Hall of Fame member Kay Vanderzee of Dakota is the perfect example of someone who loves Winona County, and strives to make it a better place to live by her community involvement.
“Winona County is a beautiful place to live with its hills and valleys, with little villages sprinkled throughout. People are friendly and willing to help when needed. I was born here and have no plans of moving any place else,” Vanderzee said.
Vanderzee and husband David will be married 60 years on Sept. 12, 2019. She says they have had 60 fantastic years filled with “lots of love, life and laughter” and feels their family has been so blessed.
The couple has six children — Linda (Michael) Moor, Dawn (Andrew) Kasten, Randy (Betty) Vanderzee, Kathie (David) Erdmann, David Paul (Sarah Jane) Vanderzee and Sarah (Aaron Bloom). The family is completed by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Kay and husband David have worked as partners on Vanderzee Farms for 50 years. Together they milked cows, did field work and chores. In between that they raised children and helped take care of the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren. Vanderzee also noted that she loves to sew, making hundreds of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and other items of clothing.
During her youth, Vanderzee was part of 4-H and FFA, and recalls working for five years for a Agnes Gellerson, who was a great 4-H mentor where she lived. Vanderzee notes that Agnes Gellerson was an early honoree inducted on the Winona County Fair Hall of Fame.
Vanderzee has been active with the Ridgeway United Methodist Church, and the effort to save the Ridgeway School. She proudly says today that effort resulted in a “successful, thriving charter school.”