Neal Punt of Grand Haven, Mich., passed away peacefully on October 18 at the age of 87.
Punt graduated from Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and did postgraduate work at Westminster Seminary. He was ordained in 1954 and went on to serve the following Christian Reformed congregations: Atwood (Mich.) CRC; Eastmanville (Mich.) CRC; Prairie Edge CRC in Portage, Mich.; and Evergreen Park (Ill.) CRC. The churches Punt served appreciated his Christ-centered leadership, biblically-based sermons, and the friendship he endeared them with. He served on many boards for the denomination. He retired in 1994.
In addition to being a pastor, Punt was an author of Baker’s Textual and Topical Filing System for clergy, as well as several books on biblical universalism, a topic he studied, researched, and struggled with for many years.
Punt was also an inventor. His first invention was the Music-Minder: a record holder in a wooden cabinet made by Imperial Furniture Company, which sold in many furniture stores. One time, while posing as a potential buyer, the salesperson told Punt the Music-Minder was invented by some “crackpot preacher.” Punt left without revealing his identity, but he loved telling the story. He also made an appearance on QVC, a home shopping television show, to sell one of his other inventions, a bread slicer.
Punt enjoyed fishing, gardening, and sailing. He had a great sense of humor, which his family says he kept until the end.
Punt is survived by Betty, his wife of 64 years; their children Jan and Bill Buikema, Jim and Gail, Beth and Dave Huisenga, Gordon and Meg, Laura and Mike Stoub, daughter-in-law Sue Punt; and by 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his eldest son, Gary, in 2015.