1928 - 2005
Born, raised, and educated in Grand Rapids, Mich., Rev. Fred Diemer also breathed his last there, dying unexpectedly from a sudden heart seizure Oct. 18. He was 77. In the intervening time lay many years of service across the United States and Central America.
Diemer attended Calvin College and Calvin Seminary, graduating from the latter in 1958. He married Betty De Vries in 1954. The young couple began their ministry in Knollwood Christian Reformed Church, Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1958, remaining there until 1965. For the next three years the Diemers served Arcadia (Calif.) CRC, where their love for Hispanic culture began.
In 1968 the couple moved to Costa Rica for a year of Spanish-language study, at the end of which they accepted a call to serve La Iglesia El Buen Samaritano, The Good Samaritan Church, in Miami. In 1979 Fred accepted an appointment to the staff of Reformed Bible College in Grand Rapids. In 1983 the Diemers agreed to serve as missionaries in Honduras. After 10 fruitful years they retired 1993. Till the day of his death, Rev. Diemer served Oakdale Park CRC, Grand Rapids, in pastoral ministry and also worked for the Hospital Chaplaincy Service of Grand Rapids.
Fred Diemer was a man of unfeigned honesty and kindly directness. His was a quiet passion for the salvation of people, especially those of Hispanic descent both in North America and abroad. He was a diligent student of God’s Word and had a gift for teaching it meaningfully. But his work as a pastor and missionary never encroached on his cherished role as a family man. And through the years he developed wonderful gardening and mechanical skills.
Diemer is survived by his wife, Betty; their children: Everett and Kim Diemer, Jack and Nancy Diemer, Janice and Don Cok, Paul and Jeanie Diemer, Mary and Mike Wisneski, and Daniel and Kim Diemer; and by 21 grandchildren.