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Rev. Charles T. Fennema

1929 – 2006

Rev. Charles (Chuck) Fennema, age 77, passed away quietly Sept. 28 from apparent heart failure at St. Michael’s Extended Care Facility in Edmonton, Alberta. He had suffered from dementia for the past few years of his life.

Fennema grew up in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, where he graduated from high school. Before emigrating to Canada in 1954, he served in the Dutch army and worked in the city of Amsterdam. Soon after arriving in Canada, he enrolled at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., from which he graduated in 1960. In 1964 he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary. He married Adriana Annette (Nettie) Baart in 1955.

Fennema served the following churches: Bethlehem CRC, Thunder Bay, Ontario, 1964; Second-Steeles Fellowship CRC, Brampton, Ontario, 1968; Bethel Community CRC, Edmonton, Alberta, 1979; and Rehoboth CRC, Bowmanville, Ontario, 1989. He retired in 1994.

Rev. Fennema was a joyful, winsome Christian. The communities he served will remember him as an outgoing, friendly pastor deeply interested in the lives and well-being of people around him and the affairs of the church. He loved God’s Word and delighted in discussing its meaning for life.

His sermons were biblical, often interspersed with whimsical practicalities. During his retirement years he was a tireless visitor of rest homes and often regaled patients with hymns on the organ.

Fennema loved sailing and hiking. He served on the board of  Habitat for Humanity. And he served as Regional Pastor for Classis Alberta North under the Pastor-Church Relations program of the Christian Reformed Church.

Fennema is survived by his wife, Nettie; their children, Hilda and John Buisman, Thea Fennema, Shirley and Gerald Velsink, Ray and Jennifer Fennema, and Norm and Irene Fennema; and by 10 grandchildren.

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