In Memoriam: Rev. Harry Hendrik Boer (1940-2018)

In Memoriam: Rev. Harry Hendrik Boer (1940-2018)

Being told he had acute kidney failure was the impetus Harry Boer needed to finish his (currently unpublished) book, God's Deacon. He was able to send copies to family members and other interested persons. He died on March 30, three months after his diagnosis.

Born in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation, as a child Harry Boer had nightmares about the war and made his parents promise him that if there was ever another war, they would move the family to an island. When he was 10, the Boers moved to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where he lived until his Calvin College days.

After graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary, Boer was ordained in 1968. He served the following congregations: Grangeville (Idaho) CRC; Charlottetown (P.E.I.) CRC; and Beacon Light Community CRC, Gary, Ind. He then took two years of chaplaincy training at Howard Community Hospital in Kokomo, Ind., and Queen’s Medical Centre in Honolulu, where he then served part time while pastoring half-time at Central Union Church. Boer and his wife were also directors of the CRC Hospitality House in Honolulu for five years until it closed. For the next decade until his retirement in 2006, he was full-time chaplain with Aurora Christian Health Service and at Providence/Saratoga Grove in Downers Grove, Ill.

Boer will be remembered for his kindness and understanding, for his unique sense of humor, and especially for his love of music. During his chaplaincy years he often sang when he visited people who were elderly or sick. 

Boer is survived by Barbara, his wife of 56 years; their two children, Carolyn and Robert and their spouses; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Ellie in 2000.

About the Author

Janet Greidanus is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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