Class Notes • Fifties

Nine Calvin attendees (Roger Boerema ’55, Jack Smant ’56, Marvin Huizinga ex’54, Herbert DeJonge ’56, Thomas O’Hara ’56, Norman Roobol ’58, Marvin Besteman ’56, Marlin Arnoys ’57, and Irvin Zylstra ex’55), also known as “The Boys,” have been close friends for over 50 years. With their spouses, they’ve gathered each summer since their college days for a day-long reunion, held for decades at the Spring Lake, Mich., home of the DeJonges. Now that all are either retired or nearly so, “The Boys” annual reunion has expanded to three or four days and is held during various seasons and at varied locations.

John Bolkema ’55 joins other Calvin alums volunteering at Justice for All in Orange City, Iowa. But each year in the spring and fall, John and his wife, Betty, leave Iowa to spend a month in Cary, Miss., working with John Perkins’ Christian Community Development ministry.

A team of retired Dordt College professors, headed by Willis Alberda ’59, volunteers for Habitat for Humanity in Sioux Center, Iowa. Part of their work is to help the local Habitat chapter raise funds and stay financially sound.

Just over 20 years ago, a dream he believes was given to him by God, caused Casey Vander Stelt ex’58 to leave his general construction business in Hamilton, Ont., and begin Self-Discovery of Imprisoned Persons. Over the years, Casey has made over 7,600 visits to inmates in 31 provincial and federal institutions across Ontario and has no intention, he says, of ever retiring from sharing the good news of healing, forgiveness and restoration.

Harvey Huiner ’59 and Marjorie Kramer Huiner ’60 both retired in 2002, he after 27 years teaching in the music department at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., and she from Lynchburg General Hospital, where she worked as a medical technologist for 27 years. In the first year of their retirement, they served as volunteers in the historic Sitka, Alaska, Lutheran Church, where Harvey presented organ recitals on the church’s restored Kessler Organ. Built in 1843 in Estonia, the organ is believed to be the oldest pipe organ in the Pacific Northwest.

“One day a tuxedo kitten perched on our picnic table at the Cross-eyed Cricket Camp-ground. Soon he was peeing in our tub and we were buying kitty chow. We were in a family way again,” writes Ron Stob ’57. Adopting the stray proved such an adventure that Ron, with the help of his wife, Eva, wrote A Cat Called Canoe, a glimpse into a cat’s psyche and life with his human benefactors. The book, illustrated with black and white photographs of Canoe, can be ordered by calling the Stobs at 865-856-7888 or e-mailing Ron at