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June 5, 2014 - 

Allen Jay Hoogewind, age 71, pastor, chaplain, compassionate counselor, and gifted teacher, died on May 7 in a traffic accident.

Hoogewind was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he attended Christian schools throughout his youth. He graduated from Calvin College in 1965. Before graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1969, he took a one-year teaching internship at Wukari Division Combined Secondary School in Nigeria. Later he completed an M.A. at Western Michigan University with a certificate in alcohol and drug abuse ministry.

Hoogewind served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Community CRC, Saginaw, Mich.; Cherry Hill CRC, Inkster, Mich.; and East Leonard CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich.

He spent several years as a chaplain at the following institutions: Jellema House, an alcohol and drug treatment program in Grand Rapids; Muskegon (Mich.) Brooks Regional Correctional Facility; and Hope Network, also in Grand Rapids, focusing on ministry with people who live with disabilities.

Following his retirement in 2007, Hoogewind continued to build his counseling practice with Centennial Park Counseling. He and a colleague were in Nashville, Tenn., for a work-related conference when he was hit by a car.

Hoogewind was an empathetic caregiver, an encourager, and a welcoming person. A thoughtful extrovert, people felt drawn to him. He was also a man of broad interests. All manner of Christian expressions in society had his attention, understanding, and support.

In problematic situations he always saw fresh possibilities. It made him an interesting teacher. From his desire for life to be lived charitably came his deep longing for harmonious race relationships. He knew his way around in the complex world of drug addiction, and people with addictions found in him new hope. Eastern Avenue CRC, where he and his wife were members, cherished their constructive involvement.

Hoogewind is survived by his wife, Coral, and their children Dan and Cheryl Hoogewind, Brenda and Kurt Tedford, and Steve and Sally Hoogewind, and seven grandchildren.

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