Andrew Bandstra, professor emeritus of New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, was a loving and dedicated family man and committed friend. Bandstra died on Feb. 8 at the age of 92.
The youngest of nine children, Bandstra was born on a farm in Iowa. He attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he was on the football team. He also studied at Calvin College and Seminary and the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He served in the armed forces in World War II.
After ordination in 1955, Bandstra pastored Lincoln Center Christian Reformed Church in Grundy Center, Iowa, before becoming a professor, first at Calvin College and then at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is remembered as an excellent and engaging teacher and preacher. He also served the church locally and at the denominational level and participated on boards of Christian schools and other community endeavors.
At his memorial service his daughters mentioned three things their father loved: “He loved having fun, he loved people, and he loved words.” He enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate, a great game of golf, and relating to and cherishing every person he met. Known for his big smile, hearty laugh, and counselor’s heart, Bandstra touched the lives of countless people.
He will be missed by his second wife, Ruth Ann; four daughters and their spouses; seven step-children and their spouses; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he rocked, held, loved, and supported. He was predeceased by his first wife, Mae Ruth, in 2007 and by his daughter Ruth Ann in 2018.