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Names in Jasper County History - Walter Roorda

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Walter and Alberta Roorda

Walter J. "Walt" Roorda played an important and vital role for the town of DeMotte, as well as Jasper County. A lifelong resident of DeMotte, Mr. Roorda was a businessman, politician and statesman.

He helped form the first Friends of the DeMotte Library group, was key in the incorporation of DeMotte, served as president of the first Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Businessmen’s Association.

Mr. Roorda, along with his wife Alberta who passed away in 1992, owned and operated Roorda’s Furniture and Upholstery in DeMotte. They raised seven children and were the proud grandparents of 14 grandchildren.

Along with all he accomplished for his hometown, Mr. Roorda was a State Representative for Jasper County (the 16th district) from 1968 until his passing in 1993.

He authored and co-authored many legislative issues designed to help senior citizens, small businesses and the rural area.  Mr. Roorda became chairman of the Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee in 1973 and remained in that post until he died. 

He was also on the House Appointments and Claims committee, the House Elections and Apportionment and the Interstate Cooperation Committees. 

He authored legislation for the Kankakee River Basin Commission and co-authored the House Resolution honoring the Touch of Dutch Festival held annually the second Saturday in August.

Rep. Walter Roorda died in 1993 of heart complications at the age of 62. Walt and Alberta are buried in the Holland Cemetery.

To learn more about Mr. Roorda and other prominent citizens of Jasper County, please visit the DeMotte Library’s Indiana Room.  We would be glad to show you around.