John Van Ryn is remembered as being patient, humble, kind, gracious, open minded, and a good listener who was able to see other perspectives. He had a ready smile, a quick wit, and was eager to see the humor in life. John was a peacemaker and able to stay calm in difficult situations, something that served him well in ministry. John, 90, died July 1.
Born in Chicago, Ill., John felt a call to ministry early in life. A graduate of Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, he was ordained in 1956 and served Long Beach (Calif.) Christian Reformed Church. He then pastored Second CRC, Paterson, N.J., and First CRC, South Holland, Ill., before serving as executive secretary of the CRC Board of Home Missions (now part of Resonate Global Mission) for 13 years. He went on to pastor Fellowship CRC, Big Rapids, Mich., and Providence CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich. He retired in 1996 and joined Neland Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, where he was an active member and associate pastor for more than 20 years.
John gave his time and leadership to many organizations over the years, most recently, in Grand Rapids, serving the New 2 You Thrift Shop and visiting and ministering to those in Holland Home Raybrook Campus.
He found joy in traveling, camping, attending grandchildren’s sporting events, sharing festive meals, telling stories, and being together with family.
John was predeceased by Elizabeth, his first wife of 33 years. He is survived by Margaret, his second wife of 31 years and their large and beautiful combined family of eight children and their spouses; 23 grandchildren and their spouses; and 10 great-grandchildren.