Carol Hondorp ’59 Wagner
Carol Hondorp Wagner, age 83, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Jan Wagner and children Ken (Jill) Wagner, Bob (Sandy) Wagner, and Jeanne (Pat) Kellner; grandchildren Marc, Matthew, Erin, Ben, Samantha, Carlyn, Alyson and Madelyn; great-grandchildren Jack, Olivia, Eli and Rory; brother Gordon (Lou) Hondorp and many nieces and nephews.
Carol was born February 18, 1938 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Henry and Hazel (Offringa) Hondorp. Following graduation from Grand Rapids Christian High, she went on to Hope College where she met the love of her life, Jan. They married in 1958. After graduation the following year, they settled in Chicago allowing Jan to run the family business there. Carol was a devoted mother and wife, raising three children and still finding time to champion the work of the Reformed Church of America (RCA)
Having been given the amazing gifts of intellect, humility, servant leadership and a firm grounding in her Christian faith from her parents, Carol was active on numerous boards and councils. She was one of the first women to be elected to the RCA’s General Program Council and served on its Executive Committee for 14 years traveling to New York City during the 1960’s and 70’s. She served on the Hope College Board of Trustees for 12 years while also volunteering 4 days each week with the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE), an organization introducing new pastoral students to urban ministries in downtown Chicago.
Carol went on to serve on Western Seminary’s Board of Trustees, a calling she dedicated over 30 years to. It was during this time that the Reformed Church asked her to be the denomination’s representative at the World Council of Churches conference in Harari, Zimbabwe, a 2-week conference of 5,000 people representing Christians around the globe.
Along with Carol’s commitment to her faith was her commitment to family. She taught by example; humility, kindness, understanding, compassion, honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness were more than just concepts. They were living models displayed over and over again, valuable lessons for her children and grandchildren. Her gentle and persistent character helped build a committed and resilient family, a value she believed to be so essential.
When Carol had the opportunity to relocate back to West Michigan in 2005, she enthusiastically made the move. “Semi-retirement” meant living close to Lake Michigan during the warm months and in Green Valley, Arizona during the cold months, surrounded by family and many close friends.
She has left an enduring example for her family to follow, one that will be deeply missed but will not ever be forgotten.
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with Thee…… All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”