Jerry L. Voorhis, a former Cal Poly Pomona professor whose family is tied to the founding of the university, died Nov. 19. He was 80.
Voorhis, who taught European history, was the son the late Congressman H. Jerry Voorhis and the grandson of Charles Voorhis. His grandfather purchased 150 acres of land in San Dimas in 1927 to build a school and home for underprivileged boys. The younger Voorhis’ father, H. Jerry Voorhis, served as the headmaster of the Voorhis School for Boys from 1928 to 1938.
After H. Jerry Voorhis was elected to Congress, the school was donated to serve as the site of the Southern California campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo until the campus outgrew the facility and moved to Kellogg Ranch.
Jerry L. Voorhis wrote a book about his father titled “An Idealist in Congress: The Early Life and Times of H. Jerry Voorhis: 1901-1946.” The younger Voorhis, who wrote his doctoral dissertation at Northwestern University on the German occupation of Denmark, presented talks and papers to learned societies in the United States and abroad. After he retired, he moved to Claremont to live with his adopted son John Phan.
“I will always remember my father, and I am experiencing great sadness at his passing,” Phan wrote in a letter to university administration. “His friends and neighbors will also miss him greatly, especially for his broad knowledge and his great sense of humor.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 830 W. Bonita Ave. in Claremont. A reception will follow at the church immediately following the service.