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Remkes Kooistra (1917-2005) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Remkes Kooistra (1917-2005)


Historical Note:

Remkes Kooistra was born in the village of Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands on May 22, 1917. Kooistra attended the seminary in Kampen and went on to earn this doctorate in theology and sociology from the Free University of Amsterdam. In 1943, Kooistra married Jantje (Jannette) Feddema and together they had four children. Kooistra served the following congregations in the Netherlands Siegerswoude (1943-1947); Hengelo (1947-1951); and The Hague (1951-1955).

In 1955, Kooistra and his family immigrated to North America and settled in Alberta, Canada to serve the congregation of Red Deer. Kooistra served at Red Deer until 1960; where he went on to serve the churches of Trenton, Ontario (1960-1964) and First, Toronto, Ontario (1964-1974).  In 1974, Kooistra decided to serve university campuses. He became campus chaplain at Wilfred Laurier University, University of Waterloo, and University of Guelph. He taught Greek and Dutch courses at St. Paul’s college and University of Waterloo. He also occasionally taught classes or gave lectures at the Institute for Christian Studies, Calvin College, and Redeemer University College. In 1982 Kooistra retired from active ministry and teaching.

Kooistra also served as a hospital chaplain in Waterloo, comforting and tending to the sick and their families. Kooistra found time to serve on several boards and committees including First Committee on Women in Office, member on the Board of Home Missions, and Christian Reformed World Relief Committee to name a few. In his free time, Kooistra liked to write. He wrote several catechism booklets such as By Grace Through Faith. He published a collection of stories from Holocaust survivors called Where Was God?

Kooistra passed away unexpectedly on May 30, 2005 in Brampton Ontario.






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