Henry Katerberg was a big man with a powerful voice. One Sunday morning, his son remembers, the sound system stopped during the sermon, but you could hardly tell the difference. At heart, however, he was a gentle, honest, sociable man. He loved people and was devoted to the church. “He had a sensitive spirit but also cared about details and about process,” said a fellow pastor. Katerberg, 84, died April 4 following a suspected heart attack. Almost 30 years had passed since his first heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery.
Born into a farming family in the Netherlands, Katerberg immigrated to Canada with his family in 1956. He worked farm-related jobs in Holland Marsh and Drayton, Ont., until he attended Calvin College (now University) and Seminary.
After ordination in 1969, Katerberg pastored four congregations in Ontario: Zion Christian Reformed Church in Pembroke; Maranatha CRC in Belleville; Riverside CRC in Wellandport; and Maranatha CRC in St. Catharines. His sermons were direct and to the point. He led churches with sound business sense and financial advice. He enjoyed visiting parishioners and interacted well with young people, participating in many of their events. He retired in 1994 but continued to serve local churches as needed.
Katerberg loved sports. He played soccer at Calvin. As a young pastor, he developed a passion for golf, often playing with other local clergy. In retirement, he enjoyed playing golf, volunteering, traveling, and daily coffee with friends.
He is survived by Janet, his wife of 26 years; three children and three stepchildren (and their spouses); three grandchildren and eight stepgrandchildren. He was predeceased in 1993 by his first wife, Jean, and in 1968 by toddler son, Wesley.