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Friendly, approachable, a deep thinker, and a skilled administrator, John Hoogland served for 30 years as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of colonel. “He was a giant in army chaplaincy,” said a colleague. “He was impactful in a quiet and behind-the-scenes way as he faithfully supported our (Christian Reformed Chaplaincy and Care) ministry,” said another. Hoogland, 88, died Sept.4 at the Michigan Home for Veterans in Grand Rapids, Mich. 

The son of a CRC pastor, Hoogland grew up in a variety of places in the U.S. and Canada. A graduate of Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, he was ordained in 1959 and entered the U.S. Army. In addition to completing the U.S. Army Chaplain School, he graduated from both the Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. Hoogland was stationed at many locations, including Germany and Vietnam, and for four years served at the Pentagon as director of personnel for the Army chaplaincy program. Among his military decorations and awards are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Army Staff Badge, given for heroic and meritorious achievement and performance.

With a gift for writing, Hoogland also obtained a Master of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate in Education from Temple University.

After retiring from the Army, Hoogland served as associate pastor of Midland Park (N. J.) CRC from 1989-2002 where he was greatly appreciated for his leadership, visitation, and preaching. He then served Seabrook Retirement Community, Tinton Falls, N.J., until 2010.

Hoogland was predeceased in 2005 by Alma, his wife of 47 years. He is survived by three children and their spouses, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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