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Sept. 30, 1914 – July 8, 2009

Rev. John Blankespoor, a compassionate pastor, innovative teacher, devout student of the Bible, world traveler, and accomplished golfer, passed away July 8 in Grandville, Mich., following a bout of pneumonia. He was 94.

Blankespoor was born in Hull, Iowa, where he grew up on the farm of his parents, Gysbert and Hilda Blankespoor, who had emigrated from the Netherlands to northwest Iowa.

Following his graduation from the Christian high school in Hull, he took a year of teacher training at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, and taught for a year before enrolling in the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mich. He graduated in 1939.

He and Margaret Brunsting married in 1938.

Blankespoor began his ministry in the Protestant Reformed Church, serving congregations in Orange City, Iowa; Doon, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Holland, Mich.

After teaching Bible classes at Holland (Mich.) Christian High School, he accepted a call from First Christian Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Mich., which he served till 1975. Four more years of service followed in Pine Creek CRC of Holland, Mich. Blankespoor retired in 1979.

Blankespoor was a generalist in the best sense of the word. He served with distinction and diligence in preaching, teaching, pastoral visiting, and administration. Long before “visual aids” gained widespread use, he effectively used object-helps in preaching and teaching.

He and Margaret were known for their gracious hospitality. Theirs was very much a team ministry. They had a big heart for the suffering and needy. They traveled extensively together, visiting every continent; and golfed together well into old age.

Blankespoor is survived by Margaret and their children: Gil and Liz Blankespoor, Minetta and Barry Groendyk, Hildrene and Douglas DeGood, and Marielle and Jon Kuzee; and by 14 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. One grandchild, Anne Kuzee, preceded him in death.

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