As pastor and chaplain, as a husband and father, Lou Kok has been described by many as a good man. Gentle and easy to talk to, he was genuinely interested in others and the details of their lives. People were transformed by the way he extended the mercy and kindness of God to them. Kok died on January 27 at age 87 after a brief illness.
Following graduation from Calvin College in 1953, Kok taught for a year at Lynden (Wash.) Christian School. He attended Calvin Seminary, graduating in 1957. After ordination, he served Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Seattle, Wash. In 1962, Kok entered the chaplaincy of the U.S. Air Force, and the Kok family began their travels.
Over his 27-year military career, Kok was stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base (AFB), Mich.; Elmendorf AFB, Ala.; Key West Naval Air Station, Fla.; Bergstrom AFB,Tex.; Tan Son Knut, Viet Nam; Luke AFB, Ariz.; Hancock Field, N.Y.; Izmir, Turkey; McChord AFB, Wash.; and Soesterberg Air Base, The Netherlands. Kok earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Chapman College in 1979.
In 1988, Kok retired from the Air Force and settled with his wife, Frances, in Lynden. He worked part-time as ministries coordinator for First CRC, Lynden, for four years before fully retiring.
Kok participated in Bible studies and other activities at Bethel CRC in Lynden, of which he was a charter member, for as long as his health permitted. He was a member of Lynden’s Breakfast Kiwanis for many years. He was a voracious reader, loved baseball, and was an enthusiastic Mariners fan.
Mourning his death are Frances, his wife of 64 years; their children Mavis, Joel, and Janette, their spouses, and daughter-in-law, Kathleen; and eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Kok was preceded in death by his son, Daniel, who died of ALS in 2006.