Rev. Donald J. Van Beek, faithful believer, devout family man, care-giver, and diligent pastor, preacher, and teacher, passed away Feb. 28 from complications due to Parkinson’s disease. He was 71.
Van Beek was born in 1936 in Roseland, Ill., where he attended Christian grade school and Christian high school. From his early youth Van Beek felt the call to prepare for the gospel ministry. He studied at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich., graduating from the latter in 1962. He married Helen Wezeman in 1959.
Don and Helen received their first call from Peoria (Iowa) Christian Reformed Church in 1962. Four years later they moved to Inver Grove Heights, Minn., where they served Grace CRC till 1972.
They then moved to Muskegon where Van Beek served the Allen Avenue Cristian Reformed Church. In 1983, the Van Beeks moved to Creston CRC in Grand Rapids where he served until his retirement in 1998.
Van Beek will be remembered as a gracious, gentle pastor who conducted his ministry with meticulous care. He was a careful student of the Word of God, which he preached with humble conviction. He had a friendly and winsome personality and cherished personal relationships with his parishioners, who readily gave him their trust. Evangelism had the love of his heart, and he made personal discipling a prime concern. His family misses him as a devoted husband and thoughtful father.
Van Beek is survived by his wife, Helen; their children Sheryl and Omar Remero, Douglas and Linda Van Beek, Cynthia and John Bos, and David and Sandie Van Beek; and by 13 grandchildren. One son, Daniel, preceded his father in death.