A faithful pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for almost 60 years, Ken Havert touched the lives of many people through his fun-loving attitude and his genuine kindness for others. He made everyone feel welcome, could strike up a conversation at any time with anyone he met, and had an amazing memory for names and connections—even recalling them years later. He was blessed with a loud voice for preaching, which he also employed to cheer on his children and grandchildren at sporting events. Ken lived the last three and a half years at Sunset Manor in Jenison, Mich., where he built true friendships with his caregivers and greeted them each morning with a loud and cheery welcome. He died Aug. 4 at age 89.
Ken grew up in the small town of East Palmyra, N.Y., before attending Calvin College (now University) and Seminary. After ordination in 1958, he served Newton (Iowa) CRC; Palos Heights (Ill.) CRC; Calvin CRC, Wyckoff, N.J.; Messiah CRC, Hudsonville, Mich.; Bethel CRC, Lynden, Wash.; and Faith Community CRC, Wyoming, Mich.
After retirement in 1998, Ken was an interim pastor in San Marcos, Calif., for six months, then served as the visitation minister at Faith Community CRC until 2018. He worked at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home in Grandville, Mich., from 1999 to 2016 and often preached at Grace CRC in Muskegon, Mich., until his final sermon Nov. 12, 2017.
Ken modeled unconditional love by caring selflessly for Shirley, his wife of 53 years, as she lived for 13 years with Alzheimer’s disease. She died in 2011. He will be lovingly remembered by his two children and their spouses, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.