Harold Delhagen ’79
Rev. Dr. Harold M. Delhagen passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at the age of 64, after a long and hard fought battle with cancer. Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Harold was a graduate of Hope College (1979), New Brunswick Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Divinity (1982), and McCormick Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry (1994). Harold was ordained in the Reformed Church in America (RCA), and served four congregations, from Holland, Michigan to Pultneyville, New York. After leaving parish ministry in 2008, he went on to serve as Synod Executive for the Synod of Albany (RCA), until joining the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2011 as Synod Leader for the Synod of the Northeast, retiring in 2020. He was a man of deep faith, committed to the ways community can be transformative in the world, particularly in his work for racial and social justice. He was one of several people who made it possible for the RCA to adopt the Belhar Confession, a confession of faith written and adopted by the Reformed Churches in South Africa. His work included an emphasis to our need to understand racism and to be actively anti-racist in the Church, particularly encouraging diverse younger leaders in the Synod of the Northest, PC (USA). Harold found his deepest connection with the spiritual in the natural world, particularly in his passion for fly fishing. Harold was a dry fly fisherman. Through camping and hiking, to sitting around the campfire at their beloved Pond House in Parishville with a good dry martini and a smooth cigar, his love for creation was without equal, except perhaps, in his love for his beloved grandchildren, whom he loved deeply. Harold’s first, and true love, was his wife, and best friend of nearly 45 years, Donna. Together, they served as a model for true hospitality and welcome, modeling what community at its best can be. From legendary cocktail parties in Pultneyville, to quiet dinners on the deck, they were a team, and their love is an inspiration to everyone they met. Predeceased by his father, Harold W. Delhagen. Harold is survived by his wife, Donna Baird ’79; his three children and their spouses, Rev. Kyle ’04 (Elena), Taylor (Tiffany), Hillary ’09(Josh); his grandchildren Jumah, Rumi, Atticus, and Rivers; his mother, Christine; his brothers and their wives, Karl and Betsy, Gary and Catherine; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.