The wonder of God’s grace was a constant theme and reminder throughout Dirk Velthuizen’s life. “He was a straight shooter with a very warm heart for the underdog and a fierce opponent of injustice wherever he met it,” said a colleague and friend. Velthuizen died April 14.
Born in the Netherlands, the youngest of seven children, Velthuizen immigrated to Canada in 1954 with his new bride. He worked on farms and sold Fuller Brush products before moving the growing family to Grand Rapids, Mich., to attend Calvin College (now University) and Seminary.
After ordination in 1969, Velthuizen served the following Christian Reformed churches: Telkwa (B.C.) Community Church; Vauxhall (Alta.); Brooks (Alta.); Drayton (Ont.); First Kemptville (Ont.). After retirement in 1995, the Velthuizens lived first in Guelph and then at Holland Christian Homes in Brampton, Ont. He remained involved in pastoral work throughout retirement.
Canoe trips in Algonquin Provincial Park, hikes in local conservation areas, neighborhood walks, reading, and singing with the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir brought Velthuizen great joy. He took pride in his homemade solutions to home and car problems.
Velthuizen is survived by his wife, Peta; six children and their spouses; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.