Irene Vander Vorst


Irene Vander Vorst, 86, of Mandan, passed away at her home on February 10, 2022.  

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at Mandan United Methodist Church with Rev. Bruce Adams officiating.  The service will be livestreamed at the bottom of this web page.  Burial will follow at 1 PM at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 PM on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, with a prayer service at 7 PM.

Born near Judson, North Dakota on July 20, 1935 to Carl and Helen Hoesel, Irene was educated in New Salem and later Mandan where she graduated from Mandan High School in 1953. Irene married Darwin Vander Vorst in Mandan on May 12, 1956. 

Irene loved gardening, decorating her yard for each season, and spending time at her cabin along the Missouri River.  She enjoyed hosting family and friends to the cabin, especially the annual Independence Day celebration.

Irene had a beautiful way of connecting with anyone, anywhere, making them feel as if they were the most important person in the room, forming life-long friendships.  She was generous and giving to others, the first to sign up to bake or bring something to an event or help anyone in need.  She loved life and was joyful every day.  The postal carrier, garbage truck workers, and all service workers will miss her caramel rolls.  

Irene enjoyed bowling and was on many different bowling teams over the years.  She is well known as one of the “Golden Girls” at Mandan Braves basketball and volleyball games, where she held the same bleacher seat in the top center row at Mandan High School for 50 years.  Irene was an artist.  She painted, sewed, created custom sweatshirts, and made jewelry.  Irene was a wonderful seamstress, making clothes for herself, her children, grandchildren, and many Barbie dolls.  She also hemmed and fixed every family member’s clothing.

Blessed to have shared in her life are her three children, ReNay (Donald) Zundel, Ronda (Jim) Mellon, and Bob (Kristen) Vander Vorst; four grandchildren, Erica (Corey) Hager, Caitlyn (Charles) Hager, Parker Vander Vorst, and Lauryn Vander Vorst; seven great-grandchildren, Kya Hager, Gavin Hager, Drew Hager, Brendan Hager, Mason Hager, Isaac Hager, and Caroline Hager; brother, Wilbert (Mary Ann) Hoesel; sister-in-law, Ann Hoesel; three step-grandchildren, Angela Mellon, Terri Mellon, and Jay Mellon; five step-great grandchildren, Mamie Powers, Ewan Powers, Henry Mellon, Medora Mellon, and Julian Mellon; step mother-in-law, Darlene Vander Vorst; step sister-in-law, Diana Westberg; and step brother-in-law, John Cooper. Also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Darwin Vander Vorst; parents, Carl and Helen Hoesel; four brothers, Harold Hoesel, Ervin Hoesel, Laurence Hoesel, and Milton Hoesel; sister, LaVerne Demianew; sister-in-laws, Val Hoesel, Alice Hoesel, and Shirley Hoesel; brother-in-law, John Demianew; mother-in-law, Dolly Vander Vorst; father-in-law, H.G. Vander Vorst; and step brother-in-law, Al Westberg.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mandan United Methodist Church or Mandan Braves Booster Club.  


To send flowers to Irene’s family, please visit our floral store.

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