Described as wise, predictable, direct, stubborn, and a fierce advocate, Ron Sprik put God first and was unabashed about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He even printed up his own simple gospel tract to share and distribute to others, whether at a gas station or on a fishing pier. “Dad, you leave a legacy of determination, faith, hope, grace, love for the simple things in life, responsibility, hard work, and integrity,” eulogized his children. Ron, 84, died July 21.
Ron was the youngest of eight children whose parents farmed in Michigan and worked for many years among the Navajo and Zuni people in New Mexico. They passed on to Ron the traits of faith, service, and a strong work ethic. Ron was ordained in 1967 after graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary. He served for 18 years as a missionary in Puerto Rico with Christian Reformed World Missions (now part of Resonate Global Mission). Following his return to the mainland U.S. he pastored West Olive (Mich.) CRC, Brooten (Minn.) Community Church, and Ireton (Iowa) Christian Reformed Church. He retired in 2004 and then served as minister of visitation at Blythefield CRC in Rockford, Mich., until 2018.
Ron loved music. He sang bass in the choir, sang solos, played trombone and guitar, and could play some piano music by ear. He was inventive, even welding together his own homemade walker. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening. He got consent from his neighbors to tap their maple trees, then shared the syrup with them. In retirement, his garden expanded from his backyard to a quarter-acre on a country farm, both of which he tended until last season.
Ron is survived by Judith, his wife of 57 years; five children and their spouses; 13 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.