Ekdal J. Buys, Former Hope Trustees Chair Dies

Posted March 28, 2002

HOLLAND -- Ekdal J. Buys of Holland, former chairman of the Hope College Board of Trustees, died on Wednesday, March 27, 2002. He was 86.

Buys was born on June 7, 1915, and graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 1933.

He graduated from Hope with a history major in 1937. His co-curricular activities as a student included Blue Key, the YMCA cabinet, the debating team, the Pull tug-of-war and the Fraternal Society. He was a multiple letter winner in football and track, and co-captained the 1936 football team and held the college's shotput record for 33 years.

He served on the Hope College Board of Trustees from 1955 to 1966, and chaired the board from 1961 to 1966.

He had since served as an honorary trustee, and had remained actively involved in the life of the college. He was a founding member of the college's Second Century Club. He played leadership roles in a variety of fund drives and projects, including chairing the college's "Build Hope" capital campaign in the early 1970s.

"Ek Buys was a giant among the Hope College constituency as a student-athlete and member of our trustees," said Hope College President James E. Bultman. "He has made an indelible mark on the fabric of Hope College. He will be greatly missed."

Buys received an honorary degree from Hope in 1966. The college named the athletic fields near Holland Municipal Stadium in his honor in 1982. In October of 1994, the college's Alumni H-Club presented him with its "Hope for Humanity" award in recognition of his service to others and consistency of commitment.

Buys was chairman of the board emeritus of the investment banking firm Buys-MacGregor-MacNaughton-Greenwalt and Company, an organization he founded in 1955. He began his investment career with John R. Schermer & Co. in Grand Rapids, leaving the business for a few years while serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II. During his business career he served on various state and national boards relating to his profession.

A long-time leader in community and church affairs in Western Michigan, Buys had served local congregations and the denomination of the Reformed Church in America through the years. He had been president of the Board of North American Missions of the RCA, and active with the Pine Rest Foundation and Western Theological Seminary. He was a member of Hope Church in Holland.

Survivors include his wife, Mina Becker Buys, a 1936 Hope graduate; two sons, Dr. Ekdal Buys Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., a 1962 Hope graduate, and Dr. Christian Buys of Grand Junction, Colo., a 1966 Hope graduate; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

There will be a private interment service on Friday, March 29. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 at Hope Church in Holland.

Arrangements are being made by the Notier-Ver Lee-Langeland Funeral Chapel of Holland.

The family requests that memorial gifts be given to the Buys Athletic Fields Improvement Fund at Hope College.

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