Rev. Hilbert Vander Plaat, family man, devout pastor and preacher, scholar, organist, and lover of nature, passed away on August 23, 2010, as a result of brain injury and pneumonia.
Vander Plaat was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, where he attended the Kuyper Grade School and the Christian Lyceum-Gymnasium. He attended the Free University of Amsterdam to prepare himself for the gospel ministry.
In 1952, Vander Plaat graduated from the Free University, married Magdalena “Lynn” Adriaanse, and accepted a call to the ministry in the Gereformeerde Kerk of Oudega, Friesland. In 1955 the young couple moved to Dieren, Gelderland, where Hilbert became the pastor of the Gereformeerde Kerk.
In 1959 Vander Plaat accepted a call to serve Williamsburg (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church. He moved to East CRC of Strathroy, Ontario, in 1963. Three more congregations were to profit from his dedicated services: Kentville (Nova Scotia) CRC, 1969; Mountainview CRC in Grimsby, Ontario, and Providence CRC in Beamsville, Ontario, 1985. He retired in 1993.
All through his ministry, Vander Plaat remained intellectually active. His completed his doctoral work at the Free University in 1968. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, awarded him a Ph.D. degree in 1983.
Vander Plaat will be remembered as a caring minister and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was both a compassionate pastor and a scholarly theologian.
He loved to preach, read, camp, play golf, cycle, and take walks. He was frequently found playing the church organ, for him a form of replenishment.
Following his retirement he frequently assisted churches without a regular pastor and regularly engaged in community volunteer services.
Vander Plaat is survived by his wife, Lynn, and their children Peter Vander Plaat, Madine Vander Plaat and Gordon Proudfoot, Joanne Vander Plaat and Carl Price, Aletta Vander Plaat and Dan Lorenz, and BJ Vander Plaat and Rob Vander Steen, as well as 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.