Rev. Ken Vis, 71, musically gifted, companion of the suffering, and wonderfully people oriented, passed away on December 6 of pulmonary lung disease.
Vis was born in Rock Valley, Iowa. He attended Christian grade school in Manhattan, Mont., and high school at Pella (Iowa) Christian High when his family moved to Oskaloosa.
He attended Calvin College and Seminary, graduating in 1967. He followed a clinical pastoral education course at the University of Minnesota.
Vis served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Hawarden (Iowa) CRC; Thirty-Sixth Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Trinity CRC in Fremont, Mich.; and Spring Lake (Mich.) CRC. He devoted the last decade of his ministry to chaplaincy in a nursing home and hospital setting at Saint Mary's in Grand Rapids. This type of work, for which he was especially gifted, was the love of his heart. He retired in 2007.
Vis excelled as a pastoral caregiver. Young and old felt drawn to him. He lived life with zestful commitment. An accomplished musician, he could always be found ready to play at meetings and get-togethers. He is remembered by many of his parishioners as one who walked with them in their suffering. He was an effective advocate for women in church office.
During the earlier years of his ministry he was sought after as a tour host for adult singles. The Vis family, too, thinks back with gratitude to the many trips they made, organized in detail by their dad.
He was a fine gardener.
Vis is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and their children: Gail and Steven Peterson, LeRae and Mike Kuperus, Alicia and Harvey Kincaid, and six grandchildren.