My career was in education. Upon graduation I accepted a position in South Lyon, Mich. I taught and coached there for six years. While there I earned a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in guidance and counseling. The master’s degree enabled me to secure a counseling position at Harper Creek High School in Battle Creek. I counseled and coached there for 8½ years. For roughly half a year I directed a Youth Employment Training Program for the Calhoun Intermediate School District. In the fall of 1982 I began counseling, teaching and coaching at Calvin Christian Schools in Grandville. I remained at Calvin till I retired in 2005. Over the years at Calvin I coached golf and basketball as well as served a seven year stint as athletic director.
Carol Battjes Ackerman
After years of being a stay-at-home mom and volunteer, I worked with the deacon’s conference. I managed a volunteer program and did a lot of deacon training. I have served on several denominational boards, most recently on the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC, now known as World Renew) board of directors. Travel has been a constant in my life; I completed my third trip to Africa this year.
What I learned at Calvin—the Reformed world and life view as well as the academic subjects—was like a stone cast into a pond. The ripples from the people I met and the teaching I experienced continued to flow through my life in all that I did and accomplished. Upon graduation I served the CRWRC for three years in Miami, Fla. I then worked at seven midwest colleges and universities in various administrative roles (Trinity Christian College, Urbana University, Chicago State University, Governors State University, Columbia College, University of Illinois at Chicago and Roosevelt University). For the last 15 years of my work history I worked for a major computer company (Sungard Higher Education). In this role I customized computer systems and trained college and university staff members in the use of their systems.
I first taught at Jenison Christian for two years, then married a Calvin graduating senior, Marlene Vander Linde ’69, after which we moved to New Jersey where I taught middle school in an inner-city area. After that year I was drafted into the Army for two years, surviving a tour in Vietnam as an MP. Once out, I earned my master’s in education at Western Michigan University; I then taught seven years at Constantine Public followed by 29 years for the Kalamazoo Christian Schools. When my position was eliminated due to budget cuts, I joined FedEx as a driver, retiring (this time by choice) three years later. Throughout my adult life I have been heavily involved in church activities, serving several terms as deacon and elder, Sunday School and catechism teacher, Bible study leader, and in music positions such as choir, praise team, and worship leader. We have four wonderful grown children and two grandchildren.
I spent 36 wonderful years inspiring middle school students to love God and His creation. My hobbies center on gardening and sharing with others about how to grow flowers and also sharing extras from the flower garden.
Carol Yonkers Bos
I married Ed Bos soon after graduation and we both attended St. Mary’s School of Medical Technology in Grand Rapids. In June of 1970, we moved to Kalamazoo where Ed worked in lab management and I was privileged to raise our two sons at home. They are now married and have blessed us with 17 grandchildren! In 1995 Ed and I founded Worldwide Lab Improvement, a non-profit ministry which assists the laboratories in mission hospitals and clinics in developing countries (www.wwlab.org).
Carol Yonkers and I were married after graduation and both began our medical technology internship at St. Mary’s Hospital. We worked there until June of 1970 when we moved to Kalamazoo, and we have lived there ever since. We have two boys and 17 grandchildren. I worked at Bronson Hospital for 25 years. In 1995 I left Bronson, and Carol and I founded Worldwide Lab Improvement, a 501(c)3 Christian non-profit corporation that has for the last 17 years supported medical mission laboratories all around the world.
After graduation from Calvin Theological Seminary I served two Christian Reformed churches in Vermont and Guam. Then I entered the Navy and served 26 years as a chaplain. My last assignment was Great Lakes, Ill., where I served as assistant chief of staff for family programs and religious ministries. After retirement in 2004, I served five years as senior chaplain for Sky Valley Ministries in Palm Springs, Calif. Presently I am the chaplain to Caliente Springs Chapel and Resort. In the summer Kathy and I live in our condo in Hudsonville, Mich.
After Calvin, I worked in private industry (transportation) and took courses in business administration from Davenport College, Michigan State University, Penn State University and Texas A&M. I then began work with the federal government with the Department of Transportation. During my career, I lived in several locations throughout the United States. Prior to retirement, I served as field administrator with the U.S. DOT in Atlanta, Ga. Now I am retired and am volunteering in several organizations from our base in the Orlando, Fla., area.
I married Marilyn Erffmeyer and together we had two wonderful daughters. Our family has grown over the years to include 11 wonderful grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 15. After graduating from Calvin, I received a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a PhD from the University of Michigan. By God’s grace, I have had a number of interesting opportunities to work and serve our Lord by teaching high school, serving as clinical director of a treatment program, providing organizational development consulting and managing a municipal bond program for an investment bank where I continue to work. I have also had the privilege of volunteering and serving on the boards of a number of local charities in Ann Arbor where we have made our home for the past 35 years. Together with Marilyn, I give thanks to God daily for his many blessings.
Joanne Byker Deckinga
During my last year at Calvin, I married my college sweetheart Bruce Deckinga, a pre-med student who became a successful general surgeon. I taught at Timothy Christian Elementary School in Cicero, Ill. We were very mobile during the first 13 years of our marriage, moving approximately 11 times. We eventually settled in Petoskey, Mich., which has been our home for many years. This year we will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. We parented four children, two biological and two adopted. Sometimes we tease each other that we were made for kids as we love to have them around. We currently have three wonderful grandchildren and two more on the way. During retirement, we stay very involved in the lives of our grandchildren.
Peter De Jong
I stayed close to home. After completing graduate school I taught for 39 years at Calvin in the department of sociology and social work, first teaching sociology courses and, thereafter, social work courses until retiring in 2008.
Once I had excluded my return to my father’s farm as my vocation, I followed a number of classmates and friends to law school. (What else does one do with a political science major?) Returning to Grand Rapids after finishing law school in California, I began my career in litigation—a method of resolving disputes sometimes considered to be more civil than dueling. As a consequence, I never had to go to work because I always enjoyed my job—helping people to resolve their business or personal disputes with one another. At the same time, my wife, Mary Jo, and I have been blessed with three terrific children who chose wonderful spouses and who have provided five lovely granddaughters ranging from three years to 17 years of age! To one degree or another, most share my passion for sailing. I know that I have been truly blessed.
1967-1971: medical school in Ann Arbor 1971-1975: training in OB/GYN in Grand Rapids 1975-2010: General OB/GYN practice in Wausau, Wisconsin Delivered over 6300 babies 2010- present: retired and doing some volunteer work and relaxing in Wausau. Married wife Donna in 1972 3 grown and married children and 2 wonderful grandsons.
While I was still at Calvin I married Natalie Idema. After graduation I worked as a planning staff person for the United Way of Kent County, Mich. Then I returned to Calvin College and Seminary as chief development officer. From there I began a fund-raising consulting firm, which later merged with another called The Timothy Group. Now semi-retired, I continue to work for that firm, serve as the executive director of the Council of Reformed Charities and am a consultant to fellows at the Van Lunen Center at Calvin. We have three children, one of whom graduated from Calvin, and seven grandchildren. With six of them living in southern California, Natalie and I spend five months of the year there. We are members of Sunshine Community Church in Grand Rapids, and during the winter we attend The River (CRC) in Redlands, Calif.
School, reading and learning was always easy and fun for me. Then I turned 12. Work on the farm, friends and paper routes were more fun, and through high school, learning lapsed, achievement waned and grades became unimportant. A freshman year in an Iowa cornfield helped somewhat, but Calvin revealed my high school hiatus. Marriage to Judy, a 4.0 student, helped keep me on track! After graduation, I worked for three years as a social worker in Detroit in the late 1960s and four years in Battle Creek; I also completed a master’s degree in social work. I was then led to a fulfilling child welfare job in Grand Rapids. I was blessed with Calvin graduates as supervisors and mentors, including Evert Vermeer ’59, Andrew Zylstra ’66 and John Cole ’64. With 30 years as a social worker behind me, I retired from the Department of Human Services at age 52. While in graduate school, I had again learned to enjoy studying and learning, and I later returned for a second master’s degree in public administration. Following retirement, I was offered a full time job teaching social work at Grand Valley State University. I have tried to give back some of what I received from my social work professors at Calvin, including Henry Holstege, Roger Rice, Ted Rottman and Don Wilson. After 14 years of teaching, I re-retired, spent last summer pedaling my bike across America, and now am looking forward to increasing my volunteer work with CRWRC. Eastern Avenue CRC provides a wonderful church home, and our five sons and six grandchildren continue to be a blessing and inspiration.
After Calvin I got a job as a special education teacher at the Kent Intermediate School District and had a great career! I retired in 1996. In the course of my career I received a builder’s license from the state of Michigan. I have spent a great deal of time volunteering all over the country since retirement. I always feel that “I have more than I deserve” (Dave Ramsey).
Betti DeYong Grevengoed
Life has brought my husband, William R. Grevengoed, and me to Roseland Christian School where combined we have taught for 62 years—37 for him and 25 for me. We have been blessed to have taught and learned much. All of our four children have graduated from this elementary school on the south side of Chicago. We have lived in the Beverly community in Chicago for nearly the past 30 years. Our church affiliation has been with Pullman Christian Reformed Church, which I understand is “the best kept secret on the south side.” It is an exciting cross-cultural experience which has blessed many. We are very blessed to have been parishioners under the guidance of Rev. Richard E. Williams. We have been choir members there for many years which also has been a deeply spiritual growth experience bringing God’s word in song to those in the congregation and to visitors that enter each week. Black Christian Gospel music has been embedded in our souls and we thank God for this experience also.
Shortly after graduation I returned to New Jersey and began to work at our family business, Heerema Company, which sells process equipment for the beverage, cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. I married Marcia L. Pruis and entered the army and served in Texas and Vietnam. We have two children, Jeff and Jen, who both graduated from Calvin, and we are blessed with four grandchildren. I have served on the local alumni chapter in New Jersey and also on the national board. We attend Cedar Hill CRC, Wyckoff, NJ and have served as deacon and elder several times.
I am thankful for my education at Calvin and continue to support Calvin in the future.
I have two married adult children (both Calvin grads), an 18-year-old daughter and five grandchildren (two in high school with likely futures at Calvin; we will join the “four generations of Calvin grads” group). I attended the University of Minnesota for medical school, an internal medicine residency and an endocrinology fellowship followed by a faculty appointment. In 1985 I began a 23-year career at the Cleveland Clinic doing a combination of patient care, research (diabetes and cardiovascular risk) and teaching. In 2008 I joined Eli Lilly (diabetes research). I plan to continue to work full-time as long as it is fun every day. For leisure, I have travelled extensively. I have lived in England for four years; I’ve also seen sights—including the Taj Mahal, Egyptian pyramids, the Galapagos Islands (on an interim trip with Professor Curt Blankespoor and Calvin students), a South African game reserve, the Great Barrier Reef, Moscow (when it was still behind the Iron Curtain), Hiroshima and more—on five continents. I enjoy exercise (especially mountain skiing), reading, music, gardening and theater. God has blessed me beyond my wildest expectations!
M. Elaine Medema Hutt
I married John Hutt, a fellow Calvin graduate who also attended Calvin Theological Seminary. We felt called to serve as missionaries but didn’t know where God would lead us. I believe as a result of my love for Spanish and the need for missionaries to Spanish-speaking countries, God led us to serve in Argentina for 11 years. We took our young son with us to Costa Rica where we spent one year learning the language and then served two churches in Argentina—one in Mar del Plata and the other in Tandil. We added two precious daughters to our family at that time. We returned to the U.S. and served a church in Grand Rapids for a brief time and then were called to serve the Spanish congregation in Holland, Mich., which later became known as Vida Nueva. I was busy raising four children and doing substitute teaching while serving in the churches we served. John and I are now both semi-retired but continue working part time—John works as a chaplain and pastor of congregational life and counseling and I work as support staff at Hospice of Holland where I have worked for 19 years.
Kathleen Bosman Klompeen
My degree in education assisted me in serving as a teacher of elementary and adult students, a school board member, an academic advisor for college and naturopathic medical students and the executive assistant to the president of a private university, as well as being a team member with my husband in ministry, particularly among Native Americans. We have lived in Hull, Iowa; Zuni and Gallup, N.M.; Richmond and San Francisco, Calif., and Dearborn, Mich. and are now in Bothell, Wash.
I am married to Lynn Bossenbroek ’68. I taught for 11 years at Ripon Christian High School (Ripon, Calif.) and 26 years at Unity Christian High School (Hudsonville, Mich.). I am now retired, living in Hudsonville and volunteering at Love In the Name of Christ in Hudsonville.
After college I was hired by the Michigan Department of Corrections as a parole officer in Detroit (lower East Side)—a great learning experience. From there I moved to Houston, Tex., to work as administrative assistant for the department of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. After 1½ years there I started a master’s degree in the clinical program in psychology at the University of Houston. Three practicums—in an all African American, an all Latino and a downtown mix—provided the path to graduation. In 1973, I was interviewed on a lark at the Corpus Christi, Tex., school psychology program and was hired. I stayed there for the next 16 years and then moved to San Antonio to work for Northside Independent School District until 1998 at which point I retired. The last 10 years were at a high school of about 2500 students. It was a good run and thoroughly enjoyable. After six months of having read every book I wanted to read and seeing every movie I wanted to see, I started a handyman service. I liked instant results and have been doing that ever since, although the amount of work performed is less each year. I am currently building a room addition to my home. Any time I returned to Michigan, Dr. Wiersma and I would get together for tea and conversation which was most enjoyable and thought provoking.
After graduation, I went back to British Columbia. I then took courses at the University of British Columbia to obtain my accounting degree. I got married in 1968, had two kids, became widowed in 1978 and married again later. I have four kids now. I started an accounting practice and was active as an accountant until retirement eight years ago. I still work part time for certain clients, and I spend the winters in Hawaii.
After living for 39 years in Kenya and Eritrea, I am now based in Dyer, Ind., and continue working as a transformational development trainer and consultant primarily in Africa but also doing some work in Central America and southeast Asia. I find great joy in seeing people begin to solve their problems with a holistic asset-based approach and seeing dignity being restored as image bearers of God.
Alyce Horzelenberg Oosterhuis
After graduating from Calvin in 1967, I obtained a master’s degree from Michigan State University in 1977 then obtained an M.Ed. from University of Alberta in 1980. I then obtained a Ph.D. from University of Alberta in 1984 and was a professor at The King’s University College (after five years as a sessional lecturer) from 1985-2004 in Edmonton, Alta. I then retired from teaching in 2008 after having taught 45+ years in all grades through graduate university courses in Ontario, Amsterdam, Edmonton, Toronto and Langley.
It has been great serving God in mission service. I guess you could say I started things: one campus ministry, two churches and a leadership development program for ministry associates.
Married to Kathleen (Talsma), graduated Calvin Seminary, pastored in upstate NY where two sons, Nathan and Adam, were born; Ph.D, Princeton Seminary, 17 years of being a prof at Calvin Seminary, 5 years as Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College, 10 years as President of Calvin Seminary. Lots of writing, speaking, preaching; good friends, good music, good sports. A book on sin dedicated to Peter Kok, 'who has taught me more about the topic of this book than I can properly express.' Made him feel like he could hold his head up with anybody.
Frances Boelens Redder
The Lord of this life has been ever present with me in the person of his Son, Jesus the Christ, and I am and will be forever grateful throughout this life and eternity.
I taught at Central Wisconsin Christian High for three years and have taught at Southwest Chicago Christian Schools for 43 years. I married Betsy Westra ’67 and have four children who have attended Calvin. Both my wife and I have been very happily involved in school and church activities. We have also had a good time coming in contact with former Calvin students.
Thea Schravendeel Van Kampen
After attending Calvin, I completed a master’s of social work degree at the University of Michigan. I married a Hope College and Western Theological Seminary graduate. We moved to Denver, Colo., where we raised four children. I spent my early married years raising our children but did work part time for Bethany Christian Services. Once our children were of full-time school age I worked for several private child placement agencies. I retired from Adams County Social Service Department where I worked as an intake child protection worker. I have been retired for four years and truly love my less stressful life. Once my husband retires, we hope to spend more time in Michigan where one of our daughters resides. We are very fortunate to have our other three children living in close proximity. We are truly blessed to have seven beautiful grandchildren, five of whom reside in Colorado. As I re-read this information I am struck by how wondrous it is that 45 years are condensed into so few words.
After graduating from Calvin College, I studied at Calvin Theological Seminary. I graduated and was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in 1970. I have served 41 years in the ministry of the CRC. I have served churches in Michigan, Illinois, California and Indiana. I am now working half-time in ministry at Bethel CRC of Lansing. My wife Gayle and I have three children and six grandchildren. God has been so good to us.
After Calvin I took a job at Amway in the marketing department. I was there for 14 years. While there it was determined that I had a malignant brain tumor. From there I went to Bissell Healthcare and was responsible for developing a consumer catalog with aids for daily living. I also opened a retail store. From there I was given the marketing responsibilities for all four companies. I ended up getting involved in corporate acquisitions. I ended up buying a company in Kalamazoo called Amfab, a company that manufactures overbed tables. I was appointed president/general manager. I retired from my position due to health issues. I am now spending my time doing various types of volunteer work.
My education at Calvin College served as the fundamental basis for all of my subsequent learning. After Calvin, I attended medical school at Vanderbilt and did graduate medial work at the University of Chicago before I moved to the National Institute of Mental Health for specialized training in brain research. This prepared me for a career where I have attempted to define alterations in the brain that could lead to psychosis and would become manifest in diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. My current model for psychosis involves dysfunction of the region in the brain that mediates relational memory and important elements of human logic. Often I reflect on the congruence of my lifelong research and my early logic classes with Al Plantinga.
Al Ter Haar
I left Calvin in 1966 and served as an Air Force Medic for nearly four years in Dover, Delaware and Thailand. I returned to Calvin to complete work for my A.B. and M.A.T. degrees. My wife, Mary (Buist, ex '68 Blogett Nursing), and I adopted four children. The children's heritages include Italian, Iranian, Korean, and Cambodian birth parents. Two of our children became residents of Zeeland, MI (my hometown) as married adults after having been raised in Florida. I enjoyed teaching Science (mostly Biology and Chemistry) in Whitinsville, MA, Ontario, CA, New Era, MI, and Bradenton, FL for a total of 39 years. The Lord's blessings abound!
It was my privilege to use my degree in elementary education by teaching in two Christian schools. From 1967-1972 I taught at Calvin Christian School in South Holland, Ill., and after that I taught at Allendale Christian School in Allendale, Mich., retiring in 2007. God greatly blessed me during those 40 years of teaching his children, and he continues to bless me in my retirement.
I have recently retired from the Grand Rapids Public Schools after 36 years. Teaching areas included 12 years in hearing impaired, 12 years in a specialty school for math and science, and 12 years in elementary education. I received an award for Michigan History Teacher of the Year for 2000 and co-authored a book on Grand Rapids history and its people, which was a timeline on the immigrants that came to Grand Rapids up until 1952.
David Van Reken
I attended medical school at the University of Illinois–Chicago from 1967-71. From 1971-74 was my residency in pediatrics (Washington University, St. Louis). From 1974-76 I was in the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, Virg. From 1976-85 I was a medical missionary in Liberia, West Africa. I was a Billy Graham Scholar in Missions for 1985-86 at Wheaton College. Since 1986, I have been a professor of clinical pediatrics at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Ind. I have been married to Ruth E. Frame since August 26, 1967, and am the father of three married daughters and the grandfather of 11 wonderful grandchildren! I am still working full time until…who knows?
During the summer after graduation I married Ruth Ellen Frame and over the next 10 years we were blessed with 3 daughters. After a residency in Pediatrics in St. Louis and 2 years in the U.S. Navy, our little family served in Liberia, West Africa for 9 years with SIM International. We returned to the USA in 1985 and in 1986 I began teaching Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. I am still doing Pediatrics full-time and our 3 daughters are now mothers of our 11 grandkids with another due in October '12. Ruth has become an expert in Third Culture Kids and has written 2 books on the subject and flies all over the world helping International families and organizations.