Ralph Bruxvoort preached, taught and lived out a theology centered on God's unconditional love and grace. Bruxvoort died March 23 at his home in Bloomer, Wisc.
He was born in Tres Arroyos, Argentina, where his father was a missionary on behalf of the Christian Reformed Church to the Dutch immigrant community. The family returned to the U.S. in 1935. Bruxvoort eventually graduated from Calvin College (now University) and Seminary. Following ordination in 1958, he pastored Alamosa (Col.) CRC. He went on to serve Pompton Plains (N.J.) CRC, Ada (Mich.) CRC, Manhattan (Mont.) CRC; Hope CRC in Stony Plain, Atla., and Quincy (Wash.) CRC. After retirement in 1998, the Bruxvoorts moved to Bloomer, Wisc., to be near family. He continued to preach when needed for both Christian Reformed and Presbyterian churches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“He loved watching sports,” said one of his children, “and would follow whatever sport and team happened to be the favorite where he was living. When we were living in Canada, he was an Oilers fan. When my parents moved to Washington state, he followed the Mariners. When he retired to Wisconsin, he became a Packers fan.”
From 2007 to 2016, Bruxvoort was a member of the Bloomer school board and was pleased to see the construction of a new elementary school during that time. In his later years, he carried out his goal of attending as many grandchildrens’ graduations as possible, which took him to all corners of the U.S. He was an avid reader of histories, biographies, and social justice. A faithful swimmer at the Bloomer Aquatic Center, he attended classes until the week before he died.
Survived by his four children and spouses, a daughter-in-law, 16 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, Bruxvoort was predeceased by his wife, Elaine, two sons, and one grandchild.