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December 2008 Obituaries

Betty Timmer '47 Afton (9/30/08)

James H. Bailey (10/22/08)

Michael J. Berry '70 (10/12/08)

Alan Bilyeu '69 (6/25/08)

Richard E. Brown '59 (10/5/08)

Sarah Brannock '44 Clark (4/22/08)

Mary Van Raalte '52 Covell (9/14/08)

Joseph (Bud) DeNeve '49 (12/5/07)

Gordon F. DeVries (Prep '35) (9/4/08)

Charlotte Morehouse '31 Duesing (11/5/08)

Marylin Boughton '60 Evers (10/12/08)

John Hains '42 (10/7/08)

James H. Kinkema '57 (9/10/08)

Charles Knooihuizen '47 (10/4/08)

Robert B. Latimer '49 (5/27/04)

Herbert C. Leigh-Manuell '46 (10/9/06)

MaryLou Pierson '59 Martin (7/24/08)

Joyce Vinkemulder '50 Monk (10/11/08)

Paul D. Nora '80 (9/11/08)

Joey F. Pedelty '76 (10/18/08)

Glenn L. Quist '40 (7/15/08)

Janice Westrate '60 Stevens (9/29/05)

Wilma DeYoung '37 Taggart (9/7/08)

John Vander Broek '44 (10/22/08)

Louis VanWieren '44 (12/31/07)

Ruth Klaasen '41 Wassenaar (10/12/08)



Betty Timmer ’47 Afton of Fruitport, Mich., died on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008. She was 83.

She was born in Richmond, Ind., on March 29, 1925, to Bernard and Isabelle (Towne) Timmer.

She married Robert Afton on March 25, 1949.

They lived and raised their children in Fruitport, where she was a teacher for 30 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Afton Sr.; a son, Paul J. Afton; a daughter-in-law, Cheryl Afton; and two brothers, James “Sonny” Timmer and Doug Timmer.

Survivors include her children, Robert Afton Jr., Jeanne (Joe) Afton Olovson and Sharon Kay Afton; four grandchildren; and two brothers, Gerald Brown and Bernard (Joan) Timmer.


James H. Bailey of Fennville, Mich., died suddenly on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. He was 56.

He was born May 1, 1952, in Champaign, Ill., the son of Albert and Madeline Bailey.

He was a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign with a degree in engineering.

Employed by the college since 1982, Jim served as Hope's boiler plant operator. He was responsible for maintaining the boilers that heat the campus buildings, heat the water supply and in recent years provide the warm water for the sidewalk snowmelt systems. He was on-call seven days a week. He also operated Old Allegan Canoe Rentals in Fennville since 1991.

He married the former Katherine (Kathey) Dailey on Oct. 30, 1999, in New Richmond.

He was an outdoorsman and liked hunting, fishing, motorcycling, scuba diving, and model trains and planes, and held a special interest in precious stone cutting and gems.

Survivors include his wife, Kathey; a step-son, Mitchell Pugh of Muskegon, Mich.; and a brother, David Bailey of Florida.


Michael J. Berry ’70 of Fairfax, Va., died on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. He was 60.

He was born May 17, 1948, in Schenectady, N.Y. He attended W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax and graduated from Hope.

He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Army as a member of “The Old Guard” Drum and Fife Corps in Washington, D.C.

He was sales manager for WAGE Radio of Leesburg, Va.

He enjoyed his time as a timpanist for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, his hobby as a pilot, and time with his family playing Scrabble and always being their comic relief.

Survivors include his parents, Roy and Myra Kleis ’45 Berry of Holland, Mich.; a brother, Steve ’72 (Nancy Burke ’72) Berry of Holland; sisters, Jill Berry ’76 (Bill ’76) Te Winkle of Elkhart Lake, Wis., and Lynn Berry ’78 Van Lente-Hoover (Scott Hoover) of Holland; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and three grand-nephews.


Alan Bilyeu ’69 of Lansing, Ill., died on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. He was 62.

He was a former teacher at Illiana Christian High School, former band director for South Holland Municipal Band and former minister of music and longtime member at Munster Christian Reformed Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Lena.

Survivors include his wife, Diane Bilyeu; three children, Andrew of Winterport, Mass., Mark of Lansing, Ill., and Stacy of Lansing, Ill.; and one brother, Arthur (Pamela) Bilyeu ’61.


Richard E. Brown ’59 of Hudson, Ohio., died on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born June 30, 1937, in Little Falls, N.Y., the son of Edward and Mary Brown.

He graduated from Hope, the University of Michigan and Harvard University.

He was chairman of the department of accounting at Kent State University, where he had also been professor of accounting for 24 years. He had many wonderful career accomplishments at places such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C., the College of William and Mary, and the New York State Legislature. He was also the State Auditor of Kansas and a consultant with Price Waterhouse, and he spent two semesters teaching abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, for Kent State University.

He loved writing, including many academic publications. Perhaps one of his favorite publications was his fiction novel. He loved playing tennis and being a member of the choir at Hudson Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed traveling and playing cards. But his family was his greatest joy.

He met his wife, Beverly Shaffer, almost 50 years ago at a local swimming quarry. They were married 47 and 1/2 years.

Survivors in addition to Beverly include his children, Kelly Brown (Richard Lynch) of Stow, Ohio, Christopher ’88 (Vicki) Brown of Norwalk, Ohio, and Kirsten (Paul) Fister of Stow; two grandchildren; and six brothers and sisters, Jeanne (Dom) Servadio, Edward (Rosemary) Brown, Lois (Alfred) Oldfield, Robert (Marion) Brown, Marilyn (William) Garraty, and James (Joy) Lynch.


Word has been received of the death of Sarah Brannock ’44 Clark of St. Petersburg, Fla., who died on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. She was 86.


Mary Van Raalte ’52 Covell of St. Louis, Mo., formerly of Holland, Mich., died on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2008, following a long illness. She was 77.

She was the daughter of Carl and Fern Van Raalte. She graduated from Holland High School and, after attending Hope, graduated from Saginaw General Hospital School of Nursing.

She was preceded in death by her husband, H. Stephen Covell, in 2004.

Survivors include a brother, Carl C. (Arlene) Van Raalte; a son; three daughters; and three grandchildren.


Joseph (Bud) DeNeve ’49 of West Olive, Mich. died on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. He was 83.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Haskin ’47 DeNeve.


Gordon F. De Vries (Prep ’35) of Zeeland, Mich., died on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. He was 90.

He retired from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, but did not retire from helping others. He was a volunteer for the CRWRC, Mississippi Family Services and Bibles for Mexico, and was a house parent for My Brother’s House. He was a charter member of Calvin Christian Reformed Church and served as both elder and deacon, and was a member of Oakland Christian Reformed Church.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elsie De Vries, in 1999; his son, Robert De Vries, in 1995; his sister, Gertrude Waterway; and his brother, Bernard De Vries.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Van Dam De Vries; his children, Carol De Vries of Holland, Mich., Joan (Harold) Overweg of Zeeland, Jim (Mary) DeVries of Scottsdale, Ariz., Lenora (Jack) Bell of Oakland, Mich., David (Diana) DeVries of Hudsonville, Mich., and Sally (Mark) Van Ess of Hudsonville; 13 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; his step-children, Gloria Boerman of Zeeland, Ron (Bonnie) Van Dam of Zeeland, Carl (Beth) Van Dam of Zeeland, Jan Telgenhof of Flint, Mich., and Howard (Cathy) Van Dam of Newaygo, Mich.; 13 step-grandchildren; 22 step-great-grandchildren; his brother, Mike De Vries of Holland; and his sisters- and brothers-in-law, Alma and Ray Tubergen, Marian Bosma, Clarence and Jeanette Renkema, Jane and Ken Knoll, Marvin and Helen Renkema and Arlene Renkema.


Charlotte Morehouse ’31 Duesing of Alvin, Texas, died on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, at 3:00 a.m. at Clear Lake Regional Hospital in Webster, Texas, in the arms of her daughter, Alice. She was 97.

Charlotte was born in West Ghent, N.Y., on May 6, 1911, to Reverend Harry C. Morehouse and Anna Elizabeth Fletcher Morehouse. She grew up in New York State with her older brother Bill and her half-brother Paul and her half-sister Mary. Charlotte graduated from Greenwich High School at the age of 16 and initially attended Hope College in Holland, Mich. She ultimately received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Chicago in 1932, and in 1934 she earned her Master’s Degree in Latin from the university as well.

Charlotte married Howard E. Duesing in Chicago on May 13, 1939. They lived in the Chicago area with later moves to Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans, the Philadelphia area, and then to Texas in 1998 to be near their daughter. Charlotte kept busy raising three children, doing volunteer work, teaching special education, and then teaching Latin and English at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa., until her retirement in 1975. Charlotte and Howard loved to travel, making trips to every state in the United States as well as to Australia, New Zealand, and many countries in Europe. Howard died in May 2000 and Charlotte eventually moved to Summerville Assisted Living in Friendswood.

Charlotte was a prolific reader and loved to do crossword and jigsaw puzzles plus play solitaire and word games. She enjoyed going to Sunday school and church and attending family events. Throughout her life, Charlotte enjoyed watching baseball, especially the Cubs, Phillies, and Astros. She had an innate curiosity, never wanted to miss out on anything, and could discuss any subject. Charlotte collected stamps and coins, was very detail oriented, and she and Howard even wrote their life history of more than 200 pages. Charlotte was a wonderful, caring mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and a truly beautiful person.

Charlotte is survived by her son, William N. Duesing of Oxford, Conn., and his spouse Suzanne; her daughter, Alice Duesing Sloan of Alvin, Texas, and her spouse, Paul; and her son John H. Duesing of West Des Moines, Iowa, and his spouse, Pam Clark. Charlotte leaves five grandchildren: Daniel E. Duesing of New Britain, Conn.; Kelly Sloan Fair and her spouse Steve, of Cypress, Texas; Jennifer Sloan Abbott and her spouse Trent, of Houston, Texas; Catherine Sloan Hicks and her spouse Tom, of Alvin, Texas: and Kira Spinner and her spouse, Jim, of Middlebury, Conn. She also leaves 14 great-grandchildren: Zoe and Charlotte Duesing; Michelle, Meredith, and Madison Fair; Allison, Ashley, Amanda, and Nathan Hicks; Nicholas, Brian, and Charlie Spinner plus Ty and Sloan Abbott, twin boys due to be born in March.


Marylin Boughton ’60 Evers of Nanuet, NY., died on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, from Parkinson’s Disease and multisystem atrophy (MSA). She was 70.

She was born June 6, 1938, to Howard and Frances Boughton.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, James Evers ’60, who she met at Hope in 1956; her son, William Evers of Henderson, Nev.; her daughters, Janine Drena of Bloomfield, Conn., and Carol Nagel of Fort Montgomery, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; her mother, Frances Boughton; and a brother, Robert Boughton.


John Hains ’42 of Holland, Mich., died on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. He was 87.

He was a native of Detroit, Mich., and graduated from Coopersville (Mich.) High School, Hope and Western Theological Seminary.

He served as pastor in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) at First Church in Fremont, Mich.; Trinity in Holland; Beverly in Wyoming, Mich.; Faith in Zeeland, Mich.; Bethel in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and a second pastorate at Beverly, from which he retired. In retirement, he served three additional RCA churches: Laketon Bethel in North Muskegon, Mich., and Ebenezer and Fourth in Holland.

He also served as president and vice-president of the Particular Synod of Michigan and served on the Board of Trustees of Western Theological Seminary. He was a member of the executive committee of the General Program Council of the RCA. He wrote Words of Hope meditations and served as guest speaker on the Words of Hope radio broadcast. He had two radio programs for 10 years on WJBL, “At the Master’s Feet” and “Hymns by Request.”

He was a member of Faith Reformed Church, where he taught adult Sunday school. He also sang and preached two times a month at Royal Park Place in Zeeland, Mich.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Pauline Hains; his daughters, Mary Jo (Jim) Huizenga of Zeeland and Carol (Gary) Lohman of Zeeland; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; his brother, Kenneth Hains of Novi, Mich.; his sister, Harriet Hains ’47 (Lowell ’47) Heneveld of Florida; his sister-in-law, Edna Oosting of Fremont, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews.


James H. Kinkema ’57 of Kalamazoo, Mich., died on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, at his home with his family by his side. He was 77.

He was born Aug. 17, 1931, in Albany, N.Y., the son of Percy and Albertha (Dykstra) Kinkema.

He was a veteran who served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict.

After graduating from Hope, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Denver.

He was employed as a social worker by the State of Michigan for 25 years.

He was a member of Second Reformed Church and the church groundskeepers and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Loaves and Fishes.

On August 7, 1976, he married Mary Katherine Donahoe, who survives him.

Additional survivors include three children, Steven (Jill) Kinkema, Janice Morton and her fiance, Jim Coleman, and Michael (Laura) Kinkema, all of Portage, Mich.; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; a brother, David ’57 (Ruth) Kinkema of North Canton, Ohio; and nieces and nephews.


Charles E. Knooihuizen ’47 of Holland, Mich., died on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. He was 85.

He was born in North Holland and graduated from Holland High School.

He was a member of Christ Memorial Church.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Corps who served as a captain during World War II.

He was co-owner of Holland Transplanter for several years, retiring in 1986.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Arlene Knooihuizen; his children, Louis (Lois) Knooihuizen of Grandville, Mich., Charlene(Steve) De Loof of Holland, David (Ann) Knooihuizen of East Grand Rapids, Mich., and Laura (Tim) Feagan of East Grand Rapids; 12 grandchildren, including Elizabeth Knooihuizen ’03 (Christopher ’03) Ledtke, Rebecca Knooihuizen ’05, and Charles Knooihuizen ’07; his brother, Delbert ’42 (Emilia Moncada ’43) Knooihuizen of Shaker Heights, Ohio; his sister, Mary Knooihuizen ’56 (Charles) Bradley of Haymarket, Va.; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Howard and Jeanne Poll of Holland, Shirley Franklin of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Judy and Larry Kolb of Lolo, Mt., and Marilyn and Charles Hiemstra of Ada, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews.


Word has been received of the death of Robert B. Latimer ’49 of Lake, Mich., who died on Thursday, May 27, 2004. He was 77.

Survivors included his wife, Kathleen Latimer; three children, Robert (Terry) Latimer, Elizabeth Latimer ’81 (Robert) Christianns, Kathryn (Todd Ireland) Latimer, and Jane Latimer; and eight grandchildren.


Word has been received of the death of Herbert C. Leigh-Manuell ’46 of Huntington, N.Y., who died on Monday, Oct. 9, 2006. He was 86.

He had been an educator in the South Huntington School District.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, and a son, Paul.

Survivors included his son, Mark, and three grandchildren.


Mary Lou Pierson ’59 Martin of Marietta, Ga., died on Thursday, July 24, 2008. She was 70.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, David J. Martin ’56; two sons, David A. (Ruth Ann) Martin and Steven Martin; one daughter, Elizabeth Martin; one brother, George Pierson; three grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.


Joyce Vinkemulder ’50 Monk of Mount Holly, N.J., died on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008. She was 80.

She was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich.

She was a secretary for the Burlington County Herald, the Burlington County Special Services School District and the Drenk Mental Health Center for many years.

She was a member of the Mt. Holly Women’s League. At First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Holly she was a deacon, moderator of Presbyterian Women and a longtime member.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Everett W. Monk ’53, in 1980.

Survivors include four children, Rosalind, Randolph, William and Marshall, all of Mt. Holly; a sister-in-law; and two nieces.


Paul D. Nora ’80 of Kalkaska, Mich., died on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, after battling multiple myeloma and its complications for more than two years. He was 49.

He was born and raised in the Detroit, Mich., area. He graduated from Redford (Mich.) Union High School in 1976. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at Hope and an M.D. at Wayne State University in 1984.

He practiced family medicine in Harlan, Ind., and Big Rapids, Mich. He subsequently completed a forensic pathology residency and fellowship in 2003, and worked as a forensic pathologist in Minneapolis, Minn., and Detroit, Mich., until 2006, when his illness prevented him from working.

He was a lifetime member of NRA and NAHC and president of the CLBC. He was an avid Detroit sports fan and enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, hiking, golfing and fishing. He also enjoyed high-performance Mustangs, reading, playing pool and cards, and being with family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Germaine Nora.

Survivors include his father, Donald Nora; his sisters, Barbara Sorenson of East Jordan, Mich., Donna (Michael) Elmore of Panama City, Fla., and Patricia (Alireza) Abbasabadi of Big Rapids, Mich.; two nieces; and one grand niece.


Joey F. Pedelty ’76 of Olivet, Mich., died on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, after sustaining a severe head injury from a fall from a bicycle in July.

He was a member of the Cosmopolitan fraternity at Hope.

He was a member of Olivet Congregational Church and sang in the choir.

He served in the Peace Corps in Belize and was most recently employed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Survivors include his wife, Mirna Pedelty, and his brother, Gregory ’80 (Kathryn) Pedelty.


Glenn L. Quist ’40 of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. He was 89.

After graduating from Hope, he earned a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Tennessee in 1942.

He retired from Grand Rapids Community College, where he taught chemistry for many years.

He was preceded in death by two grandsons.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Louise Quist; his children, Lynn Quist, Kim (Sandra) Quist, Phil (Nickie) Quist, Leah (Richard) Bouma, Tom (Barb) Quist, and Amy (Rick) Christy; 19 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; his sisters, Mary Jane Hossink and Laurena (Orie) VanderBoon; his sisters-in-law, Frances Quist and Hazel Quist; and nieces and nephews.


Word has been received of the death of Janice Westrate ’60 Stevens of Pentwater, Mich., who died on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005. She was 67.

She was born Nov. 14, 1937, to John and Mabel (Brower) Westrate in Holland, Mich.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters.

Survivors include her husband, James Stevens ’59; her children, David ’80 (Sally Norgrove ’82) Stevens of Texas, Mark (Lori) Stevens of Greenville, Mich., Paul Stevens ’83 of Greenville, Deborah Stevens ’86 (Steve Ball) of Zeeland, Mich., and Mary (Rod) Keith of Fruitport, Mich.; brothers-in-law, Bill (Louise) Stevens and Larry (Linda) Stevens of Hart; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.


Wilma (Billie) DeYoung ’37 Taggart of Monterey, Calif., died on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008.

She was born in Coopersville, Mich., and spent winters ice boating on Lake Michigan and summers swimming and canoeing on the sparkling lakes of the Midwest. She entered Hope at the age of 16. The following summer, she convinced her father to hand over the keys to his Model T Ford so she and two friends could drive across the country to the West Coast. That love of travel, sense of adventure and love of independence were an integral part of her life.

She and her late husband, Robert Taggart, moved to the Monterey area 38 years ago after raising their lively family of seven children in cities and towns throughout the Midwest, East and West. They lived in Appleton, Wis., for eight years, and Billie taught French in the Appleton Public schools. She also taught in Shelby, Mich. While teaching in Appleton, she won a Fulbright scholarship for study in Paris and Strasbourg, France. When her children were grown, Billie and Bob lived for a time in Seoul, South Korea, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They traveled extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and South America. Sixty years after her Model T adventure, Billie and a close friend took a similar trip by car through the pueblos of Mexico.

She took great pride in being a graduate of Hope, following in the footsteps of her brother, Raymond J. DeYoung ’29; her father, Rev. Abraham DeYoung 1900; and her grandfather, Rev. William Moerdyke, D.D., and grand uncle, Rev. Pieter Moerdyk, D.D., both of whom were members of Hope’s first graduating class, 1866. Her grandfather, William, served on Hope’s Board of Trustees from 1891 until 1913. Her grand uncle, Pieter, served as president of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America. Her uncle, Dr. William Moerdyke, M.D., was a Rhodes Scholar, Hope College physician and medical missionary in Iraq for 23 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Taggart.

Survivors include her children, Margot Tilghman of Centrevelle, Md.; Joey Cobley of Pacific Grove, Calif.; Robert (Chip) Taggart of McClean, Va.; David Taggart of Monterey; Tom Taggart of South Wales, N.Y.; Tim Taggart of Madison, Wis.; and Betsy Reeves of Guerneville, Calif.; 13 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.


John Keppel Vander Broek ’44 of Saugatuck, Mich., died on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. He was 86.

He was the son of John Vander Broek ’17 and Gertrude Keppel ’17 Vander Broek.

He was a veteran who served with the U.S. Navy in the European Theatre during World War II.

He was a direct descendent of city founders Albertus Van Raalte and Teunis Keppel, and was a fourth generation owner of T. Keppel’s Sons Hardware on Eighth Street in Holland until he retired. He had also served as a Holland city councilman.

After living in Holland for more than 50 years, he and his wife retired to life on the river in Saugatuck. They were members of the First Congregational Church in Saugatuck and several clubs, including the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club.

He was an avid gardener, birdwatcher and dog lover.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Frances Hillebrands ’45 Vander Broek, in 2007.

Survivors include his children, Jack (Jenny) Vander Broek, Rich ’70 (Kathy Notier ’70) Vander Broek, Charlie ’73 (Laura Tebben ’74) Vander Broek, and Gretchen (Skip) Williams; 11 grandchildren, including Charles Vander Broek ’08; four great-grandchildren; and several cousins.


Louis Van Wieren ’44 of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Monday, Dec. 31, 2007. He was 84.

He was born July 27, 1923 in Holland, Mich., the son of Martin and Edith Elzinga Van Wieren.

He was a veteran who served with the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific during World War II.

He was a self-employed realtor and salesman in the Grand Rapids area.

He shared his faith by writing and distributing Christian pamphlets, and worshiped with Grandville Christian Fellowship.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Carole Nelson, and two brothers and one sister.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Mary Van Wieren; his children, Jack ’69 (Irene Szolga ’71) Van Wieren of Colorado Springs, Colo, Gerald ’71 (Suzanne) Van Wieren of Grant, Mich., Rick ’77 (Holly) Van Wieren of Colorado Springs, Marilou (Tim) Peerbolt of Hudsonville, Mich., and Mark Van Wieren of Colorado Springs; a son-in-law, Roger Nelson of Weston, Fla.; 26 grandchildren, including Rachel Van Wieren ’03 of Los Angeles, Calif.; 21 great-grandchildren; one sister, Clara Stoel of Holland; two brothers, Don Van Wieren of Palm Desert, Calif., and Alan Van Wieren ’67 of Key West, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.


Ruth Klaasen ’41 Wassenaar of Holland, Mich., died on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. She was 90.

Her parents were Mini and Johannes Klaaasen, who founded the Klaasen Printing Company and the Sunday School Guide Publishing Company.

Before the start of World War II, she married Lester R. Wassenaar ’38, a lawyer. Following his early death in 1956, she taught at Harrington Elementary School in Holland, completed her master’s degree, and continued to teach in the Holland Public Schools until she retired.

She was active at Trinity Church as a visiting elder for many years. She was also involved with Holland Soup Kitchen, Evergreen Commons and the Women’s Literary Society.

God and her family were the most important relationships to her. Her values were based on her religious background and emphasized hard work, care, dignity and concern for all. She appreciated the beauty of nature, especially Lake Michigan and its many moods.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, H. Cobb Klaasen ’31.

Survivors include her children, Paul Wassenaar ’68, Steven Wassenaar, and Janice Wassenaar ’75 Maatman; five grandchildren, including Sara Wassenaar ’02 and
Micah Maatman ’04; and her sister, Celia Hamlin.