Cal Niewenhuis was a quiet, humble, patient, and hard-working man. A good listener and a great storyteller, he held his children, grandchildren, and others spellbound with tales of growing up on a farm near Corsica, S.D. Niewenhuis died on October 8 in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 89.
After agonizing over whether to continue farming or pursue an education toward serving God’s kingdom as a pastor or a missionary, Niewenhuis graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1956. He went on to serve seven Christian Reformed congregations over 37 years: Calvin CRC, LeMars, Iowa; First CRC, Waupun, Wisc.; North Street CRC, Zeeland, Mich.; Bethel CRC, Paterson, N.J.; Platte (S.D.) CRC; Noordeloos CRC, Holland, Mich.; and Terra Ceia (N.C.) CRC.
Retiring in 1993, Niewenhuis lived in Zeeland for the next 22 years. North Street CRC was very much his “other family.” His children moved him to Holland Home Fulton Manor in Grand Rapids two years ago when he required more care.
Niewenhuis loved to fix things around the house and work on cars. He thought the apple pie with ice cream at Russ’ Restaurant was the best. During the last few months when he could not get out easily, his son would often bring him a piece of apple pie from Russ’ and top it with a little ice cream.
Niewenhuis was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, for whom he was a loving caregiver for the last years of her life as she became increasingly disabled. He is survived by his children, Joel, Ellen, Karen, and Jim, and their spouses; and by 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.