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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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VOETBERG, Dirk. Waterloo, IA, Aug. 19, 1948--Iowa City, IA, Feb. 8, 2011). Voetberg was raised until the age of seven in Traer, Iowa. His parents, veterinarian Dr. Dick Voetberg and Ruth (Allen) Voetberg, then moved to Caldwell, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

He enrolled at the University of Iowa as a philosophy major in 1966 and met art major and singer, Pamela Kenney. They were married in 1968. After serving as a social worker at Elgin State Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, Voetberg earned his Master of Business Administration in finance and international business at the University of Chicago in 1976.

Voetberg worked at Rockwell International in Ohio and went on to work for almost a decade at Price Waterhouse in Chicago as a management consultant. He and his family moved to Dubuque in 1984, where Voetberg began work at FDL FOODS INC.. He later ran Voetberg & Associates, joined the business faculty of CLARKE COLLEGE, became dean of continuing education at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and acted as COO and then president and CEO of Shepherd Inc. (1)

Voetberg was first elected to the Dubuque City Council in 1987 and served three terms before retiring from public life. He was elected again in 2007. He championed civil rights, tourism industry and riverfront development. He served on several committees and foundations concerned with Dubuque's cultural and economic interests. (2) In 2005, as a member of the Key City Rotary Club, he traveled with Michael W. PRATT to Niger to administer polio vaccinations and distribute food supplements to starving infants. Along with David Wm. RUSK he pioneered the concept of meeting with civic groups to develop ideas for civic progress. This envisioning process became an integral part of government planning.

Music was also an important element in his life. Holiday performances with the Dubuque Chorale and many years with the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST] choir were important events.



1. "Notable Deaths," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2012, p. 48

2. Ibid.