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Rev. John Meppelink lived with a blend of seriousness and good humor and planned his work carefully. He loved preaching the Word of God in his strong, clear voice, and “Preach Christ” was among his final instructions for his funeral service. Meppelink died at age 86 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Meppelink graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1954. He served six Christian Reformed congregations: Alamosa (Colo.) CRC; First CRC in Fulton, Ill.; Calvary CRC in Wyoming, Mich.; First CRC in Fremont, Mich.; First CRC in Oak Lawn, Ill.; and Bauer CRC in Hudsonville, Mich. He became a chaplain at Holland Home in Grand Rapids in 1986.

After his retirement in 1994, Meppelink continued to work for 12 more years at Holland Home in various capacities, including eight years as security guard.

Meppelink and his wife, Carolyn, were also involved in numerous volunteer projects at Holland Home, such as coordinating donations of goods for Bibles for Missions and Operation Christmas Child. They also volunteered in the community for 14 years with the Grand Rapids Police Neighborhood Assistance Program performing routine police duties such as checking on homes while people were on vacation, ticketing illegally parked vehicles, and reporting abandoned vehicles. Holland Home residents remember the many slide shows, skits, and other programs Meppelink presented, sometimes in full costume.

Meppelink continued to preach until the year before he died. 

The youngest of five children and only son raised on an Iowa farm, Meppelink had a lifelong enjoyment of farm machinery, trains, and gardening. He also enjoyed camping in the national parks and other travel adventures.

Meppelink was predeceased by his first wife, Evelyn, and his daughter Sharon. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and his children Sandra and David Klassen, John and Deb Meppelink, and Sue and Bob Boland. He is also survived by Carolyn’s children Cheryl and Kevin Ten Brink, Michael and Beverly Hubers, and Caryn and fiancé Lee Smith, as well as 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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