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Rev. John William Jongsma, 79, faithful preacher of the Word, with a big pastoral heart for the lonely, the elderly, and the needy, a man of unfailing kindness and gentleness, passed away at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, following a brief bout with cancer of the esophagus.

Jongsma was born in Manitou, Manitoba, a Mennonite community, where his father had a bakery. The family moved to Winnipeg, where he attended high school.

In 1954 he enrolled at Calvin College and subsequently attended Calvin Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in l961. He married Marie Dieleman in l958. During their years of ministry they were known to work together as a team.

Jongsma served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Burdett (Alberta) CRC; Haney (British Columbia) CRC; Maranatha CRC, Edmonton, Alberta; Mount Hamilton CRC, Hamilton, Ontario; Shalom CRC, Brantford, Ontario; and Second CRC, Sarnia, Ontario. Jongsma retired in l997.

Jongsma will be remembered as a humble, faithful pastor, unassuming in his ministerial role. He embodied the gospel he preached. He loved the denomination of which he was a loyal and well-informed member, but his heart was in the pastoral ministry. He was appreciated for faithfully visiting members, especially the elderly, the sick, and shut-ins, and the less fortunate. He and Marie were known for their warm hospitality.

During his retirement years, Jongsma was a regular volunteer for Meals on Wheels, delivering dinners to the elderly. He also served several congregations without pastors on an interim basis.

Jongsma is survived by his wife, Marie, and their children, Elaine Marie Jongsma and David Levy, Diane Haak Jongsma and Clarence Haak, David Michael Jongsma and Kim Hendersen, and Philip Louis Jongsma and Nicole; ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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