Dale Vander Veen, who served faithfully in ministry as a campus pastor, preacher, pianist, organist and writer, died Oct. 25. He was 80.
After graduating from Calvin College (now University) and Seminary and ordination in 1969, Dale and his wife, Edith, joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called CRU). A tribute from one couple, upon hearing of his death, said: “You were so important in our lives as college students. We learned by word and deed as new believers how to walk and grow in Jesus Christ.”
A few years later, Dale moved on to pastor Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Seattle, Wash.; Brookside CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Bethany CRC, Bellflower, Calif.; and Georgetown CRC, Hudsonville, Mich., from which he retired in 2006. He then became associate pastor at Bauer CRC in Hudsonville, occasionally preaching or playing the piano for a service, and visiting older members. In 2020, he “re-retired” due to failing health.
In 2000 Dale started writing and emailing daily devotions to family and friends. This grew over the next 20 years to be sent to at least 500 people who in turn forwarded them to others. In 2011 Dale self-published a book of 365 of those devotions, culled from the first 10 years of writing, called Dear Friends: Seeing our Best Friend in His Word and World.
As well as reading and playing word games, Dale loved music. He started playing piano and organ at an early age and as a teenager filled in for the church pianist or organist when needed. As a pastor he also helped to plan worship music for church services.
Dale is survived by Edith, his wife of 58 years; three children and their spouses; and six grandchildren.