“Dear friends in Christ,
It is with sadness and a profound sense of loss, that I share with you the news of the death of my father, the Rev. John F. Hoekstra, on March 25, 2018. He would have been 93 on his birthday in April.
Dad had a deep and abiding faith. He heeded God’s call to service as an ordained minister many years ago following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, eventually leading him to minister the same congregation each of them had served in Suriname.
On June 3, 1958, he was ordained into the Reformed Church of America. This June would have marked the 60th Anniversary of that ordination. Shortly after ordination, Dad married Anneke. Their ministry took them on an incredible journey as they served Reformed Church of America and United Church of Canada churches in Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname, a Netherlands Reformed Church pastoral charge in the Netherlands and a Methodist pastoral charge in Bermuda.
Dad believed in justice, inclusion, acceptance, love. Throughout his ministry and in his personal life he put those beliefs into concrete actions. He created a welcoming space and became known after the birth of his cherished grandson, Liam, as Opa to many.
Dad continued in service to God and God’s people following his retirement for many years. He remained active and engaged in the life and ministry of the church with study groups, committee and community activities and reading current theological papers and books. This only changed when he voluntarily gave up his driver’s license at age 91 and his vision deteriorated due to glaucoma the last couple of years. We continued to value, and often sought out, his wisdom and his insight in matters of theology, faith and life.
Your prayers are much appreciated at this time of grief. As a family we know that these will hold Dad in your hearts and surround us with comfort and strength.
The following is the obituary placed in the Edmonton Journal on Saturday, March 31, 2018, and again on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.
On March 25, 2018, Rev. Johan (John) Fedor Hoekstra of Edmonton died peacefully at the age of 92 years.
John was predeceased by his wife and life companion Anneke.
John will be deeply missed and remembered by his loving family: grateful son, Ron-Wayne, devoted daughter, Deborah and cherished grandson, Liam; surviving siblings and their spouses: David & Ursula, Maud & Tibor, Fred & Anje; beloved granddaughter Bobbi, her husband Curtis and great grandchildren Keiana & Keiton; nieces & nephews, extended family & many friends scattered around the globe.
A Memorial Service officiated by Rev. Dr. Catherine MacLean, followed by tea and chocolates, will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Church, 11526 – 76 Avenue NW. Interment to follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Mission & Service Fund of the United Church of Canada or a charity of your choice.
(Photo image: Edmonton Journal)