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Tom Vanden Bosch was a sincere man who went out of his way to welcome the stranger and love those who were not easily loveable. Vanden Bosch died on March 31 at the age of 93. Many at his funeral had a story to tell about how he had shown God’s love and mercy in a time of need.

In 1943, Vanden Bosch joined the U.S. Army. He served in Germany with the 20th Armored Division and was involved in liberating the Dachau concentration camp. He was discharged in 1946.

After attending Calvin College and Seminary and Michigan State University, Vanden Bosch was ordained in 1958, serving with Christian Reformed Home Missions in Waterloo, Iowa, and pastoring Hammond (Ind.) CRC. In 1965, he transitioned into chaplaincy, first serving as chaplain at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Cutlerville, Mich., and then at the medium-security Sierra Prison in Jamestown, Calif. His last two positions were at Veteran’s Administration hospitals—first in Livermore, Calif., and then in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he served as Chief of Chaplaincy Services until his retirement in 1988.

After retirement, Vanden Bosch and his wife, Laura, volunteered with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (now World Renew) at many disaster sites across the U.S. Throughout his retirement and even as he entered an assisted living facility at age 88, he continued to minister to and encourage those around him, often through the hundreds of custom greeting cards he made on his computer. 

After 63 years of marriage, Vanden Bosch’s wife, Laura, died in 2008 at age 82. In 2011, he married Frances. He is also survived by his children: Tom Vanden Bosch of Guadalajara, Mexico; Gloria and Dale Hansen of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Scott and Laurie Vanden Bosch, also of Sioux Falls, and by six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

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