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June 2009 Obituaries

Sondra Decker ’60 Beede (April 12, 2009)

Laverne C. “Curly” Dalman ’28 (May 8, 2009)

David A. DeVries ’53 (Jan. 19, 2009)

Larry J. DeVries ’66 (April 4, 2009)

Barbara Baker ’52 DeYoung (March 27, 2009)

Mary Hoffmyer ’59 Grier (March 4, 2009)

Michael J. Hooker ’77 (Jan. 3, 2009)

John S. Jeltes ’58 (March 31, 2009)

Lawrence “Larry” LaFever (April 24, 2009)

Barbara L. Lampen ’38 (April 12, 2009)

Robert F. Longstreet ’43 (March 28, 2009)

Herman E. Luben ’38 (April 15, 2009)

Norma Kellogg ’47 Morrow-Wade (May 7, 2009)

Kathaleen Van Leeuwen ’38 Nelson (March 31, 2009)

Carol Myers ’59 Rupright (April 3, 2009)

Arnold N. Sonneveldt (May 4, 2009)

Paul R. Troost ’57 (March 23, 2009)

Helen Boone ’35 Van Zanden (March 21, 2009)

Daniel J. White ’96 (April 11, 2009)

Donald P. Wierenga ’53 (April 20, 2009)

Sondra Decker '60 Beede of Amherst, N.H., died on Sunday, April 12, 2009. She was 70.

She was born in Lion, N.Y., on Oct. 4, 1938, to Rev. Irving H. Decker and the late Louise (Wolf) Decker. She had lived in the Amherst area since 1985 and formerly lived in Cambridge, N.Y., Ridgefield, Conn., and Fayetteville, N.Y.

After graduating from Hope, she did post-graduate study at the State University of New York in Albany. She was a teacher for many years, having taught at Cambridge (N.Y.) Central School and the Milford (Mass.) Middle School until her retirement in 1995. For the past 14 years, she and her husband owned and operated Tricorn Antiques and Estate Sales Inc.

She was an active member of the Souhegan Christian Church. She was also active in Questers, Amherst Garden Club, AAUW, and Amherst Antiques on the Green committee. She enjoyed gardening, golfing, boating, antiquing and history.

She was a loving wife, daughter and sister, and a devoted mother and grandmother.

Survivors include her husband, Alan Beede ’61; a daughter, Susan Beede ’88 (John Scott ’87) Carpenter of Alexandria, Va.; a son, John (Kathleen) Beede of Dover, N.H.; a sister, Sharon Decker ’65 Kammeraad of Naples, Fla.; a brother, Kurt Decker of Slidell, La., and four grandchildren.

Laverne C. “Curly” Dalman ’28 of Holland, Mich., died on Friday, May 8, 2009. He was 103.

He was the oldest of seven children of George and Anna Dalman.

He attended Hope for one year and Holland Business College for a year. In 1926 he was employed by Bush & Lane Piano Company of Holland. By 1928, due to the sharp decline in the demand for all musical instruments caused by the advent of the radio, Bush & Lane fell into financial difficulties. Curly was soon involved in liquidating the company's assets, until they closed in November 1930. Because of his liquidating experience, in 1931 he was appointed assistant receiver of a failed bank in Muskegon. Two years later, at the age of 27, he was one of three individuals who reorganized People's State Bank of Holland out of the depression.
Forty-one years later, under his leadership, the bank was consolidated with Old Kent Bank of Grand Rapids. He retired as president from Old Kent Bank of Holland in 1974.

Curly took great pride in helping to establish many of the leading industries in Holland during his long banking career. His contributions to Holland area organizations, civic projects, and campaigns spanned seven decades. He served as a member of the Holland Common Council, president of the Holland Chamber of Commerce and President of Holland Rotary Club. He was a founding member of Holland Economic Development Corporation (HEDCOR) and served for many years on the advisory board of the Salvation Army and League of Women Voters. He also served for several years as a member of the board of directors of Tulip Time. He was a charter member of Trinity Reformed Church. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Holland Country Club for more than sixty years. He continued to play golf several times a week well into his 90s. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Holland Rotary Club.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Dalman in 1979; and his siblings, Ruth Dalman ’30 Roos, Eleanor Dalman ’42 Vanderhill, Howard Dalman ’32, Andrew Dalman ’34, Robert Dalman, and George Dalman ’47.

Survivors include his son, Ronald (Jessie) Dalman, and daughter, Mary Ellen Ouellette; five grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, George Vanderhill ’42; and sister-in-law, Barbara Dalman.

David A. DeVries ’53 of Frankfort, Mich., died on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. He was 76.

He was born to missionaries Ben and Mickey (VanderWall) DeVries of South India on Feb. 13, 1932. He was the eldest of three boys who grew up learning the language and ways of a land completely unknown to most Americans. Through his family's service in India, his commitment to helping others began. He attended Kodai International School in the mountains of southern India, expanding his knowledge of the world through other English-speaking kids from all parts of the world. At 17, he returned to America to attend Pella College in Iowa. After graduating from Hope, he received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan.

During the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Army as an ambulance driver in Germany, strengthening his zeal for helping others.

On Aug. 30, 1957, he married Nancy Payette in Grand Rapids, Mich., and they raised three children.

Dave spent the early part of his career running the Grand Rapids Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and earned the 1974 "Social Worker of the Year" award from the West Michigan chapter of NASW. He worked in human resources for Blodgett Hospital for a few years before returning to social work and finishing his career at Thresholds and the Access Center.

He was very active with family planning and Zero Population Growth issues. He faithfully served his churches, Eastminster Presbyterian in Grand Rapids and St. Andrews Presbyterian in Beulah, Mich. Recently he volunteered at the Point Betsie Lighthouse and with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan.

Dave was kind, generous and giving, quick to share a meal, stories and memories. He was known for his love of words and books, always reading two or three at a time. He also loved games of all kinds, particularly cribbage, Hi-Lo and Scrabble with the family. He was a lover of nature, especially birds and plants. In his youth, he was a fine tennis player, and later in life, he found golf.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy.

Survivors include his children, Tim (Blythe) DeVries of Rockford, Mich., Mike (Annie) DeVries of Traverse City, Mich., and Becky of Honor, Mich.; four grandchildren; and his brothers, John C. ’57 (Virginia Vanderborgh ’58) DeVries of West Lind, Ore., and Rob (Barbara) DeVries of Brookline, Mass.

Larry J. DeVries ’66 of Alto, Mich., finished the biggest race of his life and was welcomed into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on Saturday, April 4, 2009. He was 64.

Larry was one of the original founders of Centennial Securities, owner of the Tack Room Western Store, and a longstanding member of the Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association.

He will be missed by his many friends at the YMCA and his fellow horsemen at all the Quarter horse race tracks throughout the U.S. where he had some of the fastest horses East of the Mississippi River. For those of us who were privileged to know him he was a kind, honest, hard-working man who loved a fast horse. Larry had a delightful sense of humor and was a true friend to many.

He was preceded in death by his son, Scott DeVries, and his parents, Ted and Iris DeVries.

Survivors include his wife, Carolyn DeVries; his children, Stephen (Ronda) DeVries, Brenda (Mark) Plants, and Kimberly DeVries (David Rademacher); and four grandchildren, Nathan and Sarah DeVries and Derek and Collin Plants; his sister, Diane DeVries (Del Glass); his in-laws, Andy and Jane Ondersma; and many sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Barbara Baker ’52 DeYoung of Livermore, Colo., died on Friday, March 27, 2009, after a 20-year on and off struggle with four different cancers. She was 78.

She was born July 12, 1930, in Passaic, N.J., to Tunis and Janet (Bouma) Baker. She was raised in Montclair, N.J., and graduated from College High school in 1948.

In 1955 she married Dr. Maynard “Mike DeYoung in Sparta, Mich. They moved to Fort Collins, Colo., in 1964.

She was a homemaker and mother, and a Bible study leader for 12 years in Glacier View Mountain Community, impacting the lives of many women.

Barbara and her daughter Cheryl started a business called Ka Bump, a finely crafted wooden board game.

She was extremely close to her entire family and was blessed because all of her children live in the immediate area. She was also loved and revered by her many friends in the mountains, Fort Collins, Michigan and New Jersey.

She was preceded in death by her parents and an infant son.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Maynard (Mike) DeYoung ’46; a son, Douglas (Wendy) DeYoung; daughters, Debbie (Barry) Denison, Sarah (Ron) Stoehr, and Cheryl DeYoung; eight grandchildren; her brother James A. ’57 (Liz VanderJagt ’59) Baker; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mary Hoffmyer ’59 Grier of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. She was 71.

She was a well-loved social worker at Bethany Christian Services, Project Rehab, and Domestic Crisis Center.

She also enjoyed playing bridge and traveling.

Among those preceding her in death are her sister, Helen Hoffmyer ’64 Fonger, and her mother, Ruth VanKersen ’27 Hoffmyer.
Survivors include three children, Amy (Todd) Cunningham, Matthew (Sonya) Grier, and Molly (Tom) Cooper; and seven grandchildren.

Michael J. Hooker ’77
of Suffolk, Va., died on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009. He was 55.

He was born on Aug. 11, 1953.

He had been a chaplain with the Reformed Church in America.
Survivors include his wife, Penny Hooker.

John S. Jeltes ’58 of Hudsonville, Mich., died on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

He attended Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, graduating from Lee High School in 1954. After graduating from Hope, he earned a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1961.

He served as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Kelloggsville High School from 1958 to 1967. Then he joined the administrative staff at Kentwood Public Schools and served as principal of Valleywood Middle School and assistant principal for personnel, retiring as superintendent of schools in 1990. He also served as interim superintendent of schools for Godfrey-Lee Public Schools during the 1991-92 school year.

John was elected to the Lee High School Hall of Fame in 2007. In his leisure time, he was an avid fisherman. He loved to travel and enjoyed playing golf. His favorite hobbies were woodworking and cross word puzzles. Most important, the thing that brought tears to his eyes, was spending time with his family. He especially loved being called “Silly Papa.” Can we mention his sense of humor? “Had one you know!”

He was preceded in death by his parents, Simon and Clara Jeltes.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Betty Burnett ’57 Jeltes; two children, David (Erin) Jeltes of Monroe, Mich., and Kathy (David) Jordan of Cincinnati, Ohio; five grandchildren; two great-grandsons; a sister, Marcia (Roccy) DeFrancesco; a brother, Thomas ’73 (Jane Weller ’74) Jeltes; sisters-in-law, Thelma Robertson and Betty Burnett; brother-in-law, Jack and Diane Malley; and many special nieces and nephews.

Lawrence “Larry” LaFever of Holland, Mich., died on Friday, April 24, 2009. He was 79.

He was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Feb. 17, 1930, to George and Pauline LaFever. He graduated from Caledonia (Mich.) High School.

He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict.

He owned and operated restaurants in Albuquerque, N.M., and Ouray, Colo., before moving to Holland and working at Hope until he retired from the physical plant staff.

He was actively involved as a member of Grace Episcopal Church and enjoyed being called “The Bread Man” by the children of the church, a result of faithfully baking the communion bread.

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

Survivors include his sister, Sarah (James) Corwin; nieces and a nephew; and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Barbara L. Lampen ’38 of Holland, Mich., died on Sunday, April 12, 2009. She was 93.

She was born on Feb. 20, 1916, the daughter of Albert and Anna Lampen, in Gladwin, Mich. She graduated from Holland High School and, following her graduation from Hope, she earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Michigan.

She taught English and history at Holland High School for 33 years, retiring in 1976.

She was a member of Third Reformed Church, where she sang in the choir and directed the choir many years ago. She was a member of AAUW and Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP).

She was preceded in death by her brother, J. Oliver Lampen ’39.
Survivors include her brother, A. Edgar ’50 (Marlene) Lampen of Holland; a sister-in-law, Miriam Lampen of Edison, N.J.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Robert F. Longstreet ’43 of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Saturday, March 28, 2009. He was 88.

He graduated from Holland High School in 1939 and married Norma Rutgers ’43 in 1943.

He was a veteran who served in World War II as a naval aviator, first on the Lexington and then on the Yorktown II. He twice won the distinguished flying cross for conspicuous gallantry in combat against Japanese forces. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1959, when he retired with the rank of lieutenant commander.
He retired from Parke Davis in 1983.

He was well known to family and friends as a naturalist and gardener as well as a Boy Scout leader. He was very knowledgeable of musical theater, and appeared in a major role of the Holland Civic Theater production of South Pacific.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Rutgers ’43 Longstreet, and a son, John Scott Longstreet.
Survivors include his children, Susan (Michael) Manuel, Marc (Jane) Longstreet, and R. Kim Longstreet; and five grandchildren.

Herman E. Luben ’38 of Loudonville, N.Y., died on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. He was 91.

Calling himself a citizen of the world, he was born in Coopersville, Mich.

After graduating from Hope, he earned degrees from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago.

He was a minister of word and sacrament in the Reformed Church in America (RCA). His practice in ministry took him to Alberta, Canada, where he distributed Bibles on horseback,; Baldwin, N.Y. (Long Island); Roxbury, N.Y.; Utica, N.Y., where he started a church; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Athens, Greece. He served the RCA as an executive responsible for church growth and evangelism, and was instrumental in establishing the Fowler Camp and Retreat Center in Speculator, N.Y. A prayer cabin there was recently named in his honor - “Vrede,” Dutch for “peace.”

Herm was a gifted pastor and preacher, and over the years became a friend and mentor to many. He was a curious learner and a respecter of others’ spiritual journeys.

He always kept a garden, and later in life, he kept bees.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Janice McCrea Luben.
Survivors include two daughters and one son, Jan Luben ’71 (Craig) Hoffman of Scotia, N.Y., Deborah (Bruce) Farnham of Bristol, Vt., and Dyk Luben (Diana Antonacci) of Washington, D.C.; two grandsons; his sisters-in-law, Alicia Boyle Roemer, Bonnie McCrea and Evelyn Luben; and several nieces and nephews.

Norma Kellogg ’47 Morrow-Wade of Saugatuck, Mich., died on Thursday, May 7, 2009. She was 84.

She was born on Aug. 27, 1944, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Hobart and Bernice (Harmelink) Kellogg. She married Robert Morrow on June 11, 1948. He died in 1989.

She was a former member of the First Congregational Church of Muskegon (Mich.) and was an active member of the community for many years. She resided in Hawaii from 1990 until moving to California in 1995. She married Kenneth Wade in 1994 and he preceded her in death. She moved to Saugatuck in 2005 from Santa Barbara, Calif., and attended the Community Church of Douglas.

In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Nancy Heaton and Cameron Kellogg.
Survivors include her children, Ellen (Billy) Robinson of Lufkin, Texas, and Eric (Cathy) Morrow of Saugatuck, and six grandchildren.

Kathaleen Van Leeuwen ’38 Nelson of Zeeland, Mich., died on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. She was 92.

She was born on Aug. 16, 1916, in Saugatuck, Mich., to Martin and Harriet “Hattie” (Cornell) Van Leeuwen, and was a lifelong resident of the area.

She was valedictorian of the class of 1934 of Saugatuck High School.

She was employed as a bookkeeper for many years by the Ottawa Oil Co. until their closing.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin Nelson, in 1982, and by a brother, Clayton Van Leeuwen.

Survivors include a daughter, Carol (Michael) Prince of Saugatuck; sons, Carl and Jackie Hallett of Holland, Mich., and Ernie and Margaret (Krause) Nelson of Holland; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Carol Myers ’59 Rupright of Fort Wayne, Ind., died on Friday, April 3, 2009. She was 72.

She was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Jan. 5, 1937, the daughter of Charles D. and Bertha Marie Myers.

She went to Ossian High School.

She taught elementary school for a few years and worked at Belmont Stores and Insurance Risk & Management. She was also a nanny for four years and worked at Lutheran Hospital Childcare.

What brought her the most joy was caring for her grandchildren and being surrounded and loved by her family. She leaves a legacy of unconditional love, unwavering faith, and a servant’s heart.

She attended church at The Chapel in Fort Wayne.

Survivors include four children, Greg Rupright of Rutherford, N.J., Lisa (John) Chomer of Mary Esther, Fla., Chris (Adrienne) Rupright and Kim (Todd) Martin, both of Fort Wayne; eight grandchildren; and one sister, Joyce Nielsen of Fort Wayne.

Arnold N. Sonneveldt of Grand Rapids, Mich., died on Monday, May 4, 2009. He was 92.

He was born in Grand Rapids on April 8, 1917, and completed his schooling in the Grand Rapids Public Schools, graduating from Union High School in 1935.

Buttercup Bakery was founded by his father, Arnold Sonneveldt, Sr., who had apprenticed as a baker in The Netherlands before emigrating to the United States in 1903. Arnie, Jr. began working in the bakery as a pre-teen and continued through retirement, rarely missing a week or even a day of work. Buttercup was a true family business, not only in its ownership but in the many children, grandchildren, cousins, siblings, and spouses who worked as store clerks, baking assistances, or maintenance persons when they were teen-agers to earn spending money or to save for college. It was the Sonneveldt clan’s “rite of passage.”

Arnie was always receptive to change and alert to opportunities for business growth. At the time of his retirement, he had become the owner of four restaurants and a local bakery chain of more than 20 stores in the Grand Rapids area. The work ethic deeply engrained in Arnie by his family many years earlier was still evident in the six day work weeks and 10-12 hour days he worked until retirement.

After Arnold Sr.’s death, Arnold Jr. and his brother Bob were co-owners of Buttercup Bakeries. When the restaurants were added to the family enterprise in 1968, a decision was made to change the name of the bakery from Buttercup to Arnie’s. The name “Arnie’s” still stands in Western Michigan for quality baked goods and tasty meals at reasonable prices.

Arnie will long be remembered for his strong faith which was the bedrock of his life and for his service to the Reformed Church in America and particularly to Trinity Reformed Church, which he began attending as a child and where he met his wife, Esther Osterhaven. He served at Trinity as a deacon, elder, consistory vice-president, and Sunday School superintendent. He was a founding member of what later became Remembrance Reformed Church (a daughter church of Trinity) and served as the impetus for many of Trinity’s other outreach efforts.

Those who knew Arnie also remember him for his love of family, his humility, his selflessness, and his generosity–all of which resulted in deep, caring, and meaningful relationships with people too numerous to mention. The extent to which Arnie, along with Esther, gave of himself to others can come only from a fundamental conviction that as Christians we live not for ourselves but for others.

Siblings who preceded him in death were Janet VanWingen, Christine Brouwer, Josephine Moll, Robert Sonneveldt, and June Barents.

Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Esther Sonneveldt; four children, Nancy Sonneveldt ’62 (Philip ’65) Miller of Holland, Mich., and Robert Sonneveldt, Susan Sonneveldt ’67 (Bruce ’65) Neckers, and Cindy Sonneveldt ’70 (Robert) Fedewa, all of Grand Rapids; nine grandchildren, including Matthew ’93 (Erin) Neckers of Eden, Vt., Shalom Sonneveldt ’93 (Bill) Jaconette of DeWitt, Mich., Derek ’95 (Sunmee Jo) Miller of Washington, D.C., Melissa ’95 (Scott) VanderLeek of Grand Rapids, and Mindy Miller ’05 (Chris Cochran ’95) of Holland; 10 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ruth Lindhout and Jean Carlen; and many nieces and nephews.

Paul R. Troost ’57 of Byron Township, Mich., died on Monday, March 23, 2009, of congestive heart failure. He was 73.

In addition to graduating from Hope, he had a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.

He was a dedicated teacher at Byron Center Public Schools and Kelloggsville Public Schools before retiring in 1991.

He proudly served as a Byron Township trustee and township clerk for many years. He was a lifelong member of the Reformed Church in America, belonging successively to Home Acres, Olivet, Woodhaven and Central.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Janet Troost, and a brother, Donald Troost ’67.

Survivors include his wife, W. Jean Troost; three sons, Michael Troost of Berkeley, Calif., Paul M. (Patricia) Troost of Grandville, Mich., and James ’86 (Kimberly) Troost of South Lyon, Mich.; eight grandchildren; a sister, Sarah (Jerold) Pell of Kentwood, Mich.; sister-in-law, Carol Troost of Scotia, N.Y.; and brother-in-law, Paul VanHaitsma of Byron Township.

Helen Boone ’35 Van Zanden of Holland, Mich., died on Saturday, March 21, 2009. She was 96.

She graduated from Holland High School and Western Michigan University.

In 1936 she married Theodore “Teed” Van Zanden ’36, owner of Citizen Transfer and Storage Company.

She worked for many years at Du Mez Clothing Store.

She was a lifelong member of Third Reformed Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Theodore Van Zanden ’36.

Survivors include her children, Theodore Jr. “Ted” (Carol) Van Zanden of Bow, Wash., Mary Ellen (Richard) Bard of Naples, Fla.; five grandchildren, including Theodor ’93 (Leanne) Van Zanden of Bow Washington; four great-grandchildren; and a caring niece, Barbara Karsten (Stan) Mulder of Pomona, Calif.

Daniel J. White ’96 of Grand Haven, Mich., died following a car accident on Saturday, April 11, 2009. He was 36.

He was born April 5, 1973, in Muskegon, Mich., and graduated from Mona Shores High School.

He taught in the Mona Shores (Mich.) school system, spending the last nine years at Campbell School, with previous experience at both Ross Park and Mona Shores Middle School. At the time of the accident, he was teaching in California while pursuing a master’s degree, and was due to return to teaching in Mona Shores this fall.

Teaching and sports were driving forces in his short life. He lived life to the fullest and never met anyone who didn’t become an instant friend. Dan’s unforgettable smile and big dimples warmed the hearts of all who met him. He gave great hugs. He kept an open mind and nurtured a tender heart. He questioned things, sometimes deeply, but he believed life unfolds exactly at it should. Dan inspired people to live fully, forgive quickly, and cherish each other.

Dan loved the outdoors and places of natural beauty, and he traveled around the U.S. extensively. He became a certified wilderness safety instructor and spent the last two summers as a mountain bike instructor at Telluride Academy in Telluride, Colo. A few summers earlier, he instructed and counseled students at Camp Laurel in Maine. He shared his love of mountain biking with scores of students and he worked out and exercised frequently. He had a passion for fitness fueled by years of playing baseball, basketball and football.

He was an avid college basketball and football fan. He always looked forward to the excitement of March Madness and picking his teams. Most football Saturdays would find him in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan stadium with his dad and many friends, cheering the Wolverines.

He also loved music, especially 311 and the Dave Matthews Band, and he attended several concerts with many friends that left lots of lasting memories.

His incredible spirit lives on through tissue and organ donations that will benefit as many as 50 people.

Survivors include his parents, Dan and Sherry White of Muskegon; his brother, Paul White (Paul Ku) of San Francisco, Calif.; his sisters, Amy (Steve) VerMerris, Diane (Dave) Lamphear, both of Muskegon, and Julie White ’00 of Grand Rapids, Mich.; one nephew; and five nieces.

Donald P. Wierenga ’53 of Saugatuck, Mich., died on Monday, April 20, 2009, on South Padre Island, Texas. He was 78.

He was a veteran who served in the U.S. armed forces.

He taught at Fairview School and at Harrison Park High School. He held several administrative positions in the Grand Rapids Public Schools, and later in the Jenison school system, where he retired as principal of Sandy Hill Elementary School in 1987.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Virginia Wierenga, and three daughters, including Susan Wierenga-Pyle ’82 (Steven Pyle).