Ronald Deenik ’73

Dr. Ronald Wayne Deenik, age 70, passed away at home on July 15 following an unexpected and quick bout with cancer.

Dr. Deenik was a lifelong learner, teacher and mentor. Raised in South Holland, Illinois, Dr. Deenik graduated from Thornridge High School. He continued his education earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Hope College and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loyola University of Chicago. In 1977, Dr. Deenik returned to Holland, MI, where he established Holland Family Dentistry and served the community in that capacity for 43 years. Dr. Deenik considered his patients his friends and loved his profession. He would often say “I never worked a day in my life” as his practice, patients, colleagues and employees were his passion. In 1990, Dr. Deenik was proud to be one of only three practices in Michigan to adopt CEREC, a computerized dental restoration process. He consulted for the Siemens Corporation as a demonstration dentist, and was the organizing doctor for the Academy of Computerized Dentistry (ACD,) an international organization. He became President of the ACD and held that position for three years. He was awarded the Fellowship Award of the Academy of General Dentistry in 2009.

Ron served his community well. He was a past member of First Presbyterian Church, and served as an Elder, and Clerk of Session. He was elected to the Holland Public School Board and held several leadership positions, including President, from 1989-1994. Ron also served on the Careerline Tech Dental Assisting Board. In 1995, Ron was awarded the Meritorious Service Award from Hope College for his contributions through service and long- term involvement with the international students and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. In 2006 and 2007 Ron and his wife, Terrie, were Honorary Chairs of the Culinary Cabaret which benefits the Holland Community Health Center. In later years, Ron lectured at Hope College in microbiology and also for the Department of Chemistry. In 2008, Ron was appointed as adjunct professor of Chemistry at Grand Valley State University. He was a relentless mentor who took great joy in seeing others achieve their highest potential.

Ron was deeply committed to his family and friends. Ron is survived by the love of his life and best friend, Terrie, his sons Joel (Elissa), Tim (Jenna Wassink ’03) and Paul (Kirsten), his daughter, Lindsey  Boeve ’12 (John ’13 Zona) and his nine much loved grandchildren. Ron is also survived by his brother, Robert ’76 (Cathy), and nieces and nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Elaine Deenik, his parents-in-law Jim and Ruth VanWyk, and his son, Chris Boeve.

Ron and Terrie had just enjoyed their first 2 years of retirement wintering at their home in Florida where Ron made many new friends and treasured his time away with Terrie. He loved to travel, and share his enthusiasm for boating with countless friends, usually after a home-cooked meal expertly prepared by him. He recently picked up golf but only socially as he never had a competitive bone in his body. He always made time for a cup of coffee with friends who needed his sage counsel or simply a listening ear.

Return to Current In Memoriam