From a very young age, John Zantingh wanted to be a minister. He became a caring pastor who loved visiting people who were lonely or sick. He was a good listener and an optimist whose lifelong testimony was a verse from Psalm 46: “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Just before he died on February 21, Zantingh’s last words were, “God is with us.” He was 83 years old.
Zantingh graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1961. He went on to pastor six Christian Reformed congregations in Canada: Bethany, Bloomfield, Ont.; Maranatha, Woodstock, Ont.; First, Richmond, B.C.; Calvin, Dundas, Ont.; Maranatha, Bowmanville, Ont.; and Immanuel in Hamilton, Ont. Passionate about Christian education, Zantingh was involved in the founding of Redeemer University College and served on its board for many years. Although he officially retired from ministry in 1998, Zantingh served as interim pastor in several churches until 2006.
A great storyteller who also loved to write poetry for special occasions, Zantingh will be remembered as a devoted husband and father who was actively involved with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved gardening, camping, traveling, golfing, and doing crossword puzzles and other brain teasers.
Zantingh will be missed by his wife of almost 60 years, Alida; their children and spouses Jane and Pete, Mike and Ida, Paul and Trish, Lisa and Ed, Peter and Ashley; and by 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Zantingh was predeceased by his son, David, and son-in-law, Case, who died together in a car accident in 1990.