Peter Theune ’65

The Rev. Peter James Theune, 78, of Spring Lake, passed away suddenly on the morning of Sunday, October 10, 2021, while vacationing with his wife Judy in northern Michigan.

Peter was born to Elmer and Gertrude Theune on August 8, 1943. Along with his older sister, Caroline, he grew up in the small town of Oostburg, Wisconsin, next door to his family’s church.

Peter was called and devoted his life to ministry. After graduating from Hope College in 1965, he received his master’s degree in christian education from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, in 1969. He continued his training later in his career, and was ordained in the Reformed Church in America in 1990. He served as director of Children’s Life for the Reformed Church in America and in a variety of capacities at a number of churches: First Reformed Church (Spring Lake); Greenville Community Church (Scarsdale, N.Y.); Pompton Reformed Church (Pompton Lakes, N.J.); American Reformed Church (Orange City, Iowa); and Christ Community Church (Spring Lake). After retirement, Peter served part time at First Presbyterian Church (Holland, Michigan).

Peter was a true disciple and a vital local leader. He was instrumental in establishing three organizations that continue to enrich the Tri-Cities community: The Little Red House, The People Center and Bluebird Cancer Retreats of West Michigan. He also worked to establish the annual Community Thanksgiving Feast. Peter baptized those newly born, married those who loved each other, and remembered the deceased and comforted the survivors at funerals.

Peter loved his work, but loved even more greatly his family. Peter married Judy on August 14, 1965. They had three sons: Curt, Michael ’92 and David ’99. His sons and their families – Curt’s wife Susan, and their children Anna and Scott; and David’s wife Nikki Rodgers ’99, and their children Kaiya, Ellie and Nia – were a source of pride for Peter. He felt great joy in being with them and in attending their games and events.

Peter loved the world’s beauty, which he took in during long walks and on bike and car rides. He added to the beauty with his gardening and arts philanthropy, and he shared his enthusiasms with a wide circle of friends. Peter cared deeply for this world; he tended it closely.

Visitations will be held on Friday, October 15, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., at The VanZantwick Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 620 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven on Saturday, October 16, at 10 a.m. A brief, informal reception and a private interment will follow. Masks are required at all events. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Little Red House, The People Center, Bluebird Cancer Retreats of West Michigan, or the Theune Family Fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at

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