Dr. Harry J. Kwantes, 82, known for his friendliness and firm handshake, passed away on January 23 following a lengthy struggle with cancer.
Kwantes was the oldest of eight children. The family migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1939.
Rev. Harry Kwantes
Gifted with a keen mind, he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1959. In 1988, he received a D. Min. from Trinity Theological Seminary in Indiana.
Kwantes served the following congregations: Ingersoll (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church; Emden CRC in Renville, Minn.; Godwin Heights CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Roosevelt Park CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich. He also served as a hospital chaplain. Upon retirement from active ministry, he spent nearly ten years selling men’s suits at a Grand Rapids men’s clothing store.
Kwantes readily shared his considerable administrative gifts with the churches at the classis (regional grouping of churches) level. Recognized as an erudite theologian and expert in the Church Order, he served as stated clerk in what was Classis Minnesota and for Classis Grand Rapids South.
Fluent in Dutch, Kwantes translated significant articles and sections of books from Dutch to English, much to the benefit of many pastors in the CRC and beyond. His greatest contribution lay in the translation of the well-known Dutch scholar H. Veldkamp’s standard work on the Heidelberg Catechism, Zondagskinderen, under the title Children of the Lord’s Day. Colleagues found this a helpful source in preparing sermons on the Catechism.
Kwantes deeply loved the Word of God, especially the Gospel of John. His strong voice resonated with conviction as he preached the gospel.
Kwantes is survived by his wife, Henrietta, and their children: John and Judy Kwantes, Mickey and Bruce De Haan, Ed Kwantes, and Carol Mulder, and by nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.