Paul Vance Obituary

Paul Cessna Vance
Paul Cessna Vance
Paul Cessna Vance

March 25, 1925 - May 14, 2008
Born in Ames, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Paul Cessna Vance, age 83, died Wednesday morning, May 14, 2008, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. A graveside committal service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at Glendale Cemetery. A memorial service celebrating Paul's life will be held at 3 p.m. the following day, on Sunday, May 18, at Westminster Presbyterian Church on the corner of Beaver and Franklin in Des Moines.

Paul Vance was born March 25, 1925, in Ames, Iowa to Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Vance. There, he lettered in football at Ames High School and earned his Eagle Scout Badge before joining the United States Army Air Corps in 1943. He became a bombardier on a B-24 Consolidated Liberator aircraft and was stationed in the South Pacific in 1945. Upon returning from duty at the conclusion of WWII, he enrolled at Iowa State College where he majored in Industrial Psychology. In 1945, Paul married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Porter in Ames and to this union, two daughters were born, Christine and Paula.

After graduating in 1949, he taught in the Ruthven Consolidated School System for three years. In 1952, he began serving Harrison, Audubon and Shelby counties as Director of Special Education for three years. During this same time, he began pursuing his Master's Degree in Psychology from Colorado State College (University of Northern Colorado). In 1954, he moved to Atlantic, Iowa, where he was regional Psychologist for the Iowa State Department of Public Instruction. Paul remained in this position for two years before becoming Director of Special Education in Scott County, Iowa for six years. It was while in this position that he started the first public school program for blind students in the state of Iowa. It was also during this time that he began working on his Doctorate Degree in Special Education Administration, a degree that was awarded to him in 1968 from the University of Northern Colorado. Drake University hired Paul as chairman of the Special Education Department in the College of Education in 1964 where he taught until retiring in 1985. After his retirement from Drake, Paul worked for the Heartland Area Education Agency as a compliance officer, as well as holding a similar position in Creston. His last professional position was through the Midwest Regional Resource Center as an advisor and consultant.

Paul was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Civitan, Golden K Kiwanis, Phi Delta Kappa, Psi Chi and Kappa Delta Pi. He served in leadership positions on Boards for the Counsel for Exceptional Children, United Cerebral Palsy, (where he served as president), American Association of Mental Deficiencies and United Way of Central Iowa. Paul served as President of the Iowa Congress of Parents and Teachers and as Vice-President of the National PTA.

He is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Vance of Des Moines; daughters, Christine (Mrs. Steve) Heilman of Herndon, VA and Paula Waldorf of Loveland, CO; four grandchildren, Erik (Katie) Heilman, Lesley (Mrs. Brian) Compagnone, Dustin (Carly) Waldorf and Jack Waldorf; one great-grandchild, Caden Waldorf; one sister, Virginia (Mrs. Irving) Merrill of CA; and one brother, Frank (Margaret) Vance of Ames, IA. Paul was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Gerry Vance.

In lieu of flowers, the family has respectfully requested that any memorial donations be made to either United Cerebral Palsy or a Parent Teacher Association of Donor's choice.





Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Saturday, May 17, 2008
10:00 AM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
4114 Allison Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Sunday, May 18, 2008
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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Memorial Service
Westminster Presbyterian Church
4114 Allison Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Sunday, May 18, 2008
3:00 PM


United Cerebral Palsy
1660 L Street; Suite 7000
Washington, DC 20036