By Dean Hamilton VanDruff

Nine years before her death, we posted this website for Eleanor as an 80th birthday present.

My mother, Eleanor Vandruff, is an exceptionally loving person who has been a blessing to many people over the years.

Growing up, she was always reaching out to others, including hippies and runaways. People would come by all day long to "rap" with her about spiritual things, pray, hang-out, etc. Because of her open heart and friendly nature, our house was the crossroads of the neighborhood. It was odd growing up with a mother who was thought of as cool and who was so popular among my friends, but it made for a rich social life. We had a large house with kids playing in the front yard; people talking about God, philosophy, music, humor, or whatever in the center of the house; bikers, teenagers, you-name-it hanging around the pool in the backyard; people who needed a place to stay living in one of the extra rooms for days, weeks, months. Our house was nicknamed "Hotel VanDruff".

A story comes to mind that illustrates this. I was visiting home from engineering school circa 1980 and was standing in line to get into a Keith Green concert. One of my friends called me "VanDruff" during some banter, and a beatnik looking stranger in front of us turned around and said, "Are you a VanDruff? Is your mother Eleanor? Wow, that lady is so cool, man. She took me in when I was down and out. It must be a trip to have a mom like that!"

For a "people person" she is well read. She has a library to make a scholar jealous; with books on theology, music, health, cooking, and humor. She has memorized large portions of scripture and based her life on well-digested biblical principles. She took to computers late in life with relative ease.

Prov 31:25-26 (NIV) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Both of my parents have spent a lifetime helping, evangelizing, counseling, and ministering to others. Eleanor in particular has produced much fruit in encouragement, giving, and prayer. She has consistently and instinctively come to the aid of the lonely, the poor, the confused, the alien, the grieving. She has a sweeping legacy of touching many, many lives with her creative and daring ministry.

Prov 31:17,20 (NIV) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks... She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

She turns 80 this year, 2000. While lately she has had to physically slow down quite a bit, in heart she is still as passionate as ever. She is a living example of the scriptures:

Rom 12:9-13 (NIV) Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:8-11 (NIV) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Proverbs 31:28-31 (NIV) Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Eleanor will be a rich woman in heaven, and I expect will have a lavish mansion. And it is a good thing, too, since so many people will be wanting to hang around her then... just like they do now.

I love and admire my mother, and can't imagine having a better one.

Dean VanDruff

Eleanor Vandruff
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