in many official capacities. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading, and boating, say family members. She and her husband traveled to many places around the world.

Surviving are her husband of 64 years, Cort Van Rensselaer; her children, Steve Van Rensselaer, Amy Scrivner, and Rick Van Rensselaer; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service is being planned for May.


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