Alvin Hoksbergen, 85, was a veteran of the Korean War, a prophetic voice in matters of public justice, and a compassionate advocate for those who are weak and vulnerable. He passed away on January 11 following a stroke.
Hoksbergen was born in Pella, Iowa, where he attended Christian grade school and high school. He worked with his father in the family’s greenhouses before doing two years of military service in Korea.
Hoksbergen entered Calvin College in l954 and continued his studies at Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in l961. He studied for one year at the Free University in Amsterdam.
Hoksbergen’s ministry in the Christian Reformed Church included Ann Arbor (Mich.) CRC, campus ministry at Michigan State University in East Lansing, River Terrace CRC in East Lansing, and Ferrysburg Community CRC in Spring Lake, Mich. He retired in l994.
Hoksbergen preached the full gospel of salvation, fearlessly addressing issues of justice, fairness, and compassion. Keenly interested in the well-being of people around him, he made them feel important and welcome. He had a sharp mind and a delightful sense of humor, read ferociously, and was a compassionate pastor.
Two of his experiences in Korea stand out. His participation in the peace talks in Panmunjom instilled in him a deep interest in matters of war and peace and the suffering war brings. The second was a child he observed scavenging for food on a military dump. This filled his heart with compassion and became a factor in his decision to study for the ministry.
Hoksbergen is survived by his wife, Shirley, and their children Stan and Deb Hoksbergen, Roland and Lisseth Hoksbergen, Miriam and Keith Hinkle, nine grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.