Maria Vanderhoof

January 30, 1943 - December 16, 2023

Maria Vanderhoof

Maria Elena Vanderhoof, 80, died on December 16, 2023. She was married to Donald Lee Vanderhoof in 1965 until his passing in 1994. She leaves behind her three children: Donna, Adam, and Chris. Three grandchildren: Andrew, Lauren, and Gabriel.

Maria, born on January 30, 1943, in Michoacan, Mexico, was the eldest of nine children. She cared for her siblings and was considered a second mom to them. At the age of eighteen, she came to Sacramento and started high school as a first-year student.

One day, she answered a job ad for a preschool assistant, and that decision shaped her future. She enjoyed teaching young children and emphasized the value of education, always stating that is the one thing no one can take away from you.

Maria balanced college courses, career, and motherhood, eventually graduating with a bachelor’s degree in child development and earning a multi-subject teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento. Her teaching career spanned 50 years and included preschool to first grade. After retiring, she continued to teach as a substitute teacher.

Her favorite grade to substitute was kindergarten. All the kids loved “Mrs. Vanderhoof,” who always brought little gummy bear treats and animal crackers to encourage the children to pay attention. That was her little trick, and she loved every minute of it. Substituting was the highlight of her week during retirement.

Maria had many passions including teaching, learning, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her family. She took pride in her children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments. Her favorite visiting day was Sunday after church, just being together with her children, grandchildren, and siblings brought her happiness.

She was selfless to the end, always thinking of others before herself and, most of all, valuing kindness, spirituality, and education. In the end, she accepted her fate and said that God was calling her home.

We will miss Maria and all her advice and encouragement to do better and be better. She had a beautiful soul and spirit that will always be remembered and cherished. Rest in peace and we will someday be together again.

Visitation

Friday, January 26, 2024
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

St. Mary’s Funeral Center
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820

Mass

Saturday, January 27, 2024
1:00 PM

St. Mary’s Funeral Center
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820

Committal service

Saturday, January 27, 2024
2:00 PM

St. Mary’s Cemetery
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820