Washington High School celebrated the life and career of Laura Voorhis on Saturday with a special memorial.
Beginning at 3 p.m. at Liberty Hall, teachers, former students, family and friends gathered to remember Voorhis together. The memorial began with a reading of her obituary before members of the audience took time to share their favorite memories of Voorhis with the crowd. Friends from various clubs spoke and sent condolences from all members not able to attend, students spoke about their memories from class and how much she will be missed, and teachers spoke about her amazing personality and love of her students.
As a final tribute, a group of former students performed a moving rendition of “Let it Be,” as Voorhis was a fan of The Beatles. The singer, Branson Moody, said if one thing was certain when he went to his science class with Voorhis, they were going to talk about guitars and it would last the entire class.
Trevor Patton, who was the first person to speak, read a poem to the late Voorhis:
“Once upon a time,
In the year 1992,
Came the newest high school teacher,
To don the white and blue.
Is what she’d always say,
And ‘Starship says hello,’
Is the message that would start your day.
She began with general science,
And taught general biology too,
Students learned about life in life science,
And were fascinated by her -ology prefixed by ‘zoo.’
Broadway shows were brought to life,
As she led the stage crew for the musicals,
And helped scores of students compete academically,
As the head coach of quick recall.
A lover of music and bright colors,
She was the definition of unique,
She gave many students their best memories,
As her proms overflowed with mystique.
Her words inspired many young minds,
And motivated many to get their life start,
She not only captivated classrooms,
But she loved our students with all of her heart.
She has finished her battle with cancer,
But that illness has not won,
For she molded young minds for 25 years,
And her influence will be seen for generations to come.
Laura Voorhis was a gift to all,
And made the Blue Lion family stronger,
So give forth and live by her favorite challenge,
‘Live long and prosper.’”
Laura Rowe Voorhis, 56, of Washington Court House, passed away on Wednesday, March 28, at the Cleveland Clinic after a short battle with cancer. She was born June 22, 1961, in Youngstown, to William and Jeanette Turner Rowe.
Voorhis was a 1979 graduate of Boardman High School. Pursuing a career as a science educator, she attended Minot State University, where she received a bachelor of science in education with honors in 1987. In 1997, she proceeded to gain a master of science in education with honors from Miami University.
She began her professional career teaching biology at Boardman High School in 1987. From 1988 to 1992, she taught physical and earth science for the Wichita Public School System. For the past 25 years, she was a biology and chemistry teacher for Washington City Schools, covering a wide range of subjects including biology, zoology, forensic science, consumer chemistry and environmental science.
Voorhis was an active member of her community in the arts and sciences. She was a devoted music lover, a fan of Martin guitars, and a booster of live music and community arts. With a passion for promoting girls’ interest in science, she served on the scholarship committee of the Washington Court House Chapter of the American Association of University Women.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude for all of the work the schools put in to put the memorial together,” Mark Voorhis, husband of Laura Voorhis, said Monday. “Between the band and all of the photos, everybody took great care in putting it together. It was wonderful hearing what everyone had to say. I knew she enjoyed her profession and it was obvious.”
The information in this article was provided by the Kirkpatrick Funeral Home of Washington Court House.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy