July 26, 1913 – February 2, 2009
Rev. Garrett H. Vande Riet, 95, gentle pastor, devout reader of the Scriptures, and contender for the Reformed faith and piety, passed away Feb. 2 following a bout of pneumonia.
Vande Riet was born in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father, Garrett Sr., was pastor of a Christian Reformed church. In 1920 the family accepted a call to Overisel CRC in Holland, Mich., where Vande Riet attended grade school.
Following his graduation from Holland Christian High School, Vande Riet attended Davenport College and Calvin College, both in Grand Rapids, Mich. He graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in the spring of 1941, and later that summer married Cora Voss.
The young couple settled in Bejou, Minn., accepting a call to the Christian Reformed church there. Vande Riet’s pastoral ministry took them to many places on the North American continent. Following Bejou, he became pastor of First CRC, Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1944. In 1949 they moved on to Kalamazoo, Mich., where Vande Riet served Parchment CRC. In 1956 the family moved to Alberta, Canada, where Vande Riet became minister of First CRC, Edmonton.
Garrett’s pastoral heart could not say no when Bethesda Christian Hospital, Denver, Colo., invited him to serve as chaplain. Following a fruitful ministry there, the family moved to Baldwin, Wis., where another Christian Reformed church profited from his compassionate ministry. In 1976 Garrett and Cora moved to British Columbia to serve Telkwa CRC before retiring in 1978.
The Vande Riets are remembered by the congregations they served for their warm hospitality. Vande Riet was a humble, sympathetic pastor who was deeply concerned about the spiritual well-being of parishioners. He was a gifted singer who treasured the church’s hymnal legacy. Fishing and crossword puzzles were his favorite forms of recreation.
Vande Riet was preceded in death by Cora. He is survived by their children, Tim and Jean Vande Riet, Mary and Glenn De Mots, Mark and Sheri Vande Riet, and Greg and Sue Wevers, along with nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.