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IN MEMORIAM: Rev. Johan Tangelder
by Louis M. Tamminga

April 16, 1936 – July 23, 2009

Rev. Johan Tangelder, 73, intimate friend of Jesus, diligent student and preacher of the Word, onetime missionary, avid reader and writer, and defender of the faith, died July 23 of congestive heart and renal failure.

Tangelder was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he attended grade school and high school. He emigrated with his family to Canada in 1954, where they settled in Holland Marsh and later in Oshawa, both in Ontario.

Tangelder began his preparation for the ministry at the Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto, from which he graduated in 1962. He completed courses for a doctoral degree at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1963. He graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1967.

He and Helen Feasby married in 1965. The young couple began parish ministry in Vernon (B.C.) Christian Reformed Church in 1967. They served Riverside CRC of Wellandport, Ontario, from 1970 to 1977, then were called to serve abroad as missionaries in the Philippines.

This latter work captured Tangelder’s heart, but to his regret it had to be cut short after two years because of health reasons.

In 1979 he accepted a call from East CRC of Strathroy, Ontario. One more church was to follow: Williamsburg (Ont.) CRC.

Tangelder retired in 1993 due to frail health, and he and Helen settled in London, Ontario, where they lived until his death.

Tangelder was foremost a student of Scripture. He loved the Word and loved to preach it. But he was also an ardent student of history and culture. For years he produced a steady stream of articles and book reviews for a variety of periodicals. The Reformed faith was dear to him, and he expounded it with eloquence.

Tangelder is survived by Helen and their children: Alice Ann and Tony Vandergeest, Bernard and Sharon Tangelder, Johan and Carol Tangelder, Mary Tangelder, and 10 grandchildren.

Louis M. Tamminga

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