Born and educated in Michigan, Herman Leestma served the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1952 and was ordained that same year. Over the next 40 years, he pastored several Christian Reformed congregations. Leestma passed away on January 17 at age 93.
His first call was to Morrison (Ill.) CRC, followed by Immanuel CRC in Muskegon, Mich.; Lakewood CRC in Long Beach, Calif.; and New Hope CRC in Spokane, Wash. From 1987 until his retirement in 1991 he pastored Enumclaw (Wash.) CRC.
In his younger years Leestma enjoyed hiking and camping. He once hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the “lower 48.” Later, he enjoyed camping with his family at Steamboat Rock, Wash.
After retirement from active ministry, the Leestmas settled in Spokane Valley where they attended First Presbyterian Church. They could be found most Saturdays having dinner at Arby’s Restaurant.
Leestma will be fondly remembered for his hat, cane, and his love of ice cream. He is survived by his seven children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased in 2012 by Melba, his wife of 62 years.