In Memoriam: Rev. Stanley Jay Bultman 1939-2022

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Stan Bultman leaves a legacy of Christian love and service to the many youth and adults to whom he ministered as pastor and chaplain. Compassionate, patient, kind, and a sensitive listener, he enjoyed people and was known for his warm smile and humor. Born at home in Fremont, Mich., he died at home in Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 8, 2022. 

Bultman’s strong work ethic started in fifth grade at the family meat market and grocery store where he stood on a box to be tall enough to serve customers. In high school he was a star quarterback and played saxophone in the school band. At Calvin College (now University) he initially studied math and pre-engineering before experiencing a call to ministry. After graduation from Calvin Seminary in 1965 he spent a year at Brandeis University in Massachusetts where he studied many ancient and modern languages and obtained a master’s degree in Old Testament.

Following ordination in 1966, Bultman served three Michigan congregations: University Church of Mount Pleasant, where he also directed the campus ministry at Central Michigan University; Atwood Christian Reformed Church; and Northern Heights CRC, Kalamazoo. He served on home and foreign mission boards and Bible translation committees. After two years of Clinical Pastoral Education, Bultman became director of Hospital Chaplaincy Services, in Grand Rapids, in 1986. He later expanded it to Chaplain Services, including both hospital and workplace chaplains. He retired in 2006. “Stanley had a large impact on chaplaincy,” said Tim Rietkerk, director of the CRC's Chaplaincy and Care Ministry.

Bultman enjoyed family and friends, music, reading, camping, gardening, and sweets. He could fix almost anything and had workshops with photography darkrooms, model trains, woodworking, and violin repair.

Predeceased by granddaughter Katrina, Bultman is fondly remembered by Marcia, his wife of 60 years, three children, and five grandchildren.

About the Author

A former nurse and chaplain, Janet Greidanus is a freelance news correspondent and long-time writer of the In Memoriam column for The Banner.

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