The Rev. Gary Vande Kamp, 67, Des Moines, Iowa

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 27, 2002

The Rev. Gary Vande Kamp died at Luther Park Center of Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 21, 2002, The celebration of his life was held Sept. 25 at Adventure-Life Church in Altoona, Iowa, the church he had started and served for 17 1/2 years. He began by knocking on every door in Altoona and the church became a vibrant community.

Gary was born on Dec. 10, 1934, in Hollandale to Henry and Nellie Vande Kamp and grew up in Hollandale, graduating from Albert Lea High School. He graduated from Central College of Pella, Iowa, and taught physical education and social studies in Newton, Iowa, for three years.

Gary and Ardie Van Pursem were united in marriage June 28, 1957. He left the teaching profession and attended Western Theological Seminary. Following graduation, he served the Reformed Churches of America for the next 39 1/2 years: four years in Bellflower, Calif.; four years in Rock Rapids, Iowa; eight years in Des Moines, Iowa; 17 1/2 years in Altoona, Iowa; and five 1/2 years in Sheldon, Iowa.

Email newsletter signup

His ministry continued even after a brain bleed incapacitated him and he was confined to a care facility. The faith, love, and praise of God by both Gary and his wife, Ardie, and their family became a strong witness that was an uplift for those caring for him as well as those visiting him. Pastor Gary Vande Kamp loved people, family, grandchildren and traveling (earlier) and sharing the love of God … even to the end.

Gary is survived by his wife, Ardie; three children: Mary and her husband Chuck Ingle of Altoona, Iowa, Mark and his wife Jane Swanson of Seattle, Wash., and Micki and her husband Brett Strait of Ames, Iowa; as well as five grandchildren: Kayci, Kristen and Kody Ingle, and Evan and Eliza Strait. Other survivors include seven sisters and one brother: Ada Mennega of Jenison, Mich., Lory Harmsen of Sioux Falls, S.D., Tracy (Doug) Vandegrift of Albert Lea, Sue (Merlin) Wallin of Glenville, Eva (Wally) Karsjens of Hollandale, Jim Vande Kamp of Mason City, Iowa, Sarah (John) Ekema of Pella, Iowa, and Vivie (Jim) Loverink of Hollandale; nephews and nieces; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant twin siblings; his brother, Walter Vande Kamp; and his sister, Nellie Pauzenga.

Memorials contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa, or to The Gary and Ardie Scholarship Fund – Western Theological Seminary. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Ardie Vande Kamp, 956 Robin Circle, Altoona, IA 50009.