Bernie Dokter had a deep and abiding love for the Lord and a great desire to share the good news of God’s love with all he met. He loved preaching and had the ability to connect with people and share his heart with them. Dokter, 92, died Feb. 27 at his home in Grand Rapids, Mich.
After ordination in 1953, Dokter pastored Hills (Minn.) Christian Reformed Church. He then served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1960. He went on to pastor Ferrysburg (Mich.) Community Church and then was a missionary in Argentina and Honduras for the next 15 years. When he and his family left for Argentina, Dokter barely knew the Spanish language but became fluent enough to preach in Spanish. Dokter then served for six years with Christian Reformed World Missions (now part of Resonate Global Mission) as secretary for Latin America. He was pastor at Allen Avenue CRC in Muskegon, Mich, before retiring in 1994. In retirement he served as interim pastor, helping various churches during difficult times.
Dokter was an avid golfer, continuing to play until he was no longer physically able. He enjoyed camping and gardening and was an excellent woodworker, creating beautiful furniture.
He is survived by Lydia, his wife of 70 years; five children and spouses; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.