Rev. Garrett D. Pars, at the time believed to be the oldest pastor in the Christian Reformed Church, passed away Sept. 19. He was 97.
Pars was born March 12, 1908, in the Netherlands and came as a young boy with his parents to the United States in 1911. He graduated from Calvin College in 1935 and from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1939. In 1933 he married Dorothy Bylsma, who preceded him in death in 1990.
Pars served the following congregations: Grangeville (Idaho) CRC, 1939; First CRC, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1943; First Navajo CRC, Tohatchi, N.M., 1946; Austinville (Iowa) CRC, 1951; East Side CRC, Cleveland, 1956; Morrison (Ill.) CRC, 1962; and Calvary CRC, Seattle, 1968. He retired in 1973.
Though the Parses had no children of their own, they are survived by several nephews and nieces, whom they loved dearly and who remember their uncle and aunt fondly.
The congregations Garrett and Dorothy served also have fond memories of this godly couple. The Parses were known for their hospitality, their encouragement, and their joy. Garrett was a faithful preacher, an avid reader, and a thoughtful theologian. To younger colleagues in the ministry he was an appreciative supporter.
During his retirement years Garrett served as a classis treasurer and secretary. Toward the end of his life he bore the pain of physical discomfort with patience and dignity. He would quietly sing hymns throughout the days.