CALVIN JAMES VANDENHOEK was born December 26, 1924 to John and Edith (Kuiper) VandenHoek in Vesper, Wisconsin. Cal was baptized on February 1, 1925 at the Christian Reformed Church in Vesper. The family moved to Winnepeg, Canada when Cal was two years old. Two years later, they relocated to Everett, Washington. During Cal’s childhood, he had a newspaper route, and a lawn mowing business with his brother. Cal attended Christian school through the 8th grade in Everett. He made his confession of faith in 1939 at the Christian Reformed Church in Everett. Cal graduated from Everett Public School in 1943. He spent a short time in Idaho after graduation before being drafted into the United States Army in December 1944. He served in WWII in the 100th Machine Records Unit as a Sergeant in Military Intelligence. He was stationed in Guam, Saipan and Tinian until his honorable discharge in August of 1946. On July 18, 1947, Cal was united in marriage to Mildred Valentien at Uncle John Valentien’s farmhouse in Cottonwood County, near Comfrey, Minnesota. The couple moved around a bit during their first two years of marriage, before his job transferred him to Luverne, Minnesota in 1949. Cal’s career was working in telephone maintenance for various telephone companies such as Northwestern Bell, U.S. West, and Quest. On July 23, 1982, Cal officially retired. In 1994, he and Mildred sold their home in Luverne and moved to a lake home on Lake Sarah in Garvin, Minnesota. In the year 2018, it would make 33 years the couple headed South as snow birds, 2 years in Texas and 31 in Arizona. On Friday, November 15, 2019, Cal died peacefully under hospice care at the Good Samaritan Society – Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne at the age of 94 years, 10 months and 19 days.
Cal attended Lake Sarah Baptist Church in rural Slayton, Minnesota. During his time in Luverne, he was a member of the Luverne Christian Reformed Church where he served two years as janitor. Cal was a charter board member of the Luverne indoor swimming pool and served two years. He especially enjoyed cars and boats.
Cal is lovingly remembered by his wife, Mildred of Garvin; children, Kathleen (Scott) McClure of Homosassa, Florida, John VandenHoek of Luverne, Mary (John) Rodgers of Fairmont, Minnesota, Mark (Patty) VandenHoek of Magnolia, Minnesota; two daughters-in-law, Shirley VandenHoek and Diane VandenHoek of Luverne; 18 grandchildren, Paul VandenHoek, Mary Taylor, Megan Morrison, Kelly Peterson, Matthew McClure, Charise VanMaasdam, Justin VandenHoek, Jessy Hoven, Josh VandenHoek, Maggie Vanderburg, Molly Brummond, Ingrid Bjerknes, Sarah Clements, Emily Trindal, Jerod Ohlsen, Brandy Fjeldheim, and Ruby Ganser; 31 great-grandchildren (with another to be born in March 2020!); and siblings, Kenneth (Arlene) VandenHoek of Britt, Iowa and Elaine Van of Chula Vista, California. Calvin was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. John and Edith VandenHoek; son, Robert VandenHoek; daughter, Julie Ohlsen; son-in-law, Terry Ohlsen; grandson, Bryce Ohlsen; great-granddaughter, Mily Hoven; brother, Julius VandenHoek; and sister, Hildred Vonhof-Einfeld.
A private family gathering to celebrate Cal's life will be held at a later date.