I attended Calvin Seminary from 1968-1971. I then served as pastor of Seymour CRC in Grand Rapids, 1971-1992, and pastor of Westend CRC in Grand Rapids, 1992-2012, retiring from full-time ministry in September, 2012.
I have received a master’s degree in religion and another in counseling psychology, and I have worked in some capacity as a psychologist (limited license) since then. I am now working in a private practice group in Muskegon, Mich. I married Carole Holwerda in 1972, and we’re still married. We have three wonderful daughters scattered around the globe and one terrific granddaughter. I have been let go from several jobs, but God is good; he has provided a more fulfilling position each time.
After graduation and then marriage (Joanne Voetberg), I accepted an invitation to teach upper elementary kids at Holland Christian Schools. That invitation, and my acceptance, continued for 42 wonderful years until my retirement in 2010. I cherish the memories of the students, the families and my colleagues, as well as the accomplishments and failures. Through all of these years in the classroom I have been blessed immeasurably. I thank God for the opportunities given to me. My wife and I have been blessed with two children: Jeff ’92 and Denise ’97, their spouses, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We are thankful for the joy they bring us. We are enjoying this season of life serving our Lord, serving others, and even finding time to pleasure ourselves.
Since Calvin, I have experienced medical school, military service (public health service) and post-graduate studies (internal medicine, infectious diseases, clinical pharmacology). I have taught medicine (professor of medicine, Michigan State University) and developed new antibiotics and antiviral (Upjohn). With my wife, Mary Helen Elzerman, I raised three children, all of whom attended Calvin College. I am now happily retired and building Windsor chairs.
I joined the Teacher Corps and worked for two years in an elementary school in Bowling Green, Ky., while earning a master’s degree in counseling at Western Kentucky University. After a year as an elementary school counselor in McHenry, Ill., I returned to New England and began a career in computer programming and systems analysis. I worked in several different industries—insurance, engineering, utilities, and financial recordkeeping—either as an employee or a contractor, and retired in March 2013.
Rosemary Herms Barnes
After having been a social worker for 14 years for the Kent County Department of Social Services, I sensed the Lord calling my husband, Robert, and me to start a church. We started Grand Rapids River of Life Ministries in our home on January 5, 1980, with no idea who would come to join us. God sent the people, and we continue today being the pastors of this precious church. In addition to all the normal work of being a pastor, I have trained many others to become ministers and I have traveled nationally and internationally to teach the Word and to play my trumpet. I have done a lot of television teaching work both on TCT–TV (mostly on “Ask the Pastor”) and our local TV cable channel, where I am the producer of the program “River Reflections.” I have taught in Bible colleges and conventions worldwide. This December I will be ministering in a 13th country, Honduras. At this present time, I am not anticipating any of the ministry “work load” changing, and I look forward to the Lord continuing to surprise me with more open doors of ministry. We enjoy our two grown sons, Jonathan and EG. We especially look forward to the couple of times yearly that we go to Florida to be all together in the Tampa area.
Arlene Warsen Beukema
Life has brought me to many satisfying places, mostly because of the relationships I have enjoyed. Relationships have been my job, my hobby and my personal life. I worked for more than 40 years as a psychotherapist, mostly with adult individual clients, and found it very satisfying. Raising my two sons was a joy and now in my retirement I am loving having lots of contact with my grandchildren. I realize that I am fortunate to have them living close to me. My husband and I enjoy spending time together and with our blended family of five children, their spouses, and five grandchildren.
I knew that I wanted to become a Middle Eastern archaeologist, and since I was allowed to take courses with Dr. Bastiaan Van Elderen (Calvin Seminary) and later with Dr. Bert de Vries, I was able to fulfill my dream. Dr. Van Elderen got me on my first excavation (1972), and the rest is ancient history. I am spending the fall semester in Peru where my wife is leading Calvin's semester abroad program; my blog at nealbierling.blogspot.com (plus the Calvin students' blog adventure-in-peru.blogspot.com) has info on what we're doing here.
I spent my career in education teaching in several schools. My wife and I started our teaching at Eastern Christian in N.J. I taught fifth grade the first year and then social studies at Eastern Christian High School the next four while coaching the varsity baseball team and the JV soccer team. After our daughter was born, we moved to the Chicago area to be near our parents and I spent the next nine years teaching social studies at Chicago Christian High School and coaching football and baseball. After declining enrollment forced me to look elsewhere, God provided a principal position at a nearby Lutheran elementary school. While there I got a master’s degree in administration before moving on to a social studies teaching position at Evergreen Park High School. Soon after I arrived, the psychology teacher retired and I got to use my minor teaching an ever-increasing number of psychology courses and adding A.P. psychology and A.P. European history. I retired after 40 years in the classroom and have enjoyed traveling the world seeing the historical places I taught about, including China, Vietnam, Russia, Isreal and Egypt, among many others.
Priscilla Tuinstra Boersma
I started my career as a junior high language arts teacher at Eastern Christian in New Jersey. When we started a family, I became a mostly stay-at-home mom for 11 years, although I did some subbing and Tupperware selling during that time. I went back into the educational field as an assistant in a public high school reading lab. That got me interested in the field of reading, and I completed a master’s in reading in 1987. For the next 20 years I taught in two public elementary districts as a reading specialist. In the first district I taught third through fifth graders. In the second one, I was trained as a Reading Recovery teacher and worked with mostly first graders who were struggling to learn to read. Since retiring in 2007, I did some subbing for one year, helped with professional development in a public school district for three years and now have been doing some student teacher supervision for Trinity Christian College for two years. I’ve been having a great time in between these “jobs” traveling with my husband, Dave, playing my flute in a community band, volunteering, babysitting grandchildren and trying to exercise every day. God has richly blessed us in so many ways!
Carol Yonkers Bos
Ed Bos and I were married shortly after graduation and completed our medical technology training in 1968. In 1970 we moved to Kalamazoo where Ed worked in lab administration for the next 25 years. I was privileged to be home with our two sons, and I volunteered in the church music field. Then from 1989–1998 I led the music program at a large church. The greatest blessings of our lives are our sons, their wives and our 18 grandchildren! In 1995, Ed left his job and we founded Worldwide Lab Improvement, a non-profit ministry to assist mission laboratories in developing countries. The Lord’s plans for this were far beyond anything we had dreamed of, and it has grown to a staff of approximately 15 who serve missions worldwide. We were honored in 2005 to received Calvin’s Distinguished Alumni Award for this work.
Carol Yonkers and I were married shortly after graduation and completed our medical technology training in 1968. In 1970 we moved to Kalamazoo where I worked in lab administration for the next 25 years. Carol was privileged to be home with our two sons and volunteered in the church music field until 1989–1998 when she led the music program at a large church. The greatest blessings of our lives are our sons, their wives and our 18 grandchildren! In 1995, I left my job and we founded Worldwide Lab Improvement, a non-profit ministry to assist mission laboratories in developing countries. The Lord’s plans for this were far beyond anything we had dreamed of, and it has grown to a staff of approximately 15 who serve missions worldwide. We were honored in 2005 to received Calvin’s Distinguished Alumni award for this work.
After being drafted in early 1969, I served as an instructor for a year and a half in the chaplain assistants’ program at the Army Chaplain School in Ft. Hamilton, N.Y. During those years Laurel (Strikwerda) and I were married, and in 1971 we moved to Princeton, N.J., where I did my graduate work in classics. In 1974 I took a position as instructor in classics at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and we worked there for three years until Calvin and Hope simultaneously offered positions in 1977. Since then I’ve enjoyed 36 happy years at Calvin as professor of classics and (since 1993) director of the honors program. I’ll be retiring this August. Over these years Laurel and I have been blessed with three children: Christina, Jessica and Justin. All are Calvin alums, as are Christy’s husband, Travis Porter, and Justin’s wife, Sarah Van Wingerden. In retirement we’re looking forward to spending more time with our granddaughters, Naomi and Rosalie, in San Francisco.
My focus has been on untangling what I was taught from what I deeply felt to be true through studying the philosophy of religion, first through our collective Calvinist lens, then through living in the wilderness rhythm, then through exploring Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism and Taoism. My life work was wrestling with core multi-generational survival questions of forest and land use restoration and management. I am now trying to understand how to translate religion’s group survival mechanisms into species survival through working with indigenous people.
After graduation I entered Calvin Seminary. I met my wife, Doris, while I was a seminary student. We married shortly before my graduation from seminary. We served churches in Michigan, Washington, California, Iowa and Florida. I also worked for a while as a hospital chaplain at a V.A. hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. We have two children and four grandchildren. Having lived all over the country, we wanted to return to Michigan for our retirement since that is where we both grew up. We purchased a home in the Fremont area. We have just started to really put down some retirement roots over these past 12 months.
Life has brought me—and Anne (nee Pekelder), whom I married in 1968—to these places: Peace Corps service in West Malaysia; graduate degrees in social work from Rutgers University and divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary; five years as a staffer with New Jersey’s Legislative Services Agency; 20 years with CRWRC in various capacities, four of them in West Africa; 11 years with the Christian Reformed Church in the planning and evaluation of ministries; and ordination late in life at the age of 59 as a CRC minister (but without subsequent service as a church pastor). We have experienced the parenting of two girls and two boys; grandparenting of one girl and two boys; retirement in September 2011; living currently as a cancer survivor; grace, joy and peace due to God’s loving care.
In 1968 I started my Christian school teaching and administration career in Athens, Ont. I continued in a new school in Listowel, Ont. In 1990 I took courses in biblical counseling with the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors and opened an office in Sarnia, Ont. My wife and I love retirement, but we’re still busy and do some traveling.
I left Calvin with a passion for public service, a passion I inherited from a generation of teachers, professors and others whose lives were forged by a great depression, a world war and a desire to rebuild. They had a sense of a greater good that was more than the sum our individual self-interests. Armed with an economics major, I thought that with additional graduate training in economics and public policy studies (University of Michigan and Brandeis University), I could bring more analytic rigor to the public policy choices that would make our country and the world a better place to live. I was idealistic and probably naïve. Because of life’s unexpected turns, I found myself instead in academic medicine doing research, writing and lecturing in the health sciences and health policy. Since 1985, I have been associated with the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. For the last 38 years, my wife, Janice De Haan ’69, and I have lived on the East Coast—Boston, Mass., Bethesda, Md., and Florida. During that time, we have also lived in Leiden, Netherlands (1984); Prague, Czech Republic (2001-03); and earlier this year in Christchurch, New Zealand. I “retired” in September 2013 but remain engaged with projects in the U.S., New Zealand and China. Yet, after all these years, I am still wondering what I should do when I grow up. Any ideas?
Sheryl Vander Zee De Jong
After graduating from Calvin, I went to teach math at Eastern Christian High School in N.J. During my second year of teaching I met my future husband on a blind date. We were married in August 1970. My husband spent eight years in the Navy and I taught school during that time. After he left the Navy, we lived in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and for the past 28 years in Reston, Virg. I taught math at Northern Virginia Community College for a few years and have tutored high school students in algebra. In 1996, I was selected to make an ornament for the White House Christmas tree. In addition I have won many ribbons, including a “Best of Show,” for my needlework pieces. Currently I volunteer in the textile collection at the Smithsonian and have been doing that for 15 years. I also write articles for needlework magazines and have helped with the writing of two books on school girl embroidery. The latest book is Columbia’s Daughters. I wrote two of the chapters and did an appendix on the teachers and schools in Washington, D.C., from 1790 to 1860. I am currently working on a database of all the needlework teachers and schools in the United States from 1700 to 1860. I am also including teachers and schools for young ladies from 1700 to approximately 1830. This database includes copies of their newspaper ads, when available, and will eventually be online when funding is secured. My husband and I have sung in the choir at the McLean Presbyterian Church for the past 26 years.
After graduation, I received my M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary and served as a minister of religion for nine years in Western Canada and six years in The Netherlands. The latter was part-time work while pursuing my Th.D. degree program. When I graduated from the John Calvin Academy in Kampen, I returned to North America and served as professor of church polity at Calvin Theological Seminary. For eight years prior to my retirement I also served as vice president for academic affairs. I continue to serve as a church polity consultant for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. My wife, Ina, served with me in ministry and then for 25 years as an administrative assistant, also at Calvin Theological Seminary. She and I have four wonderful children and 11 grandchildren, all of whom are currently also residing in West Michigan.
Esther Nykamp DeVries
I began my career as an elementary school teacher,then became a mom to our three children. That led to our becoming foster parents to 30 babies/children. From there I went on to become a nurse’s aide in hospice care. After 10 years of working with that I went back to school and became an RN, working as a home hospice nurse. The Lord really blessed this work of helping patients and their families as they faced their final days. I am now retired.
Henry de Vries
“Life” (namely, God) has brought me my wife, Judy. Seminary together provided the means to live, work and worship for 13 years as missionaries in the Philippines, where our family of four children were born and raised. While pastoring a church in Winfield, Ill., the children grew in the U.S. context. With the youngest three we moved to Guam to direct the mission field there and work with both local people and expats to start a Guam campus for Pacific Islands University and manage Faith Bookstore. We finished in Paw Paw, Mich., helping the church close in favor of the new church plant, Red Arrow Ministries. Serving the Lord has been a joy and reward for us.
Lloyd De Vries
Upon leaving Calvin I started a career in sales with Xerox Corporation. As good as my Calvin education was, I quickly realized I lacked some knowledge necessary to competete with grads from other shools. To remedy this I went to Michigan State University to get an MBA in marketing. After this I remained in sales for a number of national corporations, and I eventually went to New York City to manage a large envelope manufacturing plant. My Calvin education made it possible for me to supervise employees from schools like Harvard, Princeton and Yale. The company CEO remarked on several ocassions that I was the one person that understood how to make the whole thing work instead of worrying about separate parts. I left NYC to return to Michigan where I started my own envelope manufacturing business from scratch. Again the skills I learned at Calvin were extremely valuable and allowed me to sell the business (to employees) and retire in my 50s. I currently spend part of the year in Michigan, and the rest in Corpus Christi, Tex.
Ronald De Young
I went to Calvin Seminary and was ordained in 1971. I served CRC congregations in Freeman and Marion, S.D.; Goshen, Ind.; Anaheim, Calif.; Hamilton, Mich.; and Oakland, Mich. Since retirement in 2011, I have served interim pastor assignments in First CRC in Allendale, Mich., and in Noordeloos CRC in Holland, Mich. I married Elaine Pott in 1967, and we have four children who are now married and seven grandchildren. Elaine began her career as a third grade teacher. I received my D.Min. degree from Talbot School of Theology in 1990 while serving in Anaheim. We built our retirement home in Holland, Mich., near all of our children.
Patricia Sevensma Diekevers
I ended up teaching for 16 years at Brookwood Elementary in Kentwood. (I was one of the three first student teachers from Calvin to teach at Brookwood School.) I changed careers and became a travel agent and had the opportunity to travel all over the world. I went on two Calvin alumni tours—Europe and The Orient. I was looking to do something else when the travel industry went through many hardships. The Lord chose me to be the first woman elder at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. I married Ken Diekevers in 1990 and have three step-daughters and seven grandchildren. God has been faithful to us. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Much work to do before retiring! J
Carol Vanden Bosch Doezema
Having graduated with an elementary education degree, I taught for two and a half years at the Godwin Public Schools. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I pursued a secretarial career when our children began school. I continued in that role in various locations, ending up at the Grand Rapids Christian Schools administrative offices for 11 years. My husband, Bill, and I were blessed with two sons, now married with families of their own. We moved to Holland, Mich., to be near the lake about 16 years ago but will soon return to Grand Rapids to live near one of our sons and his family. God has been faithful as we’ve journeyed on and we are thankful.
I taught at South Christian for 43 years. During this time I taught business math, general math, geometry and physical education. I also coached football for five years, varsity tennis one year, baseball one year and basketball for 30 years. For 28 years I was athletic director. I am married to Joan (Tubergen ’70) and have two daughters and three grandchildren. I am presently retired but keep busy helping out with sports events at South Christian and working at a golf course.
Since graduation from Calvin College, I went on to attend Calvin Seminary and then served for 10 years as the pastor of two different Christian Reformed churches. During my second decade of ministry I completed my doctor of ministry degree at Fuller Seminary, became credentialed as a hospital chaplain, and then spent 10 years serving as a hospital chaplain and as assistant director of chaplaincy of the Christian Reformed Church. My final two decades of ministry involved serving at Kuyper College, the last 12 years working in the capacity of provost. Additionally, I also have served 21 years as an Army Reserve chaplain which included being activated in 2003 to serve as a chaplain during the Iraq War. I am now working part time for the Acton Institute coordinating Abraham Kuyper translation projects.
Calvin has given me the greatest gift any institution can bestow on a person. It gave me the skills and the opportunity to develop and lead a thoughtful life. This has had profound and beneficial effects on my life of faith as well as my profession pursuits. I have been fortunate enough to spend many years as a college instructor and administrator plus many years as an adminstrator of federal education programs. Subsequent visits to Calvin and a recent tenure on the Calvin Alumni Board have only deepened my commitment to the college. As I enter my retirement years I hope I can be of greater service to Calvin.
I spent all of my working career teaching and coaching at Western Michigan Christian High School. I taught physical education, health, sociology and Bible while coaching baseball for 27 years and basketball for 43 years. I knew in high school that I wanted to teach and coach, and I felt that God had directed me along that pathway. I loved working with high school students and helping them with their problems and helping to bring them to adulthood. I tried to make each class feel as though they were family and challenged them to excel in the areas studied. I loved coaching kids! It was a way to get to know them more closely which did not come as easily in the classroom. I had some success as well, as my baseball team in 1980 went to the state finals. As for basketball, my teams in the 33 years of coaching on the varsity level won 510 games and five state championships. The highlight was coaching state champions in three consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010) and coaching my son Jeremy on the 1992 state championship team. I also coached three other squads who finished as runners-up. I was voted into the Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012, and in June 2013 I went into the Muskegon Hall of Fame. God has blessed me in a career that I loved and with a wife, Sue, and three boys—Jamie, Jeremy and Jason—along with seven grandchildren. They supported me throughout my 44 years in education. I am now retired and enjoy traveling and continuing as a director for and founder of the American Youth Basketball Tour, which I have done for the last 17 years.
Marjorie Ribbens Gray
I taught art and English in grade schools. I received a master’s in recreation therapy from the University of Maryland. I developed and directed the Senior Center at Washington D.C. CRC. I also created and managed Dayshare Inc., providing transportation, companionship and activities for seniors and people with disabilities. Along with being the author of Mulled Words: A Word a Week from God’s Word and Mulled Psalms: Moving from I to We, I am a blogger at http://mullstream.wordpress.com. After living at more than 30 addresses by age 50, I settled in Greenbelt, Md. I have great gratitude for my husband, Jim Gray; my sons, Christopher and David; my daughters Rhonda and Jean; and my grandchildren, Judah, Seren, Lily and Tyler. I am an active member of Washington D.C. CRC. I have enjoyed Calvin’s Festival of Faith & Writing and the Symposium on Worship.
Where do I begin? After my wife, Liya, and I left the college environment in 1968, we both received contracts to teach at Calgary Christian School in Calgary, Alta. We had both lived there before spending our time at Calvin and were happy to return home to use our talents in Christian education. After spending nine years at CCS, my wife and I took on the principalship at Vernon Christian School in Vernon, B.C. This was a fledgling school with 38 students in its first year of operation. In 1979 we returned to Calgary and I spent three years as principal of Calgary Christian School. After five years in administration I left to teach mathematics and chemistry for the Calgary Board of Education before retiring in 2002. Since then we have been involved with CRWRC (now World Renew) Disaster Response Services, first in reconstruction and for the past seven years in needs assessment. In fact, this fall Liya and I are completing a needs assessment in High River, Alta., which was very much affected by the southern Alberta floods in June. Both Liya and I have been involved in church life and have served on numerous occasions as elder, deacon, education committee member and lately also on the “Senior Connection” team which strives for intergenerational involvement within the church. Our family has grown from the two of us 45 years ago to include three sons—Rob, Dave and Joel—their spouses and five growing grandkids. Joel lives quite a distance away, and so we’ve had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia, on a semi-regular basis. Liya and I spend some of the winter escaping the winter in the Palm Springs area and some of the summer in the Okanagan Valley of B.C. where Rob lives with his family. Fortunately Dave and Anna and two of the grandkids live within a mile of us! God has blessed us richly with health and strength to enjoy working with World Renew and traveling in our retirement. I’ve enjoyed my hobby of astronomy (including solar eclipse chasing) over the past 50 years or so and have also been busy with our family tree, presently making an in depth study of the small town in Friesland from where my father’s ancestry hails. I even join my family in that crazy hobby of geocaching! We do plan on attending the 45th reunion if at all possible and look forward to seeing old friends and reminiscing about the “ancient” past.
Judy Sikkema Hartley
I left Calvin after one year (big regret), attended “secretarial school,” got married in 1967, and had two children who gave me three granddaughters. I graduated William Paterson University the same year as my son graduated high school. I passed the CPA exam and continue to work in the finance field. My husband passed in 1999. I’m getting close to retirement and am looking forward to relocating to Florida.
After Calvin I taught history and government for eight years, then went into business with a friend who needed help with governmental relations. When we sold the business four years later, I joined Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (now World Renew) as a communications and fundraising specialist. That experience brought me around the world and provided insights into poverty and social justice issues. In 1987, I joined Wedgwood Christian Services as vice president for development. Twenty-two years after leaving education, I became a Christian school superintendent for 11 years and finally returned to Calvin College as a regional gift officer, a position I still hold.
Marybeth Hatger Haverkamp
Since going to Calvin College, I taught elementary school and preschool for almost 30 years. I also served two-and-a-half years as ministries coordinator at Eastern Avenue CRC and two terms as elder. My husband, Bill, and I raised three children, one son and two daughters, who all graduated from Calvin. They are all married, two of them to Calvin grads and one to a Hope grad. We have eight grandchildren.
As we entered our senior year, I felt my career path into business was not where I belonged. My older brother suggested I try teaching for a year. Forty years later I retired from Zeeland Christian. It was also in Zeeland that the Lord led me to my wife, Mary. We have been blessed with three children and 10 grandchildren. As in many schools, one wears many hats besides teaching. I coached soccer for 35 seasons as well as some girls’ softball. For nearly 20 years I led groups of eight students on a 10-day American history trip to the East Coast. As our son entered into his teen years, I wanted to do something special with him. So I took him and two other boys on a three-week bike tour of the Netherlands. Thus began my summer “job” of organizing and leading 31 groups over the next 25 years on bike trips to the Netherlands. The Lord has blessed these trips with safety and good health, as He has also blessed my career and family.
I served for most of my career with Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, finishing with two years as interim president. Prior to administrative roles in Canada, I worked with First Nations groups in Quebec and across Canada. My first assignment involved guiding a team of Montagnais First Nations people in translating and publishing scripture. Over the years, I was involved as a translation consultant in 10 different language projects among First Nations groups. I also spent three years in Chad, where I directed the efforts of SIL International (the on-field partner of Wycliffe).
Thomas Hoeksema Sr.
Calvin has never been far from my heart. Growing up in the shadow of the Franklin campus with many faculty kids as friends, having an uncle who taught there, and assisting many faculty families who shopped in my dad’s IGA store, it was logical that I would attend Calvin, even though it offered no program in special education, the field to which I was committed. It was logical because, long before I had read Henry Zylstra or Calvin or Niebuhr, I had absorbed Calvin’s enduring motto: “Cor meum tibi offero domine, prompte et sincere.” It was a Calvin professor, Dr. Bert Bos, who planted the seed that I could come back some day and help create a teacher preparation program in special education at Calvin. I didn’t know providence came with such foreshadowing. Opposed to the war in Vietnam but not a pacifist, I was able to avoid serving when offered a draft-deferrable job teaching kids with intellectual disability. After several years and the requisite stint in graduate school, I returned to Calvin where I indeed did have opportunity to help get a special education teacher preparation program off the ground. And now, one year into retirement, I can’t believe how terrific it was to teach at Calvin or how sweet this new phase is. Like many of you, Mary (nee Pekelder) and I have been married 45 years. We still parent four adult children, two of whom are ours through transracial adoption. Six of our eleven grandchildren are persons of color, two of those by adoption, making our family photographs images of grace abounding.
I married Dorothy Van Proyen ’68 and have four wonderful adult children. I taught theology, Old Testament and several other disciplines for nine years at Jenison Christian School and for 30 years at Calvin Christian High School in Grandville, Mich. Dorothy and I have been active members of Madison Square CRC since 1969.
Dorothy Van Proyen Huizinga
After teaching for three years, I was blessed with my own children—three daughters and a son. While my husband and I were raising our children, I worked part-time for St. Marys’s Hospital. This eventually turned into a full-time position. As of this year, I’ve worked there for 40 years. I appreciate St. Mary’s concern for the poor and the care they show to people.
Jeanie Rypma Kammeraad
Forty years in 400 words! I have four children with Carl, and we have lived in southeast Michigan, New Jersey and Grand Rapids. I taught in the elementary grades at Cutlerville Christian, Holland Christian and Dawntreader School in Paterson, N.J., and I worked as a media specialist for close to 20 years at Oakdale Christian School in Grand Rapids. I have always loved participating in the world of music as a piano accompanist, an alto singer in various choirs, and a flutist in churches and in the West Michigan Flute Orchestra. In my retirement, I am a beginning cello student, giving special meaning to the expression about an old dog learning a new trick. Five grandchildren give Carl and me great joy.
I attended University of Michigan Medical School and completed a residency in OB/GYN at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor after graduating from Calvin in 1968. I was a “draftee” in the army and was the last of the Barry Plan physicians serving at Ft. Rucker, Ala. In 1978 we moved to Ft. Collins, Colo., where I had a private practice and established the Poudre Valley Prenatal Program for medically underserved women. I was clinical director for 21 years and taught family practice residents OB through that program. I am on the board of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, and I am an advocate for health care access for all. In 2012 I returned to grad school and received my master of public health in global health and health disparities in May 2013. I served on medical missions in Bangladesh, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda. I am still trying to figure out “what I’ll be when I grow up.” Susan Vanden Bosch ex’65 and I have been married 45 years (thanks be to God!). We have two adult daughters and five grandchildren. It’s been an excellent life!
Ellen Warners Klompien
I graduated with a bachelor of science in medical technology, but I used my music minor much more over the years. I’ve been teaching piano for many years, and I’m still enjoying it. Since my husband is a pastor, this career has worked well with all the moves we’ve made. We served six churches, and we are now retired in Sioux Center, Iowa, after living west of the Mississippi for the past 34 years. We’ve traveled extensively, often just visiting our three sons as they’ve lived abroad or in various parts of the U.S. as pastors. We feel very privileged to have our daughter and family living in the same town with us. My husband still keeps very busy working for churches around here. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful life.
Winnie Anema Klop
After leaving Calvin I had no idea what adventures would be in store for me. Giving up my spot in the Peace Corps, I married Don Klop in 1969. That choice set multiple directions for my life: living in Grand Rapids for 11 years and then in Flagstaff, Ariz., for five years, then moving even further west to southern California for 23 years, and returning to Grand Rapids for the last five years. On this journey, I found challenges and joy in multiple careers and roles. In the early ’70s I went to Calvin Seminary, but I abandoned that when I had little hope for becoming an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed denomination. Being a high school teacher of English and Bible in both public and private schools was the next step on my journey. In 1990, I returned to school and earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. After graduating I was invited to join the faculty of Loma Linda Medical Center and University. There I also enjoyed a private practice in counseling. Most recently I am a clinical social worker at Psychology Associates of Grand Rapids. On this journey Don and I raised five children and now have 13 grandchildren who live all around the U.S. What an adventurous loop! God has blessed my life with joy, sorrow, abundant growth and love. He is truly a good God who nurtures and cares for me every day. I am thankful he goes with me into my future, whatever new adventures and places I may go.
After Calvin, I was in the army for two years, including a year in Vietnam. Later, I received a master of public administration degree from Pepperdine. I have worked several jobs, but close to 30 years were spent as a social worker. I am retired and living in beautiful Sisters, Ore., with my wife, a retired teacher. My son is working in commercial property management and my daughter is a teacher.
Calvin was one of the key motivators in my life’s choice. Calvin’s educational process, as well as several other important learning experiences, allowed me to spend 25 years in Federal Prison, from 1978 to 2003—as a chaplain. My wife, Debbie, and I have four kids and six grandkids, and they all are a joy to us. In retirement, I am able to teach several courses at a local college as well as being the restorative justice project manager for the Christian Reformed Church. We currently live on Lake Sinclair in Sparta, Ga.—with no snow to shovel!
Audrey DeYoung Laninga
God has provided a wonderful journey full of surprises and affirmations. After graduation, I married Jay Laninga. I was honored to teach both at Unity Christian High School and Calvin College. God also blessed our home with two wonderful children, both of whom graduated from Calvin College. In 2000, I left teaching to work at Madison Square Church as their director of worship and the arts. Recently, I have moved to part time so that I can spend more time with our two (and soon to be three) grandchildren.
I married Audrey DeYoung in June 1968. Our children are Calvin grads Aaron and Cyndi Laninga (and two grandchildren, Kaci and Robert) and Lisa Laninga. I was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and served for two years. I received my MBA from Western Michigan University and passed my CPA exam in 1972. My career included three years in public accounting; 30+ years as CFO for Gantos, Inc., Star Theatres and Michigan Community Blood Centers; as well as nine years as CFO for Grand Rapids Christian Schools. I sang in the Calvin Alumni Choir for 21 years. I served on various church councils and committees as well as boards of Grand Rapids Christian Schools, Christian Schools International and Faith Alive. I have been a member of Madison Square Christian Reformed Church for the past 21 years.
Kathleen Cunningham Larson
After graduation from Calvin I interned in medical technology at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. I have been working for 30 years in the laboratory at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash., as a medical technologist. The past 10 years I have worked as the outreach supervisor for the lab, overseeing the client service department and managing lab phlebotomists assigned to work in patient service centers and skilled nursing facilities. My responsibilities recently have expanded to work with the lab IT team to provide interfaced lab test orders and results to patient electronic health records. The changes in health care continue to amaze me, and we continue to learn about new technology and how to apply it accurately in the medical field. My husband, Bruce, and I have raised three children, Kirstin Tyner, Shaun and Tim. We have four grandchildren: Graham and Emery Larson and Warrick and Brogan Tyner. Bruce and I attend the Marysville Free Methodist church and are involved in a small group Bible study. We work with a ministry to disabled adults called Eagle Wings and also work to raise awareness in our commmunity of the problem of human slavery and trafficking. I enjoy being involved in the music ministry at our church. Both Bruce and I enjoy working with young people and have accompanied our church youth group to international youth conferences throughout the country.
After attending Calvin Seminary I served churches in Illinois, New Jersey and Arizona. During that time I received a doctor of ministry degree from Western Seminary, Portland, Ore. I served as deputy director of conciliation services for Maricopa County Family Court. I continue to do some mediation and counseling work while enjoying retirement. I have authored a book, Life: It is All About God.
The majority of my life after graduation from Calvin has been spent in Christian higher education. I earned an MAT from Duke Univesity in 1969 and an master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina in 1972. Afterward, I worked in the libraries of Campbellsville (Ky.) College (now University) for 28 years and Georgetown (Ky.) College for two years between 1972 and 2002, when I took early retirement. I have been living in the suburbs of Louisville, Ky., since July 1972. I am avid college football and basketball fan and root for the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, the University of North Carolina, Duke University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan in that order. How’s that for divided loyalties?
Linda Huizingh Male
Between my sophomore and junior years, I married David Male, a teacher. After graduation I taught at Oakdale Christian and then stayed home when we had our two sons and a daughter. We remained in Grand Rapids where he taught in the public schools. We were active in both school and church activities until I felt the tug to attend Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. With a master’s in church education I accepted a youth pastor position at Plymouth Heights CRC and stayed there for four years. I then received an MDiv degree from Western Seminary but realized ordination was not available to me in the CRC, so I moved into the PC(USA). I taught at Grand Rapids Christian High for several years in the mean time, but after ordination I served as an interim pastor at Parkwood Presbyterian in Jenison. Now I am a volunteer parish associate at Westminster Presbyterian in Grand Rapids and am very active in the Presbytery of Lake Michigan. I am a happy grandmother to six grandchildren in the Grand Rapids area. Two of my children live close and one lives in Denver. My husband is retired, so we are free to help others as needed and to travel. Calvin provided a good foundation for all the education and life-learning I have enjoyed. God is good.
After graduating from Calvin I taught middle school math at Fremont (Mich.) Christian School for eight years. During that time I met and married Mary Ten Broek ’71. In 1976 we moved to Whitinsville, Mass., where I taught math at Whitinsville Christian School. In the 1980s we were part of the experience of WCS moving from a K-9 school to a full K-12 school. Those were exciting years at the school and also in our home with the births of our daughter, Leah, in 1980 and our son, Joel, in 1983. As was typical in the 1970s and 1980s in small Christian high schools, I taught a variety of courses, coached a variety of sports, and filled a variety of roles in activities and on committees at the school whether I was qualified or not. Since my wife taught in the elementary wing at WCS, we owned only one car until our daughter was a senior in high school (1997-1998). Until that time all four of our family members would get into the car together in the morning, travel the 2.5 miles to school, put in a long day of work, and return the 2.5 miles to our home. School was our life. I also had the opportunity to be elected (unopposed) to two terms on the Northbridge Sewer Commission. Jacob Oppewall (Calvin ’52) and I made up two-thirds of the Commission. Some townspeople accused us Dutch people of trying to take over the town from the bottom up. Summers gave our family the enjoyable opportunity to travel. Over the years I have been able to travel to 17 countries on four continents. Our family has hosted five different international students in their year-long studies at Whitinsville Christian. This was encouraged by our children who have brought their own international flavor to our family. Leah married a man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in summer 2012, and Joel married a young Ugandan woman in summer 2013. After going to school every year since kindergarten in 1951, I “graduated” at the end of the 2012-2013 school year and am pursuing other activities. God continues to be very good!
After teaching philosophy at Notre Dame for seven years, I spent 25 years working as an engineer. My wife, Gretchen, and I and our two sons lived in Tanzania (East Africa) for two years as leaders in Bible Study Fellowship. I now work as a statistician for the charter schools office at Central Michigan University.
Larry “Bryce” Mensink
I married Jan Vander Wall ’69. We have been blessed with three children: Jennifer, Amy and Jonathan, all of whom are Calvin alums. We also have one daughter, Melissa, who was stillborn. This early acquaintance with grief has profoundly shaped our love of children and our concern for those who mourn. After graduating from Calvin Seminary, I became ordained as a minister of the Word for the Christian Reformed Church. Jan and I have served a rich variety of churches: from suburban in a large city to a rural church near a village of 3,000; from multi-ethnic to predominantly Caucasian; from 20 years young to over a century old; from small (under 100 members) to large (over 900). But, the ministries were all similar in that they included pastoral care and preaching. Our latest chapter in life includes delighting in our six grandchildren.
Barbara Veltkamp Poel
Since Calvin I have had a 35-year career in elementary teaching. My husband, Don, and I lived in Spring Lake, Mich., for 30 years and are now enjoying retirement in Whitehall, Mich. We spend a significant amount of time in the Phoenix area where both of our daughters and our four grandchildren live. It is hard to believe that it has been 45 years since I graduated.
Out of Calvin, I went to Gboko, Nigeria, to teach at a mission school. I came back to the United States with a Canadian wife (part of an amazing, loving clan of 13 siblings). The next time I came back from Nigeria with a daughter (who is now a professor at McGill University). Then I taught in Canada for more than years. I am now retired, serving with World Renew’s Disaster Response Services, volunteering and prison ministry as well as enjoying the affection of my grandson, Ross. I enjoy singing in church and in an 80-voice choir which gives four concerts a year.
Pat Van Coevering Postma
In 1968 I married Chuck Postma, a Hope grad. While he was working on his doctorate at Ball State University, I taught K-8 music in nearby Yorktown. Chuck then taught at Ashland University. While at Ashland we had two boys. When we moved to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, I subbed in music and taught private flute lessons. Lake Erie drew us to Port Clinton, Ohio, where we live on the lake and I am a professional realtor selling water-related homes and condos. Both of our boys are in Michigan. Kevin and his wife teach science in Manistee. Our second son, Scott, graduated from Calvin as did his wife, Heather Bultman Postma. They live in Holland.
Since graduating from Calvin I had the privilege of serving as teacher and principal in Christian schools both in Canada and the USA. About twenty years after graduating, I received my master’s degree in school administration and curriculum development from the University of Nebraska. Serving in various Christian schools for 41 years allowed me to touch many lives for God. The four years at Calvin prepared me well for this calling.
Carol Veldman Rudie
From Calvin, I found myself in a master’s program at the University of Minnesota, followed by four terrific years of teaching at Dordt College. At Dordt I found a scholarly community intent on practicing a Reformational world view and passionate about educating the next generation. The first I, too, had acquired at Calvin; the second I discovered to be my particular gift. I spent several years working on a PhD in English and art history at the University of Minnesota—both of those interests cultivated by Stan Wiersma, Henrietta Ten Harmsel et al at Calvin. Since then, I’ve been in retail (managing a Logos Bookstore), in politics (on the board of Center for Public Justice several times, board member and election reform advocate with FairVoteMinnesota, education funding justice advocate with Citizens for Educational Freedom, et al), a higher education supporter (on the boards of Dordt College, Institute for Christian Studies, Friends of ICS), an art museum supporter (docent and education coordinator at the Museum of Russian Art), as well as on worship committees, on Christian school boards and committees, a Coffee Break leader and enthusiast, and now, an exhorter in the CRC—all of this done out of a Reformational worldview and Christian passion honed at Calvin. I write and speak on all these subjects and more. Dean and I met and married at the University of Minnesota. We have two sons, Eric and Branden, and two daughters-in-law, Alicia and Kristi, all of whom graduated from Calvin. Our one-year-old granddaughter wears a Calvin shirt….
After obtaining my master’s of science in accountancy from Western Michigan University and spending two years in the U.S. Army, I became a CPA and worked in public accounting and then in industry for about 10 years. Then I felt called to teach accounting at Calvin and spent 29 years as a professor. I now am retired but have worked the past three years at Baxter Community Center assisting low income people with preparing their income tax returns. I also have an accounting consulting business. My wife, Barb, and I also have 12 grandkids (#13 is on the way via adoption later this year). I also have been involved at the Christian Reformed Recreation Center as a board member and volunteer. Finally, I have been very active in our church.
Carol Raak Smith
For my career, I served as a teacher from 1968-2012. My family consists of one husband, two children and four grandchildren.
1968 was a fine year as I married the girl of my dreams and began study to prepare for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church. God has blessed us with a challeging and interesting career, a family filled with laughter and faith, and many beautiful pleasures. The deepest joys have been the simple ones: the first steps of a child,the hug of a grandchild, the steady support of my partner, and the surprising colors of a golden trout. Introducing people to the risen Lord and building up the church was always rewarding. Constant monitoring of culture, remaining current in biblical studies, and visiting the streets where the apostles evangelized brings a fresh appreciation of the timeless message. I once prayed in 1965 that if I should have children some day, that they would have the opportunity to attend Calvin, too. That prayer was answered four times.
Living long enough provides the opportunity to utilize skills from multiple careers (family therapist, school social worker, academic administration, university teaching, small/family business coach) to guide corporate leadership, private philanthropists, and nonprofit organizations in the use of responsible social entrepreneurship, which then enables urban residents to direct their own self-sustaining community transformation.
I was born and raised in New Jersey. I lived and worked there until about seven years ago when my wife and I relocated to the Grand Rapids area to be near our two kids who attended Calvin, met their spouses and settled in the area. It’s hard to believe that I am now working on the East Beltline, not very far from the Calvin campus. Who would have known!
Jane Scholten Thomasma
After graduation, I taught for two years at Sylvan Christian School and then, when I married Harry Thomasma ’66, began a 38-year career at Muskegon Christian School. Most of my teaching years were in second grade. In addition to teaching, church and serving the Lord have been an important part of our lives—first for 28 years at East Muskegon CRC and more recently at First CRC in Grand Haven. We have one son, Stephen, who is also a Calvin grad. He and his wife reside in Hershey, Penn., and are house parents at Milton Hershey School. We have enjoyed travel—highlights would certainly be our trips to Israel, Turkey and Greece, which helped our Bible study become more real. One benefit of retirement has been to have more time to volunteer at church and in the community.
Dennis Van Andel
A 43-year career in education led me to a variety of positions in different settings, mostly in New Mexico. Advanced degrees and training in outdoor education, school administration and reading allowed me to serve in the capacities of upper elementary and middle school teacher, environmental education specialist, elementary school principal, superintendent and reading specialist. The bulk of my career was at Rehoboth Christian School and Gallup McKinley County Schools in New Mexico, accompanied by brief stints of service in Grand Rapids, the Republic of Korea and Nigeria. In retirement I have been involved in a mentoring program for first-year teachers with Western New Mexico University. Throughout my career I faced many great challenges as well as enriching and rewarding experiences. God is faithful!
Paula Vander Hoven
In 1972 I was a “founding mother,” along with others, of Victory Christian School in Detroit. Beginning at about that time, I served as an unordained staff person in a Lutheran and then in a Presbyterian church. From 1980–1988 I was employed on the staff of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, working full time and attending classes on a part time basis until I graduated with an MDiv in 1988. Following that, I served as a Presbyterian pastor for churches in Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan. Since retiring in 2011 in Grand Rapids, I have been an interim pastor in Michigan. In addition to ministry, genealogical and historical research is another great passion in my life, and my specialty is in researching and reconstructing the stories of Dutch “ghost churches” in this country. I am the proud mother of two children and grandmother of one granddaughter.
Glenda Lappinga VanderKam
Life has truly been a journey ranging from California to Nevada, over to Hawaii, Minnesota, Tennessee, back to California, Hawaii again and now back to California again. Calvin prepared me well for a teaching career that has spanned many grade levels and is not over yet. I was blessed with a wonderful marriage until that dreadful disease, pancreatic cancer, took Jer in 2007. We were blessed with three children, one of whom chose Calvin and graduated in 2003.
Now retired for two years from ordained ministry with the Christian Reformed Church, I am so very grateful to Calvin College and Calvin Seminary not only for a wonderful education but also for providing a solid footing for continued life-time learning. The spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of my faith were given rigor, and the many examples of relevant faith I was privileged to witness and share during those years live with me still. Calvin helped me in every facet of my life and ministry to uphold God’s name and honor, as the Alma Mater puts it. Thank you, Calvin!
Teaching is what I do but a teacher is what I am. I spent 43 years teaching in Christian schools and found this fulfilling. I am single but have spent many wonderful years teaching in elementary school (mostly at the kindergarten level) and at the middle school level. I had always wanted to be a teacher and was never disappointed in my career choice. Besides classroom teaching, I have written many articles about teaching and have written devotionals. I also wrote curriculum for various groups. I was privileged to write and publish two idea books for teachers. I spoke frequently at conventions such as Christian Educators Association (CEA) and Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS). All of these educational experiences have been stimulating and I never felt “burned out.” In the 1983-1984 school year, I taught in Northern Ireland for a year, starting a Christian school there. I had 16 students ages four to 14. I still have friends who live in Northern Ireland. I am also blessed to have a close family and many wonderful nieces and nephews as well as great-nieces and great-nephews. I retired in June 2012—just in time to have a heart attack! However, I am recovering well and feel good now. God has been good.
Barbara Broersma Van Haste
After graduating from Calvin, I married John Van Haste and moved to Indiana. I taught fifth grade at Calvin Christian School in South Holland, Ill., for three years. I moved to Hawthorne, N.J. in 1972. My daughter, Stephanie, was born in 1973 and my son, Jonathan, was born in 1977. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years. Later it was difficult to re-enter the teaching field so I was a classroom aide in several different schools. I finshed my career teaching fourth grade in New Milfore, N.J. I retired in 2007. My husband, John, passed away in 1998 from brain cancer. Both of my children are Calvin graduates (Classes of 1995 and 1999). My daughter now lives in New Jersey and my son lives in Kansas.
John Van Oudheusden
I am currently living in Evart, Mich., and am semi-retired. After graduation I became a department manager with K-Mart, and I’ve lived in the Grand Rapids area for most of my life. After my six years with K-Mart, I went into the photo retailing business and was employed by Marks Photo, Arden’s Photo and Riley Camera. During those 25 years I also did some freelance photography, which I still do. I am currently single, but I have three kids (two boys and a girl) who are now grown. I also have four grandchildren and I hope eventually to have a few more.
I am retired from a 40-year law career. I have enjoyed service on legal and CRCNA boards and committees, including a judicial code committee and three terms on Calvin Seminary’s board. I am presently in final year serving on the CRC denomination’s board of trustees. I served as first clerk at Synod 2013.
On graduation from Calvin in 1968, I went as a missionary to teach English in a newly established high school in West Africa. Having a few Muslims in my classes prompted me to read the Qur’an in English translation as well as any other book written by English-speaking Muslims that I could get my hands on. Over the years I have found out that there is much in the Qur’an and in Islam that sets Muslims up for hoping for something that Islam can not deliver. But God in Christ can! My involvement with Muslims over the years has led to my witnessing hundreds and thousands of Muslims falling in love with Jesus and joining his way of overcoming evil with good through forgiveness and blessing.
The summer following graduation, I began working for the State of Michigan, Department of Social Services, in Muskegon until being drafted into the Army a short time later. I served in the 82nd Airborne Division while in the service. Following discharge, I returned to Muskegon. After a few months with the Departement of Social Services, with the help of another Calvin graduate, I transferred to the Department of Corrections where I was a probation/parole manager until retiring in 2010. Carole Duiser and I were married in 1972. We have three children and two grandchildren with one more grandchild on the way. Carole, a registered nurse, and I are also volunteer trainers in delivery of chronic care for second-year pediatric residents at Spectrum Health. We are members of Unity Reformed Church in Muskegon where I currently serve as elder.
Nancy DeVries Visser
After graduating from Calvin College I married Henry Visser. We have three married children and six grandchildren. I am a retired elementary teacher, having taught most of my career in the public school system. In retirement I enjoy having more time to spend with family and friends, traveling, volunteering, reading and bike riding.
Mary Jane Velzen Voogt
After leaving Calvin I finished my undergrad study at Michigan State University where I attended with husband, Jim Voogt ‘66. I taught classroom music in Okemos, Mich.; Alameda, Calif.; and Overland Park, Kan. After the births of three children I finished a master’s of music at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory of Music. My emphasis area was church music, and I subsequently became director of music ministry at an Overland Park, Kan., church. We now are retired and living in Colorado’s front range near children and grandchildren.
My wife, Carol, and I were married two weeks after graduation. We moved to Lupwe, Nigeria, two months later and I spent the next 16 years as a missionary teacher in Nigeria. Our four children were all born in Nigeria. During those years I earned a master’s degree from Calvin Seminary. In 1984 we moved from Nigeria to Pease, Minn., where I served as principal/teacher of Community Christian School. In 1989 we moved to Grand Rapids so I could work in the home office of Christian Reformed World Missions; I was in charge of the orientation and training of new missionaries. In 1992 we returned to Nigeria as World Mission’s field director for Nigeria. In 2000 we moved to Lafayette, Ind., where I served as principal of Lafayette Christian School for 10 years. We retired in 2010 and moved to Grand Rapids. Last year I served as interim superintendent of Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria.
After Calvin College, I attended Calvin Seminary for three years, graduating in 1971. In 1970 I moved with my family to Lake Odessa, Mich., to serve a church during my senior year of seminary. On graduation, I took a call from Alger Park CRC to pastor the Lake Odessa church, which became an organized congregation after four years. From there I took a call to Immanuel CRC of Hudsonville, Mich., where I served for nearly seven years. These two churches were very different. Having been born and raised in western Michigan, married a girl from western Michigan, gone to school in western Michigan and served two churches in western Michigan, I decided I hadn’t gotten very far in life and answered God’s call to Faith Community CRC in Wyckoff, N.J., 20 minutes from NYC. This church was a combination of the best of the two previous churches, and in eight years the church was blessed to grow by 60%. I also went back to Calvin during my Hudsonville and Wyckoff tenures and earned a master’s of theology. My next call was to start a new missional congregation with about 20 people from Faith Community. The church was blessed and grew and waned, all the while maintaining an incarnational vision. I retired from active ministry in 2011 and moved back to Spring Lake, right in western Michigan—full circle. My wife and I enjoy volunteering with World Renew in reconstruction and serving in a mission-based community in Spring Lake. I am very grateful to both Calvin College and Calvin Seminary for a great education and preparation for a life of ministry and service in God’s kingdom. I will to continue to serve him in any way he chooses to use me on the adventure of his mission as long as my journey remains on this side of eternity.
My outer geography has remained in western Michigan, but my inner landscape has changed significantly over the years since graduation from Calvin. My life’s work has included teaching school on middle school, high school and college levels for 10 years and working as a family law paralegal for 30 years. In the past 10 years, I have been trained as a spiritual director/mentor and have truly found my passion. It is my privilege to accompany those who long for meaning, for hope, for transcendence and purpose. Hearing the sacred tale of another’s life, noticing the movements of the Spirit in that life, discerning and making wise choices together, and seeing life for the mystery it is—all this is a holy privilege. I have experienced significant losses in my life, including the deaths of two husbands. Yet thankfully, grief has been a path of awakening for me. I know well that in God’s time the hurts we carry will not only be healed but can also be transformed into beloved parts of a journey to wholeness. Life’s pilgrimage, then, has brought me to a contemplative life of reflection, understanding and groundedness, a life in which increasing awareness and deep understanding continue to shape who I am as a child of God.
Learning Spanish as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru greatly influenced the course of my life. My teaching focus has been teaching English as a second or foreign language, mostly to speakers of Spanish. Some of this teaching was in the content areas, including history, which were my major at Calvin. My wife, Dianne, and I met in a Spanish class at Calvin after my return from Peru. Together we spent six years in Argentina where her parents lived and where I taught English and Bible knowledge at St. Andrew’s Scots School. Our two youngest children were born there. Our oldest of four became bilingual and has provided us with two future bilingual grandchildren and a Bolivian son-in-law. At one time or another I have taught from kindergarten to college, including adult basic education and several levels and ages of ESL. I retired in 2010 after over 20 years in the Wyoming (Mich.) Public School system, the last sixteen at Rogers High School.
After graduating from Calvin Seminary in 1971, my wife Leta Dyk ’68 and I have served five churches in the Christian Reformed Church—Worthington, Minn., for five years; Sunnyside, Wash., for eight years; First Highland, Ind., for 14 years; Twelfth Avenue in Jenison, Mich., for eight years; and currently First DeMotte. Ind., where I am in my eighth year..
After graduation I married Nancy Wiersum ex’68, who had completed her freshman year at Calvin. We have three sons, and two of them are married. We have been blessed with three grandchildren. I taught elementary physical education, served in the Army as a medical corpsman with a tour in Vietnam, and then completed my education with a certificate in physical therapy from The University of Pennsylvania. I started my physical therapy career in acute care and rehabilitation hospitals in Flint, Mich. The majority of my work was for The Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Mich., where I provided physical therapy and ergonomic evaluations for their employees. I retired in 2008 and live outside of Kalamazoo. My wife is a retired teacher. We reside in The Villages, Fla., during the winter months. My time is spent with volunteer, sport and other activities.