Cover photo for John Morton Van Schoonhoven's Obituary
John Morton Van Schoonhoven Profile Photo

John Morton Van Schoonhoven

December 10, 1928 — December 21, 2012

John Morton Van Schoonhoven died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, December 20. He was born in Cove in 1928 to Simeon and Bina Burford Van Schoonhoven. Both sides of the family had come to the area in the late 1800s. His education began in the one-room Shanghai School, and was completed with a Doctorate in Education from the University of Oregon. He served as principal at a school in Milton-Freewater and later at the American School in Tokyo, Japan.

While working as an Assistant Professor in Education at Eastern Oregon University, he met and married the love of his life, Louise Young. They moved to Portland where John worked as Director of Professional Standards for the Oregon Education Association. He was hired by the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. as Director of Student Programs. He also focused on changing the voting age to 18, and he traveled to Mississippi to monitor the integration of public schools.

He was later selected to serve as principal of Greenbelt Center Elementary School. The school became a model for providing After School care to at-risk children. It was also selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School, one of the top 200 public schools in the country.
John and Louise retired to Cove, Oregon 20 years ago. They worked diligently to support the community of Cove and John served on numerous boards throughout the county. He helped to create the Cove Community Association which works to better the quality of life for all Cove residents.

He is preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Susan. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Louise and his daughter, Heidi. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 28 at the Cove Episcopal Church.


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