Described as thoughtful and a man without pretense, Steven Van Heest blessed many in his years of ministry as a hospital chaplain. “Countless hurting patients and families were ministered to with grace and compassion because of Steve,” said one colleague. Van Heest, 66, passed away on March 10.
A graduate of Calvin Seminary and Drew University, Van Heest was ordained in 1979. He served Alamosa (Col.) Christian Reformed Church and Irving Park CRC in Midland Park, N.J., before taking Clinical Pastoral Education from 1990-1992, after which he pastored Westwood CRC in Kalamazoo, Mich., for seven years. He then began hospital chaplaincy at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he became director of pastoral care, and then at Bronson Healthcare Group in Battle Creek, Mich. He retired in 2015.
Van Heest loved his family, was a “great dad and grandpa,” and an environmental steward. He had a great love of the water and enjoyed swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. He had recently become certified as a lifeguard and had started lifeguarding at the pool in a local gym.
He is survived by Sue Van Heest, their four children and their spouses, and eight grandchildren.