Harold Dykstra ’49

Harold Dykstra ’49 died peacefully after an extended illness. He resided at a senior living facility in Chandler, Arizona. Rev. Dykstra was born in 1920 to parents Henry Dykstra and Florence Veldman Dykstra in Holland, Michigan.

After service in the United States Army during WWII, he attended Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, both in Holland MI. Following his ordination in the Reformed Church of America in 1952, he served as a missionary to Native American congregations in Nebraska and New Mexico. Subsequently he served as pastor at Presbyterian Churches in Iowa Park, Sweetwater, and Robinson Texas, and in Reserve, Glenwood, Datil, Quemado, and Apache Creek, New Mexico.

While in Reserve, New Mexico, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Village of Reserve, and as Mayor. He was active as Chairman of the Catron County New Mexico Health Advisory Council, where he was influential in bringing community health services to the Village of Reserve and to Catron County. He was an advisor on providing care of the elderly to Presbyterian Medical Services of New Mexico.

Retirement was spent in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In 1935 as Sophomores at Zeeland (MI) High School, Harold Dykstra met Dorothy Jean Waldo. In 1942, Harold joined the US Army (Signal Corps). In 1943 while stationed in Florida, Harold married his High School sweetheart, by then a school teacher. Together, they had four children, all boys. After seeing Harold through completion of his college and seminary degrees, Dorothy led the typical life of a pastor’s wife, helping make the missions and churches succeed, and teaching school to supplement a pastor’s salary. In 2016, they celebrated their seventy-third anniversary together.

Harold was preceded in death by his son Richard Alan, his brother Jay Junior Dykstra, and his sister Marie Ellen Irwin. He is survived by his wife Dorothy Waldo ’42, and sons Jerald (Linda), Lawrence (Lisa), and Robert (Karen), as well as brothers Leon ’50 (Ruth) and Donald. He also leaves behind ten grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. The family expresses its gratitude to the loving staff members of Sunrise Senior Living of Chandler (AZ) and of THEMA Hospice of Mesa (AZ).

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