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December 2007 Obituaries

William Elferink ’60 (11/2/07)

John D. Ferriby '85 (10/2/07)

Charles R. Friede ’40 (10/10/07)

Wilbur C. "Bill" Jacobs '39 (9/28/07)

Anthony Kooiker (10/18/07)

Kenneth N. Leestma '52 (9/20/07)

Richard N. McClintock ’55 (10/18/07)

Betty Kamps '45 Miles (9/27/07)

Bernice Oatmen '42 Schrotenboer (10/16/07)

Lawrence "Gene" Sharp '66 (9/24/07)

Ethel Leestma '33 Swets (10/6/07)

James W. Unger (8/22/07)

Donald VandeBunte '31 (11/1/07)

Petra and Stella VerBeek (10/13/07)


William Elferink ’60 of North Hollywood, Calif., died on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007. He was 72.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Germany for two years.

He worked in California with the U.S. government.

He was preceded in death by four sisters, Cora Johnson, Mina McBride, Marie DeKam and Vera Wykstra, and one brother, Henry Elferink.

Survivors include one sister, Jennie (Nelson ’50) Stegeman, and two brothers, Dirk (Judy) Elferink and Elbert (Shirley) Elferink.


John D. Ferriby ’85 of Royal Oak, Mich., died on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007, at Alexander Mercy Living Center. He was 44.

He was born in Saginaw, Mich., and graduated from Frankenmuth (Mich.) High School.

He was a “digital mercenary” who provided IT and technical assistance to local businesses. He had previously been employed by EDS and Perot Systems.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak, where he coordinated the South Oakland Shelter (SOS) outreach ministry for 10 years. He also served on the board of deacons and the church computer community.

He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Ferriby.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Barbara Terpstra ’85 Ferriby; their children, Sarah, Douglas and Hannah Ferriby; his sister and brother, Martha Ferriby (Roger Rapoport) of Muskegon, Mich., and Peter Gavin Ferriby ’76 (Rochelle Stackhouse) of Hamden, Conn.; his mother, Sally Ferriby of Frankenmuth; and a niece and three nephews.


Word has been received of the death of Charles R. Friede ’40 of Atlanta, Ga., who died on Wednesday, Oct. 10. 2007. He was 89.


Wilbur C. “Bill” Jacobs ’39 of Toledo, Ohio, died of an accidental drowning on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007. He was 89.

He was born in Rochester, N.Y. After graduating from Hope, he graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was on the Law Review.

He was a veteran who served as an aircraft pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He practiced law for more than 60 years, beginning as an attorney in 1946 at what is now Marshall & Melhorn LLC in Toledo. He later joined Mittendorf, Reiser & Zraik and became a partner in the firm in 1973. He had a member of the Ohio Bar Association for more than 60 years

He enjoyed attending Toledo Symphony concerts and playing bridge at the Toledo Club, where he was a longtime member.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jacobs, in 2006, and by a sister, Carol Jacobs ’54 Bosch.

Survivors include his daughters, Joey (George) Cattermole of San Georgio, Calif., Janet (David) Monroe of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Jenny (Allan) Spinrad of Portland, Ore., and Molly (Jack) Beaudoin of Seattle, Wash.; his son, Steve (Jean) Jacobs of Lutherville, Md.; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his sister, Mary Ruth Jacobs ’41 Hakken.


Kenneth N. Leestma ’52 of Seal Beach, Calif., died on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. He was 81.

He was born in Holland, Mich., the first child of Peter and Martha Leestma, and grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Following high school, he served in the Army Air Corps as staff sergeant in Japan.

After the war, he graduated from Hope and from Western Theological Seminary.

He was then ordained and called to be the founding pastor of Lincoln Avenue Community Church in Pomona, Calif. This marked the beginning of his fifty-three-year career as a pastor to congregations across the nation and the world.

Following his ministry in Pomona, after overseeing the building of a new sanctuary there, he was called to Bethel Reformed Church, Sheldon, Iowa. His family now numbered seven.

In 1966 with wife Bette, David, Pamela, Daniel, Mary and Mark, he moved to Bradenton, Fla., serving Bayshore Gardens Reformed Church. A new educational building was completed there just before he accepted a call from El Dorado Park Community Church, Long Beach, Calif., to serve as a co-pastor with his colleague and childhood friend William Miedema ’50. Being back in California seemed to complete his coast-to-coast ministry.

In 1975, he was called to New Life Community Church in Artesia as senior pastor. This was the church, formerly called Artesia Reformed, who first invited the Arcadian Quartet, representing Hope College, to sing. That invitation gave the quartet singers, Kenneth Leestma, William Miedema ’50, Warren Hietbrink ’47 and Robert H. Schuller ’47 their first taste of California. All four began ministries in California, Kenneth being the first.

Kenneth first retired in 1991, but was asked by the Reformed Church in America to serve churches in need of his pastoral expertise in northern California and as far as Bahrain before he accepted the call to become the pastor of congregational care at the Crystal Cathedral. This in many ways was the position of his lifetime. Working with a ministry that he knew so well from its very beginning, being near his family, and sharing the joys of ministry longevity with his longtime friend Robert H. Schuller and so many other colleagues, became the providential finale of his ministry and life.

Most notable among his many accomplishments, Dr. Ken, as he was affectionately called, earned his doctoral degree in pastoral ministry and was a president of The Reformed Church in America (RCA). He represented the RCA in Japan and India and provided leadership in the RCA Classis and Synod throughout his entire ministry. He also served on the Words of Hope radio ministry board for eight years.

At the memorial service, David Leestma said of his father, “Dr. Ken made more hospital calls than a medical doctor and he made friends with everyone he met. A man of extraordinary humbleness, integrity, kindness and love for people, he modeled every biblical gift of the Spirit more often than anyone I ever knew. A gentle giant of a man who will never leave our memory.”

He served Hope as a member of the board of trustees and was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth (Bette) Leestma; five children, David ’73 (Cathy Schaub ’73) Leestma, Pam Leestma ’75, Dan Leestma, Mary Leestma (Jack) Tackett, and Mark (Selina) Leestma; and seven grandchildren, including John (Katie Wierenga ’01) Leestma.


Richard N. McClintock ’55 of Horton, Mich., died on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007. He was 74.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who served during the Korean War.

He worked as the general manager of Allen McClure Oil Well Servicing in Mosherville, Mich., for more than 25 years. He was the Liberty Township treasurer at the time of his death.

He was preceded in death by one son, Richard McClintock, and one brother, Harry McClintock.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Lynda L. McClintock; four children, Brian (Donna) McClintock, Robin Katz, Jamie McClintock, and Chris McClintock; seven granddaughters; six great-grandchildren; two sisters, Barbara Theimer and Mary Margaret (Wayne) Scantland; and one sister-in-law, Roberta McClintock.


Betty Kamps ’45 Miles of Melbourne, Fla., died on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

She was born in Grand Rapids, Mich.

She moved to Florida in 1946, where she lived on South Tropical Trail on Merritt Island for more than 55 years. She was a charter member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church of Indialantic, where she sang in the choir.

She had been a vice president of Southeastern Bank for many years.

Survivors include a sister, Estella “Dolly” Kamps ’42 Kronemeyer, and a niece and two nephews.


Bernice Oatmen ’42 Schrotenboer of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. She was 86.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul G. Schrotenboer ’44 in 1998.

Survivors include her children, Calvin Schrotenboer, Murray (Jane Galloway) Schrotenboer, Jerry (Karen Lewthwaite) Schrotenboer and Ron (Mary) Schrotenboer; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


Lawrence “Gene” Sharp ’66 of Knoxville, Tenn., died on Monday, Sept. 24, 2007. He was 78.

He grew up in Kansas and worked as an electrician for many years before being called to the ministry. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary and became a member of the Presbytery, serving as pastor of several churches in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. He and his wife, Peggy Sharp, also served as missionaries in Zaire, Africa, for four years and later in Haiti. He was honorably retired from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

He and his wife were active members in the Powell Presbyterian Church for many years.

Survivors, in addition to his wife of 61 years, include his daughter, Loretta Jendryka; his sons, Larry Sharp and Mark (Tammy) Sharp; six grandchildren; and one great-grandson.


Ethel Leestma ’33 Swets of Holland, Mich., died on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, at the home of her daughter Faith Curtis, with whom she had lived for the past 10 years. She was 95.

She was the first student to graduate from Hope with a degree in organ on the then-new Skinner Opus 732 organ. The Ethel Leestma Swets Organ Scholarship Fund was recently established at Hope by family and friends in honor of her.

She married William Swets, who served Fourth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., Olivet Reformed Church in Grandville, Mich., and Maplewood Reformed Church in Holland, Mich. He spent many years as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. His last 20 years of service were at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Swets; her daughter, Ethelanne Swets ’60 Ten Pas, and a son-in-law, Ed Curtis.

Survivors include her children, Paul ’63 (Janiece Smoll ’65) Swets of Memphis, Tenn., Marcia Buck of Holland, Karen (David) Watson of Florida, Mary (Don) Teasley of Florida, and Faith Curtis of Holland; her son-in-law John (Marilyn) Ten Pas ’59; her sister, Sue Leestma ’46 (Frank) Pettinga of Holland; her brother, Harold Leestma ’39 (Lois Voorhorst ’39) Leestma of California; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and many members of her extended family.


James W. Unger of Oshkosh, Wis., died on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007. He was 86.

He was born in Marshfield, Wis., to Adolf W. and Ethel L. (Smith) Unger.

He graduated from Neillsville High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wisconsin State College in Stevens Point.

He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 to 1946 in the European Theater, working as a radar maintenance technician in Rhineland and Central Europe. Before returning to the U.S., he attended the American Army Services University in Biarritz, France.

He earned a master’s degree in biology in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1953, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He taught biology at Hope from 1948 until 1952. He retired from a 30-year career as a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1983. In 1978 he was invited to present a research paper at a meeting of the International Botanical Congress in Leningrad, USSR.

He was a member of First Congregational Church and a charter member of Lakeshore Kiwanis Club, periodically serving as its president. Other organizational memberships included Sigma Xi, UW-Oshkosh Retired Faculty Association, Oshkosh Citizens Advisory Committee, Oshkosh Parks Commission, and the Oshkosh YMCA.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Dorothy Unger and his daughter, Ann Leslie.


Donald L. Vande Bunte ’31 of Holland, Mich., died on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. He was 98.

He was employed by two Detroit automobile companies as a chemist and chemical engineer.

Survivors include his sons, George Vande Bunte and Ronald (Norma) Vande Bunte; four grandsons; four great-grandchildren; his sisters and brothers, Frank (Theressa) Vande Bunte, Marian Van Dam, Howard (Kay) Vande Bunte, Ruth (Floyd) Boss, and Iris (John) Myaard.


Petra and Stella VerBeek, infant twin daughters of Tom ’97 and Jennifer VerBeek, died on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007.

They were preceded in death by their grandmother Charlene Skirba.

In addition to their parents, survivors include their grandparents, Gary and Jill VerBeek and Robert and Helen Skirba.