<< Spark Online
1950's: Class Notes
your calendars for the 50-year and 45-year class reunions:
of 1957: Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Since 1995, Jack Hielema '57 has been voluntary chaplain at the University of Northern British Columbia. Last spring he taught a course in comparative religion, and over the summer he preached in the Netherlands in three different Reformed denominations. He and his wife, Alice Nicolai Heilema '57, live in Prince George, B.C.
Stewart Kanis '55 recently retired after 40 years of full time family practice at Pella (Iowa) Medical Clinic, which he began in 1960 with fellow alumnus Gene Van Zee '51. Now, Kanis' son, John, and son-in-law, Richard Posthuma '79, practice there, and grandson Doug Kanis '00 attends medical school. Calvin alumni Kenneth Monsma '59 and David Daining '69 also are partners. Bob Kroese, CEO of the Pella Regional Health Center, told the Pella Chronicle that Kanis "has been a pioneer in laying the foundation for high-quality, compassionate Christian health care in this area."
After retiring from the Luke Society in 1999, Peter Boelens '57 and Eleanor Vander Vliet Boelens '60 started a prayer ministry in Vicksburg, Miss. "The results have been so amazing," Eleanor writes, "that we captured some of the testimonies on video so others can be inspired and acquainted with the healing power of God today."
Ray Swierenga '57 last year became the first Christian Reformed chaplain to serve for 40 years. He spent 22 years with the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam, and then worked at a number of correctional facilities in Michigan. He lives in Holland, Mich.
Sierd Woudstra '55 has translated several Dutch theological books into English. He was the final editor of the Christian Reformed Church's Dutch magazine, De Wachter, in the 1980s, when it ceased publication after 118 years. He lives in Grand Rapids.
Evert Vermeer '59 received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Grand Valley State University last year. He was recognized for the innovative programs he designed during his time as the Kent County (Mich.) Director of Social Services, including child welfare models that have been implemented nationwide. Many have credited him with the idea of "workfare."
'56 lives in Denver and works in the headquarters of Wycliffe Bible
Translators' North American Branch, which serves the Indian and Eskimo
people of the U.S. and Canada. She previously worked on translations with
two Peruvian tribal groups.
Maurice '56 and Nellie De Jong Veenstra '58 retired from their jobs as agricultural chemical researcher and elementary music teacher. Nell teaches private piano lessons and Maurice tends their U-pick raspberry farm and their 250 orchids in Williamston, Mich.
Edgar Baker '59 and his wife, Beverly, spend about three months each year working for Roving Volunteers in Christ's Service, a national non-denominational service group that helps churches, schools, retirement homes and other nonprofit organizations with maintenance, office work and other non-teaching duties. Ed also works part time as a senior underwriter for the Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange in Chicago.
Donald Gerard '56 still practices volunteer clinical medicine in Grand Rapids after 34 years in family practice and another five years in the student health service at Cornerstone University.
Gary Vander Hart
'59 is in his ninth year of teaching Bible and theology in St. Petersburg,
Russia, commissioned by Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center,
Iowa, and sponsored by a number of international seminaries. At home,
he owns the Sioux County String Center, where he teaches and repairs stringed
Kenneth '58 and Adele Ekema Hoving '56 live in Norman, Okla., where Kenneth is dean of the graduate college and vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma.
Lester Van Essen '57 is pastor of First Christian Reformed Church of Lansing, Ill.
Norman Jones ex'55 is a retired pastor in the Reformed Church of the United States. He and his wife, Lena Tjoelker Jones '56, live in Pierre, S.D.
Harold Verhage '59 is professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois - Chicago. He continues as principal investigator of his research, funded continuously since 1977 by the National Institutes of Health. He and his wife, Betty Geurkirk Verhage '59, live in Orland Park, Ill.
Edward Smith '58 is a retired hospital social work consultant in Dublin, Ga. He had a non-profit corporation, Agape Ministries Inc., which for 20 years offered ministries for children in the southeastern U.S.
Jan Friend '59, a retired minister, now serves as a consultant for the Christian Reformed Church. He and his wife, Lydia Oord Friend '57, live in Dupont, Wash.
Ken J. Van Dellen '58 retired in 1999 after 40 years of teaching in Christian schools in Michigan and Illinois. He now is director of development for Lansing Christian and Illiana Christian schools. Carol Van Essendelft Van Dellen ex'56 has served as a choir accompanist and church organist for more than 40 years and teaches piano. Ken and Carol live in Dyer, Ind.
Henry Lieffers '59 recently retired after teaching 40 years in the Bellflower-Cerritos (Calif.) Public Schools. He now substitutes in the ABC Unified School District and serves as a reading mentor to small groups of elementary school-aged "at-risk" students. He lives in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Nella Daane Jasperse ex'58 retired last spring after 15 years as government relations consultant to medical clients on state legislation. She and her husband, Lloyd Jasperse '58, live in Granite Bay, Calif.
William Masselink '53 was chief of dental service at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Grand Rapids before retiring. He splits his time between homes in Shelby, Mich., and Lake Worth, Fla.
Since retiring from his engineering consulting job last spring, Earl Ruiter ex'59 and Ruth Veltman Ruiter '60 travel around the country in their fifth-wheel trailer.
Dennis '58 and Jeni Plooy Hoekstra '57 volunteer with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and Partners for Christian Development in Africa, specifically in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. Each winter, Dennis leads pastors' workshops in Kenya and helps set up businesses for job creation. Jeni teaches computer classes for Calvin's Academy for Lifelong Learning. She helped to set up six Kenya Computer Training Centers. The couple otherwise live in Grand Rapids.
Since 1999, Peter Mans '59 has been one of six trained interim pastors in the Christian Reformed Church. He has served churches in Clifton, N.J., and Lynden, Wash.
Bosch '58 teaches preschool at Oak Hills Christian Reformed Church
in Portland, Ore., where she lives with her husband, Samuel Bosch '54.
Marilyn Monsma Vander Lugt '59 was the assistant director of the career center at North Carolina State University before her retirement. She has established a scholarship at Calvin in memory of her husband, Anthony Vander Lugt '57, who was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State.
Karl De Jonge '59 is co-chair of a Chicago-area teachers' association representing retired educators. He works to improve pension and medical benefits for retirees. Karl taught history at Niles Township High School for 30 years. He and his wife, Joan DeBoer De Jonge '60, live in Morton Grove, Ill.
Jack '56 and Grace Wiers Tuls '54 have been full time short-term missionaries to Asia and Africa since 1984 and became ordained pastors in 1991. Their mission is to start Bible schools in remote areas. So far there are seven in operation. The couple is based in Lancaster, Calif.
Martin Dykstra '57 volunteers for Lake Worth Christian School, where he previously served as school board president. He is a retired medical technologist in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he lives with his wife, Ruthanne Drukker Dykstra '57.
Willis Alberda '59 recently retired from the faculty of Dordt College after serving 37 years as professor of mathematics and dean of the natural sciences. He also served 30 years as a councilman in Sioux Center, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Joanne Kimm Alberda '60.