Rev. Wesley Van Dyk, 69, a joyous, caring, and compassionate pastor, died on February 16 of cancer at Parkview Manor in Welman, Iowa, near his home in Kalona.
Van Dyk was born and raised in Prospect Park, N. J., where he attended Christian schools before training for the ministry at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. He graduated in 1970.
He served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Cedar (Iowa) CRC; Hamilton (Mich.) CRC; Trinity CRC in Iowa City, Iowa; and Faith Community CRC in Wyckoff, N.J. He retired in 2011.
Van Dyk was a winsome person and pastor. His scriptural knowledge and oratorical skills made him a fascinating preacher and speaker. He read and studied a great deal, particularly the theology of Karl Barth.
He had a great sense of humor, always in good taste, and was known for his friendliness. But his parishioners and the people in his life will remember him most for his compassion for those in need and for people who struggled with burdens and difficulties. Some 20 years ago Van Dyk came to terms with his alcoholism and from then on became a champion supporter of people with addictions. He became instrumental in establishing and maintaining dozens of Alcoholics Anonymous groups. At his funeral service a surprising number of people appeared, testifying to how he had helped them conquer the demons in their lives.
He is remembered as a wonderful father. He loved fishing.
Van Dyk is survived by by his wife, Ellen, and by their daughters Amy Van Dyk and Elizabeth Van Dyk, and one grandson.
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