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August 2007 Obituaries

Gordon D. Albers '42 (5/29/07)

Hersilia Alvarez-Ruf (7/15/07)

Genevieve H. Blom (6/27/07)

Kevin D. Boerman '75 (5/10/07)

Evelyn Welmers ’29 Bott (6/29/07)

Carol A. Brunsting ’71 (5/29/07)

Nicholas J. Burggraaff ’31 (6/7/07)

Cristi Curtis (7/19/07)

Joseph I. Dalman (5/27/07)

Florence “Sis” VandenBerg ’40 Daniels (6/23/07)

Amy M. Dennis '95 (3/29/07)

Margaret E. DeVries '50 (5/29/07)

Robert “Bob” Donia (6/23/07)

Marcella Westerman ’48 Gilman (6/12/07)

Laura Guigelaar '33 Havinga (4/30/07)

Lois Muyskens ’49 Hector (6/7/07)

Ann Boter ’31 Hoek (5/30/07)

Ann T. Jackson (7/17/07)

James P. Kamp ’61 (1/23/07)

Robert F. Klaasen ’61 (7/1/07)

Albertert F. Mansen '36 (12/19/06)

Elmer Meiste (6/7/07)

Elise Rose "Lisey" Metzger (5/6/07)

Hendrika Velthuizen ’71 Paterson (6/26/07)

Olive Peeke '31 Pawley (4/23/07)

Susan J. Rankin ’82 (6/6/07)

Wanda N. Rider (5/13/07)

Leon H. Sparling '48 (4/21/07)

Elizabeth (Betty) Eskite ’50 Sultana (6/2/07)

Lillian Hoffman (Prep 1916) Tazelaar (5/21/07)

Arjen Teitsma '56 (7/10/06)

Robert F. Topp Sr. '46 (5/11/07)

Paul M. Vande Hoef ’62 (7/5/07)

Frances Hillebrands ’45 Vander Broek (5/30/07)

Guy Vander Jagt ’53 (6/22/07)

Berend T. Vander Woude ’41 (6/12/07)

Amanda Taub '72 Veazie (5/31/07)

Melvin "Mel" VerSteeg '60 (5/17/07)

John Witte ’54 (5/8/07)

Myra Brouwer '47 Zuverink (5/23/07)

Gordon D. Albers ’42 of Indiana died on Tuesday, May 29, 2007. He was 86.

The son of Martin Z. and Jennie Nyhuis Albers, he was born May 20, 1921, in Des Moines, Iowa.

He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II in the India-China-Burma Theatre.

He worked for more than five years as an FBI agent and then in various marketing and sales positions.

While living in New Mexico and West Virginia, he volunteered at the states’ welcome centers. He was a member of the F&AM and the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Elizabeth Pew Albers; by his first wife and mother of his children, Ethel Mae Olson Albers Dunlap; two brothers, Gilbert Albers and Millard Albers ’40; a sister, Sylvia Swope; an infant sister; and a son-in-law, Ronald E. Settles.

Survivors include three children, Daniel Albers of Berkeley, Calif., Prisca (Christopher) Maier of Indiana, and Louisa Jane Settles of Stillwater, Okla.; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


Hersilia Alvarez-Ruf died on Sunday, July 15. She was 68.

Dr. Alvarez-Ruf, who had retired to Ocala, Fla., had been at Hope for more than 20 years, retiring in 2005. She joined the faculty in 1984, and taught courses ranging from beginning Spanish, to “Advanced Grammar and Composition,” to “The Hispanic World Today.” She repeatedly taught May and June Term courses because she enjoyed working with beginning language students.

She was active in connecting with students outside the classroom as well. For more than a decade she was advisor of the Sigma Sigma sorority. She helped the college’s Career Services office with events, was a bingo caller for the Social Activity Committee’s “Vegas Night” for many years, participated in Senior Banquet skits and worked with the Hispanic Student Organization.

In 1994, the graduating class presented her with the “Hope Outstanding Professor Educator” (H.O.P.E.) Award. In 1996, the student body presented her with the inaugural Homecoming “Favorite Faculty/Staff Member Award.”

Her extensive service to Hope included directing the college’s student exchange program with the Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico.

Dr. Alvarez-Ruf completed her undergraduate degree at the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile, her M.Phil. at the University of Leeds in London, England, and her doctorate at the University of Michigan. She taught at the Universidad de Concepcion prior to coming to Hope.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Karl, in 2003. Survivors include two daughters, Paulina Ruf-Alvarez ’87 of Valrico, Fla., and Claudia Ruf ’88 of Portland, Ore.; and a son, Walter Ruf ’94 of Kentwood, Mich.

The funeral service was held at Hope in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Friday, July 20. The family has requested that contributions be made to a scholarship fund at Hope that will be established in her and Karl’s names for students in the college’s Spanish program.


Genevieve H. Blom of Hudsonville, Mich., died on Wednesday, June 27, 2007. She was 90.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Herman Cady, and by her second husband, John Blom.

Survivors include her children, Sharon Cady ’63 (John ’63) Blom, Sandra Cady ’65 (Ronald ’65) Mulder, Sarah Cady ’81 (Craig) Nobles, and Janet Blom ’64 (David) Shoup; seven grandchildren, including Elizabeth Blom ’91 (Lewis) Harper, Rebecca Blom ’99 (Thomas ’95) Dawson, and Megan Mulder ’97; seven great-grandchildren; and in-laws, Irene Ter Haar, Sylvia Ter Haar, Joy Holman, and Helen (William) Slager.


Kevin D. Boerman ’75 of Holland, Mich., died on Thursday, May 10, 2007. He was 54.

He was born in Muskegon, Mich.

He was a member of the Fraternal Society at Hope.

He had been a chef at Billie’s Boathouse in Saugatuck for 18 years, and for the past 10 years he worked in the food service department at Evergreen Commons.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Marjorie DeKam ’75 Boerman; his sister, Kristi Cole of Muskegon; his brother, Kurt (Laurie) Boerman of Muskegon; his mother-in-law, Ann DeKam of Kalamazoo, Mich.; sisters-in-law, Joanne (Larry) Woodward of Midland, Mich., and Patricia DeKam ’73 (Robert ’73) Zilinski of Denver; and aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.


Evelyn Welmers ’29 Bott of Los Angeles, Calif., died on Friday, June 29, 2007. She was 100.

Following a long association with Pan American Airlines and retirement in the San Francisco area, she moved to Los Angeles more than 30 years ago to reside with the family of her cousin Everett.

She was an avid baker and bridge player, and active in many women’s groups.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George R. Bott, and cousins, including Everett T. Welmers ’32.

Survivors include her niece and nephew, Marina Welmers and Thomas E. (Cecily) Welmers, who will always treasure the experience of being her kids.


Carol A. Brunsting ’71 of Stuart, Fla., died on Tuesday, May 29, 2007. She was 58.

She was born in Grand Haven, Mich., and moved to Stuart from Miami, Fla.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Eastern Kentucky University.

She was the former owner of Gulf Coast Pain Clinic in Brandon, Fla. She was on the staff of the University of Miami, where she started the school’s first rehabilitation clinic.

She was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church of America.

She was preceded in death in 2001 by her father, Bernard Brunsting, who served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1981.

Survivors include her mother, Alice Brunsting of Stuart; companion, Beverly Gordon of Stuart; her brother, Albert Brunsting ’67; and her sisters, Bernace Brunsting ’68 DeYoung and Dorothy Bishop.


Nicholas J. Burggraaff ’31 of Bloomington, Minn., died on Thursday, June 7, 2007, at Presbyterian homes Bloomington Care Center. He was 96.

He was born in Atwater, Mich.

After graduating from Hope, he graduated from Western Theological Seminary in 1934, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Bloomfield College in 1971.

He was a pastor who served First Reformed Church of Boonton, N.J., from 1934 to 1950, including service as personnel officer at a defense manufacturing plant, Boonton Molding Co. He was also pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church of East Orange, N.J., from 1950 to retirement in 1971. He also served as moderator of the Presbytery of Morris and Orange, moderator of the Synod of New Jersey, and moderator and stated clerk of the Presbytery of Newark. While retired in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he was minister of visitation at First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach and interim pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

In 2001 he moved to Minnesota to be with family. A beloved father and grandfather, he touched many people through his remarkable life-long ministry, and remained true to his Christian ideals in all that he did.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Antionette Burggraaff; seven siblings; and a daughter, Donna Burggraaff ’63 Millard.

Survivors include his son Wayne (Linda) Burggraaff; four grandsons; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


Cristi Curtis of Wyoming, Mich., died on Thursday, July 19, 2007. She was 29.

She had been a volunteer assistant coach with the Hope volleyball team during 2005 and 2006, and had recently been hired to be the head volleyball coach at Aquinas College.


Joseph I. Dalman ’51 of Mesa, Ariz., died on Sunday, May 27, 2007. He was 79.

He was born in Hudsonville, Mich.

He touched the lives of all who knew him, and he will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Faith Van Klompenberg, and his brother, Allen L. Dalman.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Esther Dalman; his daughter, Brenda Dalman (Rudi Moerck) of Orlando, Fla.; and two brothers and four sisters.


Florence “Sis” VandenBerg ’40 Daniels of Holland, Mich., died on Saturday, June 23, 2007, at Resthave Care Cottage. She was 88.

The daughter of the late Honorable Senator and Lt. Governor William C. Vandenberg and Florence Fairbanks Vandenberg, she was a lifelong resident of Holland. Her great-grandfather Isaac Fairbanks, was already established in Holland with his family at the time Albertus Van Raalte arrived and settled there.

She was an athlete who enjoyed many sports. An avid tennis player, she won the city championship as a high school student.

She began her teaching career for West Ottawa Public Schools in 1960 as a music teacher; taught physical education; coached girls’ basketball, softball and track; and retired as a full-time elementary classroom teacher. She touched the lives of many students in a very special way. Along with her career and raising a family, she was a soloist and choir director, and she directed several operettas to give her students more opportunity to make music part of their lives.

She was a member of Third Reformed Church. After retirement, she volunteered at Evergreen Commons, Holland Hospital and Third Reformed Church. Aside from her family, her two greatest “loves” were Lake Michigan and working in her yard.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Rowland Koskamp ’37, in 1945, and by her second husband, Jack Daniels ’50, in 1996.

Survivors include her children, Karen Daniels ’64 (Fred) Bables of Holland, Barbara (Steve) Nyland of Holland, Margaret (Rick) Wiles of Petoskey, Mich., Laurie Daniels ’77 Deyo of Syracuse, N.Y., and Robert Daniels of Hudsonville, Mich.; 14 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and nephews, nieces and cousins.


Amy M. Dennis ’95 of Norfolk, Va., died on Thursday, March 29, 2007, in her home. She was 35.

She was born in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to graduating from Hope, she graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1998. In 1999 she was commissioned as an Associate in Ministry in the E.L.C.A.

She was preceded in death by her father, Richard I. Dennis.

Survivors include her mother, Helen M. Dennis, and her sister, Julie E. Dennis, both of Florida.


Margaret E. DeVries ’50 of Conrad, Mt., died on Thursday, May 29, 2007, at a Conrad extended-care facility. She was 79.

She was born in Conrad, the daughter of Richard and Jennie (Vermulm) DeVries.

She taught school in Conrad, Dutton and Washington.

She was a member of Abundant Life Christian Center in Conrad. She shared her love of music by giving lessons and volunteering at her church, the nursing home, and the Horizon Lodge.

She will be remembered for her spirit-filled, generous acts of kindness. Her life was a true statement of her Lord.

She was preceded in death by her brothers Herb DeVires, John DeVries, Art DeVries and Ray DeVries.

Survivors include her sister, Lydia DeVries ’39 (Ted) DeMaagd of Coopersville, Mich.; her brother, Robert (Maureen) DeVries of Conrad; and many nieces and nephews.


Robert “Bob” A. Donia ’39 of Richland, Mich., died at his home on Saturday, June 23, 2007. He was 89.

During World War II he worked at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company doing research in chemistry in support of Firestone’s production of synthetic rubber. Then he joined the faculty of Michigan College of Technology in Houghton, where he taught for four years. In 1949 he and his family moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., where he worked at the Upjohn Company as a research chemist, manager, and finally vice president of the fine chemicals division until 1982. In retirement he worked as a consultant on chemical plant construction in Wisconsin and China.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Angeline Doornbos ’39 Donia; a son, Thomas Donia ’73; two brothers, Earl Donia and Ward Donia; and a sister, Florence.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Lila Donia; his sons, Robert J. (Jane Ritter) Donia ’67 and Richard Lee Donia; Lila’s children, Kelly and Jeff Kushner; his sister, Eleanor Baker; and three grandchildren.


Marcella Westerman ’48 Gilman of Muskegon, Mich., died on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. She was 81.

She was born in Muskegon, Mich., the daughter of John and Brace 9Rillema) Westerman, and married John V. Gilman ’45 on July 19, 1952.

After earning a B.A. at Hope, she completed graduate studies in elementary education at the University of Michigan.

She taught in the Muskegon Public Schools and then the North Muskegon Public Schools for 20 years before retiring in 1986.

She touched so many lives, instilling in them love of reading and learning. Her family formed the core of her life. She was their beacon and their anchor. Her strong faith and her spirit will always live in the legacy that she left.

She was a former member of Central Reformed Church and later a member of Central United Methodist Church. She was involved in PEO, church circles, and volunteering at Hackley Hospital Cancer Treatment Center.

She was preceded in death by three sisters, Marian Westerman, Genevieve Maring and Geraldine Bos.

Survivors include her husband of 54 years, John; a son, Robert (Eliza) Gilman of San Diego, Calif.; a daughter, Sally Gilman ’79 (Todd ’78) Richardson of Brentwood, Tenn.; three grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.


Laura Guigelaar ’33 Havinga of Vicksburg, Mich., died on Monday, April 30, 2007, at Rose Arbor Hospice. She was 96.

She was a 1929 graduate of Cadillac High School.

On May 28, 1938, she married Sidney Havinga ’37.

She taught for many years in the Manton, McBain, and Vicksburg school systems in Michigan.

She was a charter member of Lakeland Reformed Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney, in 1994, and by two sons-in-law, Ronald Mitchell and Roy Hodgman.

Survivors include her four daughters, Penne Havinga ’65 Mitchell, Jacque (John) Hodgman, Sonja (Wade) Havinga, and Lauri Hodgman; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.


Lois Muyskens ’49 Hector of Orange City, Iowa, died on Thursday, June 7, 2007. She was 82.

She was born and raised in Orange City, the daughter of Henry and Dena (Rexwinkel) Muyskens.

She attended Northwestern Junior College and taught for a year each in Onawa and Le Mars, Iowa. She moved to Holland and then graduated from Hope. Following marriage in 1949, she and her husband, Robert Hector, pastored RCA churches in Slayton, Minn.; Chicago, Ill.; Prairie City, Iowa; Friesland, Wis.; Venice, Fla.; and Middleburg, Iowa. She was a partner with her husband, often serving as president of the women’s organizations.

In semi-retirement, they returned to Orange City. She was a member of Trinity Reformed Church. Over the years, she served on several denominational committees and was active in the World Home Bible League. She served as a substitute teacher and tutored migrant workers. She was known for her faithful telephone calls to church members on their birthdays and anniversaries.

She and her husband were the host family for a Northwestern College student from China, and for most of their married life, they supported a child through World Vision. They enjoyed traveling.

In September of 2005, she became a resident of the Orange City Area Health System Long Term Care Facility.

She was preceded in death by Robert, her husband of 57 years, in 2006, and by her sister, Harriet Muyskens ’47 Maassen.

Survivors include her four children, Carol Hector ’73 Braaksma of Orange City, David (Miriam) Hector of Le Mars, Iowa, Mary Hector ’80 (Donald) Orange of Greeley, Colo., and Janice (Jeff) Fox of Perry, Iowa; five grandchildren; two brothers, Paul ’50 (Patricia) Muyskens of Orange City and Joseph ’53 (Jean Harmelink ’53) Muyskens of Homewood, Ill.; and two brothers-in-law, John Maassen ’42 of Florida and Harold “Booty” (Marlys) Hector of Mesa, Ariz.


Ann Boter ’31 Hoek of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Wednesday, May 30, 2007. She was 99.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Hoek, in 1994 and by her sister, Margaret Boter ’28 Trapp.

She was a published author of Christian books and music and an active speaker at mother and daughter banquets and other women’s groups. She was past president and member of the board of directors of the Y.W.C.A.; managing director of the Christian Guidance Bureau Radio Program; and former member of the Reformed Church in America Board of North American Missions, the Jackson County (Ky.) Ministries, Michigan Church Women United, and the Grand Rapids Human Relations Commission.

She was a lifelong member of Fifth Reformed Church and was active in organizing and teaching Sunday school classes for young women.

Survivors include her children, John B. (Margaret) Hoek of Dallas, Texas, and Peter ’57 (Beverly Van Voorst ’59) Hoek of Grand Rapids, Mich.; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.


Ann T. Jackson of Allegan, Mich., died on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. She was 58.

She was born in Perth, Scotland, and attended Kalamazoo Valley and Lansing community colleges.

She worked in the Allegan and Holland (Mich.) public schools as a substitute teacher, and had also been employed at Hope’s Haworth Inn and Conference Center for 10 years.

Survivors include her husband, Victor; her sons, Steve Jackson of Florida, Scott Jackson of Arizona, Mark Jackson and Justin Jackson, both of Allegan; and one grandson.


James P. Kamp ’61 of Grandville, Mich., died on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007. He was 68.

He was the son of John and Jeanette Kamp.

He was a member of First Reformed Church of Grandville.

Survivors include his brother, Charles (Velma) Kamp, and his sister, Janice Kamp ’51 Lankenau; 10 nieces and nephews; and his guardian, Ann Aardema.


Robert F. Klaasen ’61 of Holland, Mich., died on Sunday, July 1, 2007, at his cottage in northern Michigan. He was 67.

Born and raised in Holland, he was a graduate of Holland High School and Hope.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

He worked for Elzinga and Volkers Construction Company from 1965 to 2000 as a laborer, time keeper, senior project manager, stock holder and board member.

He was a member of Beechwood Reformed Church and a former member of Fellowship Reformed Church.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Gail Grotenhuis ’65 Klaasen; his children, Kevin ’95 (Christine Eding ’98) Klaasen, William Klaasen, and Sarah Klaasen ’99 (Benjamin ’00) Kapenga, all of Holland; two grandchildren; his father-in-law, Willard Grotenhuis of Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; his sister, Mary Klaasen ’66 (Buel) Vanderbeek of Hudsonville, Mich.; in-laws Paul ’62 (Toni) Grotenhuis of Wisconsin, Dick (Doris) Grotenhuis of Wisconsin, and Sue (Jack) Pikaart of Hudsonville, Mich.; and nieces, nephews and cousins.


Albert F. Mansen ’36 of Charlevoix, Mich., died on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006. He was 93.

He served churches in Bentheim, Jamestown, and Charlevoix, Michigan, and Friesland, Wisconsin. After retiring from the ministry in 1976, he served as an assistant pastor of Forest Grove Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Mich..

He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Donna Hendrickson Mansen, on Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, and by a sister, Alyce Mansen ’33 Wolf.

Survivors include his children, A. James (Cindy) Mansen of Charlevoix, Julaine (Sam) VanderHeide of Charlevoix, and Thom (Cheryl) Mansen of Salt Lake City, Utah; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


Elmer Meiste of Holland, Mich., died on Thursday, June 7, 2007. He was 81.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in World War II.

He was a co-owner of Essenburg Electric, and was a member of the physical plant staff at Hope from 1983 until retiring in 1993.

He was a member of Trinity Reformed Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Noreen, in 1999.

Survivors include his children, William Meiste of Holland, Laurie (Steve) Lankheet of Zeeland, Mich., and Kathryn (Karl) Irwin of Kentwood, Mich.; three grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Bernard Meiste of Holland, Carolyn (Julius) Sale of Holland, and Shirley (Paul) Houtman of Kalamazoo, Mich.; in-laws, Ruth Meiste of Hudsonville, Mich., Julie Meiste of Holland, and Paul (Betty) Essenburg of Holland; and nephews, nieces and cousins.


Elise Rose “Lisey” Metzger of Naperville, Ill., died on Sunday, May 6, 2007, at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill. She was six years old.

Elise was a kindergarten student at Naper Elementary School.

She enjoyed playing with her brother and her friends and loved Irish dancing.

Survivors include her parents, David A. ’85 (Pamela) Metzger; her brother, Sean; her grandparents, Jack and Joan Rusnak Naperville and Jim and Hope Metzger of Cincinnati, Ohio; and aunts, uncles and cousins.


Hendrika “Henri” Velthuizen ’71 Paterson of Holland, Mich., died at her home on Tuesday, June 26, 2007. She was 57.

She was born in Bellingham, Wash., the daughter of Teunis and Aartje Velthuizen.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Teunis Velthuizen.

She graduated from Hope with a degree in teaching. She worked for Woodland Realty for more than 20 years.

She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church.

Survivors include her daughters, Andrea “Andie” (Chad) Bengtson and Michele (Bruce) Brown, all of Holland; one grandson; brothers and sisters, Wilma Velthuizen of Seattle, Wash., Evert (Judy) Velthuizen of Linden, Wash., Cobie (Jake) Tiemersma of Everson, Wash., Teunsje Velthuizen of South Bend, Ind., Aartje (James) Yakes of Elkhorn, Wis., and Gertie (George) Cuccia of Lake Geneva, Wis; and several nieces and nephews.


Olive Peeke ’31 Pawley of Riverside, Calif., died on Monday, April 23, 2007, at Agape Care Development residence. She was 97.

She was born in Battle Creek, Mich., on June 8, 1909, to Reverend Harmon and Vesta Peeke. The youngest of seven children, she was the only one born in the United States. Her parents were missionaries in Japan from 1888 until the early 1920s.

She returned to the United States to live with relatives and attend Park Academy and then Park College near Kansas City, Mo. She completed an undergraduate science major at Hope and began teaching in Rifle, Colo., in 1931. She also taught in New York and Michigan, and later became a medical technician and worked for her surgeon brother in South Dakota. After World War II she resumed her teaching career in Arlington, Va. Her devoted work earned her the Freedom Medal from the Valley Forge Foundation. She later worked for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics for a few years in the 1960s, flying all over the country and giving speed-reading workshops. She returned to teaching at the high school level, earned a master’s degree in education, and retired as vice principal at Yorktown High School in the mid-1970s.

In the early 1940s she married Raymond Pawley and had two children.

While living in Virginia, she participated in Dr. Edward Bauman’s “Good News for Modern Man” television series.

After retirement, she moved to Riverside to assist her sister Harriet. She became an active member of First United Methodist Church, Church Women United, AAUW, PEO, and the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She served in the Shephen Ministries and became a docent at Heritage House, where her knowledge and love of history, teaching and meeting her fellow man allowed her to draw upon her rich personal heritage, always charming those fortunate enough to enjoy her tours.

Survivors include her daughter, Karen Pawley Francis; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.


Susan J. Rankin ’82 of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, after a short battle with cancer. She was 46.

She was a lifetime resident of Grand Rapids.

She graduated from Hope and attended Grand Rapids Community College to earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1992.

She had worked for many local hospitals as a nurse, most recently in the emergency room for Spectrum Health at the Blodgett Campus.

She had compassion for all orphans of the world and was a champion for adoption and related causes, adopting six children of her own and helping countless others facilitate their own adoptions.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Burton and Joyce Rankin, her brother, Steven Rankin, and her grandfather, Clifford Gillette.

Survivors include her children, Michael, Lindsey, Erica, Austin, Stephen and Benjamin, all adopted from Russia and Ukraine; and her grandmother, Eva Gillette.


Wanda Nigh Rider of Eugene, Ore., died on Sunday, May 13, 2007. She was 89.

She was born May 27, 1917, in Perrysburg, Ohio. She graduated from The College of Wooster and continued her education at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Master of Music degree, studying with Russian violinist Wassily Besckirsky.

She was a violin student of Misha Mishakoff (concertmaster of the Chicago and NBC orchestras) in New York City

She was a teaching associate in the department of music at Hope from 1972 to 1975 and had also been in international education programs, and had taught many of Holland’s violin and viola students from the 1950s to the 1970s. Her husband of more than 60 years, Dr. Morrette L. Rider, who survives her, was a member of the Hope music faculty from 1947 to 1975 and had also served the college as dean of academic affairs.

She had also taught at Sullins College in Bristol, Va.

She toured extensively throughout the eastern, midwestern and southern states as a violin soloist and sonata team member. She was also conductor of the Bristol Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

She was a dedicated teacher for almost 70 years who had many violin and viola students go on to play in major symphony orchestras and teach at many schools, colleges and universities. She also composed music written especially for children. These pieces were published in numerous educational books and magazines.

She was a docent at the University of Oregon Art Museum. She chaired the Docent Council for two terms and was a lecturer on Asian art. She also authored a number of papers on Japanese and Korean ceramics, music, theater and costumes.

Active in international education, she held positions in American Studies Programs in Vienna, Austria; Reading, England; and Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

She was a member of Phi Beta, Pi Kappa Lambda, PEO and AAUW. She was also a member of First United Methodist Church, where she held many board and committee positions.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a daughter, Rhonda Rider.


Leon H. Sparling ’48 of South Glens Falls, N.Y., died on Saturday, April 21, 2007. He was 82.

He was born on Sept. 10, 1924, to Harry and Hazel Sparling of Beacon Hill, N.Y.

He was a veteran of World War II and a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Her graduated from Hope and the University of Michigan. He taught English for more than 30 years at South Glens Falls Senior High School.

He was a devoted reader and gardener.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Marie Buttlar ’49 Sparling; two sons, Tobin Sparling and his companion, Michael Mistric, of Houston, Texas, and Reed (Polly) Sparling of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and two grandchildren.


Elizabeth (Betty) Eskite ’50 Sultana of Clearwater, Fla., died on Saturday, June 2, 2007. She was 79.

She was born in Baltimore, Md., and moved to Florida from Texas in 1994.

She was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War and a member of Disabled American Veterans.

She was a homemaker, school teacher, poet, and pastor at numerous churches in the southwest.

Survivors include her husband of 55 years, Emanuel Sultana; a daughter, Mary E. Gainer of Poquoson, Va.; four sons, David Sultana and Aaron Sultana, both of Temple, Ariz., Peter Sultana of Manhattan, Kan., and Adam Sultana of Dallas, Texas; a sister, Cathy Reese of Westminster, Md.; and 13 grandchildren.


Lillian Hoffman (Prep 1916) Tazelaar of Holland, Mich., died on Monday, May 21, 2007. She was 107.

Born and raised on a farm in Overisel Township, she attended Koopman Country School and graduated from Hope Preparatory School.

She earned a teaching certificate at Western Michigan Normal School and taught for two years at Graafschap School.

She was a former member of First Reformed Church of Kalamazoo, Mich., and a member of Third Reformed Church of Holland.

She was a resident of Warm Friend of Holland from 1975 to 2003.

She was pictured on the cover of News from Hope College in February 2000 in conjunction with a story that examined life at the college and in Holland in the early 1900s. She was also featured extensively in the two-page article.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dato.

Survivors include her children, Barbara Tazelaar ’45 (Richard ’45) Hine of Mesa, Ariz., and Robert (Joanne) Tazelaar of Denver, Mich.; five grandchildren, including Judith Hine ’71 (William) Strom, Richard ’72 (Linda) Hine and Elizabeth Hine ’77 (David) Frost; 10 great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews and cousins.


Word has been received of the death of Arjen Teitsma ’56 of Oswego, N.Y., who died on Tuesday, July 10, 2006. He was 77.


Robert F. Topp Sr. ’46 of Grand Rapids, Mich., formerly of Holland, Mich., died on Monday, June 11, 2007. He was 82.

He was born to Henry W. and Ruth Lanning Topp on Oct. 27, 1924, and attended Holland Christian Schools.

He was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 to 1946.

He worked in the insurance business in Holland, Chicago, Ill., Kalamazoo, Mich., and Grand Rapids, serving the firms of Marsh & McLennan and Grotenhuis.

He was a lifetime member of the Christian Reformed Church, having served on councils in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. He was interested in civic affairs, politics, business, church, and service organizations, eagerly involved in each community where he lived.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Ella Topp; three sons, Bob Jr. (Debbie) Topp of Arnold, Md., Jon (Deb) Topp of Dublin, Ohio, and Jim (Susan) Topp of Bloomington, Ind.; seven grandchildren; his brothers, Howard (Jean) Topp of Holland and Dale (Carol) Topp of Grand Rapids; his sister, Ruth Topp ’54 Van Zanten of Grandville, Mich.; and in-laws, Harvey (Joan) Wolbert of Zeeland, Mich., Marvin DeJonge of Muskegon, Mich., and Helen Dyk of Fort Myers, Fla.


Paul M. Vande Hoef ’62 of Grandville, Mich., died on Thursday, July 5, 2007. He was 77.

He was the son of Paul and Maggie Vande Hoef.

He graduated from Hope and from Western Theological Seminary.

He has served the Reformed Church in America congregations of Aberdeen, Rose Park, and Heritage churches. After retiring from the pastorate, he enjoyed a career in real estate sales.

He was involved in the community through the Grandville Rotary. He served as a past president of the Synod of Michigan and was a member of the South Grand Rapids Classis.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Gloria Vande Hoef ’73 Timmer, his sister, Jeanette Calsbeek, and his step-children, Melissa Boss, Calvin Stehouwer and Leslie Stehouwer.

Survivors include his wife, Thelma Vande Hoef; his children, Darrell ’78 (Conni) Vande Hoef, Paula Vande Hoef ’77 (Douglas) Drumm, Jeff (Pam) Vande Hoef, Karla (Steve) Johnson, Wendy Stehouwer, and Peter (Jill) Stehouwer; children-in-law, John (Jan) Timmer and Mark (Betsy) Boss; 10 grandchildren; his siblings, Willard (Eunice) Vande Hoef, Anna Mae (Hank) Van Allsburg, and Richard (Harriet) Vande Hoef; and many nieces and nephews.


Frances Hillebrands ’45 Vander Broek of Holland, Mich., died on Wednesday, May 30, 2007. She was 84.

Born in Detroit, Mich., she graduated from Holland High School and attended Hope.

She was a librarian for the Saugatuck/Douglas Library, and she was co-owner of Cleo’s Beauty Salon.

She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Saugatuck.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, John K. Vander Broek ’44; her children, Jack (Jennifer) Vander Broek of Saugatuck, Richard ’70 (Kathy Notier ’70) Vander Broek of Holland, Charles ’73 (Laura Tebben ’74) Vander Broek of Holland, and Gretchen (Charles) Williams of Saugatuck; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a stepsister, Donna Raterink of New Mexico; and nieces, nephews and cousins.


Former U.S. Congressman Guy Vander Jagt ’53 died on Friday, June 22, at age 75 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

“The Hope College community is saddened by the passing of Guy Vander Jagt,” said President Dr. James Bultman ’63. “We are proud to claim him as an alumnus of the college and admire his career achievements as a distinguished Representative in the United States Congress.”

“He was an enthusiastic ambassador for the college and active in alumni events. The Guy Vander Jagt chair in communication at Hope which was established by his friends is indicative of our esteem for him,” Bultman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Vander Jagt was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966, serving West Michigan until 1993.

His congressional papers are housed at the Joint Archives of Holland, located in the Henri and Eleonore Theil Research Center at Hope. During a luncheon held on campus in conjunction with the opening of the collection on Nov. 16, 2000, he reflected on the impact of his college experience and his decision to have his collection housed at Hope.

“Hope College is very, very special to me, for four of the greatest years of my life were on the Hope campus,” he said. “I was impacted spiritually and intellectually in ways that shaped all the rest of my life, and so I thought it appropriate that the harvest of an entire career go back to where it all began.”

While a student at Hope, Vander Jagt was debate champion for the state of Michigan for three consecutive years, and captured the National Oratorical Championship during his senior year. He was also student body president during his senior year. He served as a disc jockey at WHTC radio in Holland while working his way through school.

The Hope College Alumni Association presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1973. Hope presented him with an honorary degree in October 1983, and the Student Congress named him the organization’s lifetime chair in November 1983. The Guy Vander Jagt Endowed Professorship at Hope, designed for a professor whose interests include oratory or the interface between politics and communication, was also established in his honor in the early 1980s.

In addition to his degree from Hope, he held a B.D. from Yale Divinity School, completed in 1955, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, completed in 1960.

In 1956 he received a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to spend a year in Germany at Bonn University. He returned to Cadillac to serve as news director at WWTV. Prior to his election to the U.S. Congress he had also practiced law at Warner Norcross & Judd in Grand Rapids, and served in Michigan’s state senate.

During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Vander Jagt rose to the second-ranking Republican seat on the House Ways and Means Committee and to the ranking Republican seats on the Trade Subcommittee, the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, and the Health and Human Resources Subcommittee. He was also a member of the Joint Taxation Committee, among other committee appointments.

As chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), he was a member of the Republican leadership, consulting on a regular basis with Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush and their Cabinets. He was the keynote speaker of the Republican National Convention in 1980.

Vander Jagt wrote the congressional resolution to establish Dutch-American Heritage Day, recognizing the Netherlands’ status as the first nation to recognize the young United States of America as a nation some 200 years before. He was granted a Knighthood in the House of Orange by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and in 1991 was named the Outstanding Dutch-American of the Year by the Netherlands Amity Trust Association.

After leaving Congress, he practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm of Baker Hostetler. He concentrated his practice in the areas of governmental affairs representation.

Survivors include his wife, Carol, of Luther, Mich., and Great Falls, Va.; and daughter, Virginia (Ginny) of Arlington, Va.

A funeral service commemorating his life was held at Hope on Thursday, June 28, in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Designations for memorial gifts include the Guy Vander Jagt Endowed Professorship at Hope.


Berend T. Vander Woude ’41 of Burnsville, Minn., died on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. He was 87.

He was the former pastor to the Laotian congregation at Peace Reformed Church.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jeanne; and siblings, Amy Vander Woude, Cornelius Vander Woude ’48, Dorothy Vander Woude ’48 and Paul Vander Woude ’52.

Survivors include his wife, Nelvie VanderBilt ’41 Vander Woude; his children, Joanne (Dan) Myers, Dorothy (Alan) Dietsche, Faythe (Dennis) Dornink, B. Timothy (Jan) Vander Woude, and Mark (Lori) Vander Woude; 15 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including grandchildren Matt ’97 (Valerie Kleinheksel ’98) Dietsche and Jason Dietsche ’03; and other relatives, including his sister-in-law, Carolyn Lange ’52 Vander Woude.


Amanda Taub ’72 Veazie of Buffalo, N.Y., died on Thursday, May 31, 2007, after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 56.

She was born on March 23, 1951, in Dearborn, Mich. She earned a B.A. from Hope and a master’s degree and special education certification from Buffalo State College. She continued studies in educational administration at the University of Buffalo, and earned certification as a school district administrator from Canisius College in Buffalo.

She was a principal and educator in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District for more than 30 years. She began working with the district as an elementary teacher in 1972 and later was a special education teacher. She became supervisor of community education in 1988, and later developed and supervised the district’s pre-kindergarten program. She was an assistant principal for more than 10 years in various elementary schools, and at the time of her death was principal of Hamilton Elementary School. Throughout her career, she championed the needs and rights of children with special needs.

She was an avid traveler who hiked throughout the West as well as trekking through Afghanistan and coast-to-coast in Jamaica. She was an advanced scuba diver and made yearly trips to the Caribbean. Along with her husband, she also took frequent canoe trips to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Other interests included collecting photography and antiques and working in her garden.

Survivors include her husband, William Veazie ’71, whom she married in 1976; a son, Matthew; her father, Robert Taub; a brother, Jonathan Taub; a sister, Barbara Cody; and nieces and nephews.


Melvin “Mel” VerSteeg Jr. ’60 of Honey Brook, Pa., died on Thursday, May 17, 2007, at his home. He was 68.

He was born in Sheldon, Iowa, the son of the late Melvin A. VerSteeg Sr. and Eunice M. DeBruin VerSteeg. He graduated from Sheldon High School in 1956.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

He was employed as a director of product development for H.J. Heinz for 15 years.

He was a longtime member of Calvary Fellowship Church and very active in several ministries. He lived many places in the U.S. because of job-related moves.

He loved music and was a member of the 49ers Chorus in West Chester, Pa. He directed church choirs and enjoyed playing the piano.

He loved being with his family and participating in their activities. He was also an avid gardener.

Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Rebecca VerSteeg; his daughters, Leah (Derek) Frey of Mt. Joy, Pa., and Rachel VerSteeg of Ashburn, Va.; and a brother, John ’65 (Lorrie) VerSteeg of Kalamazoo, Mich.


John Witte ’54 of Vero Beach, Fla., died on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. He was 75.

He had recently completed a six-year term on the college’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, the last two years as secretary of the board.

He had majored in biology and chemistry at Hope. He completed his M.D. at Johns Hopkins University, and his M.P.H. at Harvard University.

He was with the Centers for Disease Control from 1962 to 1982. His responsibilities included teaching, conducting research, administering the national immunization program and serving as medical director of the Center for Health Promotion and Education. In recognition of his work, the United States Public Health Service presented him with a Commendation Medal in 1972 and an Exemplary Service Award in 1982.

He was with the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service from 1982 to 1996, and was subsequently in private practice. He wrote some 100 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

He was a member of numerous professional associations and was a past president of the Vero Beach Chapter of the American Cancer Society. His community activities included volunteering with the emergency rescue service of the Vero Beach Police Department.

Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Sandra.


Myra Brouwer ’47 Zuverink of Holland, Mich., died on Wednesday, May 23, 2007. She was 82.

She had been employed at Hope College for 15 years, retiring as the director of career planning and placement in 1981.

She was a member of Hope Church.

Survivors include her husband, Kenneth Zuverink ’49; her children, Deborah (Edward) Bloom of Rockford, Mich., and Timothy Zuverink ’77 of Chicago, Ill.; three grandchildren; a sister, Marjorie Brouwer ’43 Lumsden of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; brothers-in-law, Gordon (Mary) Zuverink of Holland, George Jr. (Betty) Zuverink of Arizona, and Vernon ’58 (Ina Mae) Zuverink of Grand Haven, Mich.; a sister-in-law, Bernice Dokter of Georgia; and nieces, nephews and cousins.