A faithful man of God, David Zylstra had a calm, easy-going personality with a dry sense of humor. Caring and tenderhearted, he often shed tears at weddings and baptisms. He was a man who enjoyed the journey as much as the destination—whether on a bike or in a car, he was always eager to see what was over the next hill or beyond the next horizon. Hopeful in all circumstances, he faithfully trusted in God’s care and provision. Zylstra, 73, died March 24 at Pine Haven Christian Home in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. He had lived for several years with the challenges of a progressive neurological illness.
Zylstra was born and raised in Chicago, Ill., and after high school attended Trinity College, Calvin College (now University), and Calvin Seminary. Ordained in 1974, he pastored five congregations over the next 43 years: Archer Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Chicago, Ill; Baldwin (Wis.) CRC; Parkersburg (Iowa) CRC; First CRC of Prinsburg, Minn.; and Brooten (Minn.) Community Church. He retired in 2017.
Zylstra served terms on the boards of Dordt College and Calvin College (now University). He loved music and sang baritone in the Minnesota Chorale; sang and served as president of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra Chorus; and sang and served as president of the Prairie Arts Chorale. He enjoyed ancient history and delighted in God’s creation—forests and fields, mountains, lakes and rivers, and animals of all kinds.
Zylstra is survived by his wife, Claudia, their three children, and six grandchildren.