posted December 24, 2007

Former Hope Chaplain Bill Hillegonds Dies

Dr. William (Bill) Hillegonds, former Hope College chaplain, died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007, at age 85 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

A 1949 magna cum laude graduate of Hope College, Dr. Hillegonds served as chaplain from 1965-78. His ministry included serving Reformed (RCA) and Presbyterian congregations in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and New York.

He received the bachelor of divinity degree from Western Theological Seminary (1951) and the masters degree (S.T.M.) from the University of Dubuque (1972). In 1983 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Hope College.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth (Libby) nee Romaine; his sons and families, Paul and wife Nancy (Phillips), Timothy and wife Lynn (Klaasen); grandchildren, Rachel and Michael Meyers, Rebecca and Justin Stellema, Thomas, Sarah and Michael.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids. The family will receive friends and relatives Friday, 6-8 p.m. at the Ofield Funeral Home, 4500 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Kentwood, and 10-11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Memorials may be sent to the Hillegonds '49 Endowed Scholarship Fund" at Hope College or to the John Knox Presbyterian Church Building Fund.