REV. DON 'GORDON' BLOEMENDAAL was born on June 24, 1937 to John and Margaret Bloemendaal near Hospers, Iowa where he was raised. He was the brother to Mary Miedema of Hull and Pixie Balt of Hospers. After graduation from high school, he attended Northwestern College in Orange City for one year and then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. A few years after his discharge, Gordon attended college in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He then became employed in Hospers for eleven years.
Gordon was called into ministry and returned to Northwestern College, graduating in 1973. The family then moved to Holland, Michigan where Gordon attended Western Theological Seminary and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry in the First Reformed Church of Hospers, Iowa on June 17, 1976. He served as Pastor at the First Reformed Church of Alexander, Iowa from 1976 – 1980, First Reformed Church, Rock Valley, Iowa from 1980 – 1986, American Reformed Church, Luverne, MN from 1986 – 1996, and as calling Pastor at the First Reformed Church, Sheldon, Iowa from 1997 – 2011, retiring on June 26, 2011.
Gordon and Barbara Hellenga were married May 31, 1957. Three children were born into their union: Bevan Lani Bloemendaal and partner Tony, Blythe Joal Bloemendaal and wife Trish and their 5 children and 1 granddaughter, and Bobette Dawn Walton and husband Fred and their 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Barbara’s brothers, Brian Hellenga and John Hellenga and sister, Faye Hofmeyer, were also very much part of the family after both of their parents, Rev. Al and Margaret Hellenga passed away in 1959.
Barbara Hellenga – Bloemendaal preceded Gordon in death in 1996 as a result of Alzheimer’s.
On June 24, 1997 Gordon and Marlou Van Klei were married and just celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary. Marlou’s three children, Brenda Halverson and husband Ben and their 3 children, Shelly Kunkel and her husband Bob and their 2 sons, and Jill Kunkel and husband Brian and their son, quickly became a big part of the family.
Pastor “B” [as most people called him] was passionate about 2 things. The first was everything “family”. It was clearly always family first every day. He carried with him the most selfless positive outlook on life and touched so many lives in loving and countless ways – from a kind word, a hug, a joke, a song and of course we will always remember those gleaming eyes and a smile that knew no end. The second was that he loved everything John Wayne!
On Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Gordon succumbed to his Lewy Body disease care at Sanford Luverne Hospital. He went to his eternal home at the age of 76 years and fifteen days.
Gordon’s entire family would like to thank the staff members of both the Minnesota Veterans Home and the Sanford Hospital for their genuine love and support during this past year they tirelessly treat residents with such respect, care and compassion. To all of Gordon’s friends [who are many] he spoke of you often with fondness…thank you. To Dr. Ceynowa who always knew that when he had an appointment with Pastor B. he was going to run late the entire day…thank you for being there through our Mom’s journey and now through Dad’s he had a very special place in his heart for you…thank you.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Gordon’s name to the Alzheimer’s Foundation or the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.