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Bob Holwerda loved the Lord his God with all his heart and soul, and his passion was obvious and contagious. He served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for 45 years and is remembered for his gentle spirit, patience, and passion for preaching. Holwerda died April 30, just two months after the death of Joyce, his wife of 71 years.

“Dad was larger than life, a family man and a people person with a boyish grin, a twinkle in his eye, a hearty laugh, a compassionate soul, and firm convictions,” said one of his sons. “Every stranger was just a friend he hadn’t met yet,” said the nephew who officiated at his funeral.

A graduate of Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, Holwerda was ordained in 1963. He served Parkersburg (Iowa) CRC; Harderwyk Ministries in Holland, Mich.; Calvary CRC in Pella, Iowa; First CRC in Mount Vernon, Wash.; and Bethel CRC in Sioux Center, Iowa. He retired in 1994. He loved to discuss the issues and health of the church with anyone, but especially with his brothers.

Holwerda is survived by five children and their spouses, 15 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren.

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