Rev. John (“Jack”) Looman, 78, devout witness of his Lord, deeply personal in his ministry, and advocate for the disadvantaged, passed away following health issues, including heart problems, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Looman served in the U.S. Navy after high school, followed by a career in the telephone industry. He moved his family to Denver, Colo., for the health of their children, while he continued in his profession, also graduating from Denver Metropolitan State College.
As his desire to serve in the gospel ministry grew, the family moved back to Michigan, where Looman attended Calvin Theological Seminary, entering the ministry in 1975.
During his subsequent years in the ministry he remained a student, earning a master of divinity degree in 1979 and a doctor of ministry degree in 1985.
Looman served CRC congregations in the following places: Comstock Park, Mich., 1975; South Kendall Community CRC, Miami, Fla., 1984; Portage, Mich., 1988. He retired in 1995.
Looman is fondly remembered by those to whom he ministered. His genuine love for his Savior graced his every relationship. He had a big heart for those on the fringes of life. He helped people to see beyond their problems and begin a journey of healing and restoration. He lived life with passion, purpose, and determination. He and his wife, Berdena, loved pastoral visiting; the parsonage was a welcoming place where so many people experienced encouragement.
This intensive ministry was carried out while Looman struggled with health issues for many years. He twice underwent open heart surgery. But declining health did not slow down the pace of his work. Looman became known for the passion with which he quoted Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism to people he encountered everywhere, including the many health care providers with whom he came into contact.
Though health concerns prompted early retirement, Looman continued in volunteer ministry, including preaching at nursing homes, visiting inmates at the Kent County Jail, and calling on members of nearby churches. He was an encourager of pastors in the Byron Center/ Cutlerville (Mich.) area, where he and Berdena settled.
Jack is survived by Berdena and by their children and their spouses: Jack and Cherie Looman; Jeff and Lynda Looman, Jodi and Ron Zuverink, and Jon and Brenda Looman; as well as 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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