A man of prayer and an inspiration to many, Harvey Ouwinga was deeply contented and peaceful. He welcomed each day as a gift and tried to reflect God’s love in every moment of his life. He died Oct. 13 at age 89.
As a child of potato farmers in Osceola County, Mich., Harvey’s childhood centered on faith, family, and hard work. He later graduated from Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, and after ordination in 1957 he served Birnamwood (Wisc.) Christian Reformed Church. During his years of study he had received deferment from the draft, but was called up in 1962 to serve in the U.S. Army, where he attended Army Chaplain School. He was first stationed at Fort Polk, La., then in Korea for 13 months. Returning to the U.S., he was at Fort Hood, Texas, for a couple of years before moving with his family to Germany for three years. Although he applied for discharge in 1969, Harvey remained a reservist for six more years until retiring as Lieutenant Colonel.
Harvey went on to pastor Cascade CRC in Marysville, Wash.; East Leonard CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Bradenton (Fla.) CRC. He then served for two years in Grand Rapids with Mission India before being called to Second CRC in Kalamazoo, Mich. He retired in 1997 but continued to serve as an interim minister in 21 different states.
Rarely one to be still, Harvey ate fast, walked fast, and always had a project going. He particularly enjoyed working on cars—his own or those of others—and he liked watching football, baseball, and playing golf.
He is survived by Ardythe, his wife of 67 years; four children and their spouses; 14 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.