Rev. Vernon Luchies, 85, was a humble servant of his Sender and fervent witness of the gospel. Always helpful and hospitable, he died while undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
Luchies was born in Fremont (Mich.) and grew up on a nearby farm. Through eighth grade, he walked a mile-and-a-half to the one-room Tyndale School. During his teen years he did farm work and painted barns. Gradually the desire grew in his heart to serve his Lord in the gospel ministry.
Not having had high school education, his studies in Michigan at Kuyper College (1949-1951) and Calvin College (1952-1955) were a daunting challenge. But he prevailed and graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1958.
Luchies served six Christian Reformed churches: Wright CRC in Kanawha, Iowa; Hope CRC in Rapid City, S.D.; Terrace (British Columbia) CRC; Immanuel CRC in Kalamazoo, Mich.; West Sayville (N.Y.) CRC; and Appalachia Reach Out in Inez, Ky. He retired in l989.
Luchies was a man of restless industry. During his years of study in Grand Rapids he served as the janitor of Kuyper College and sold baby equipment door-to-door to provide for his young family.
He and his wife, Wilma, were generous with their limited material means. During their ministry they never hesitated to take in people who were poor. Vernon was vocally gifted and regularly sang a few hymn lines as he preached. His deeply personal relationship with Jesus shone through in every part of his ministry and was the source of his love for evangelism. His congregations also remember him as a problem-solver, both spiritual and those of a more practical nature.
In 2004 his wife suffered a stroke and a fall that made her completely dependent on Vernon’s care until she passed away in 2011.
Luchies is survived by his children Sharon and Richard Scheenstra, Ronald and Sandra Luchies, Kenneth and Janet Luchies, and Joy Renee and Joe Rose; 12 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.