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Dekker, Harry G. (1887-1980) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Dekker, Harry G. (1887-1980)

Historical Note:

Son of Abram and Hendrika Dekker, Harry G. Dekker was born in Roseland, Chicago on March 15, 1887. Dekker graduated from Amour Institute of Technology in 1909, earning a B.S. degree in Chemistry. After graduation, Dekker went into private business until 1914 where he began teaching at Chicago area high schools.

In 1920, Dekker went on to become principal and a chemistry teacher at Holland Christian High. However, it was not long until Dekker accepted a faculty position at Calvin College. In 1921, he became professor of chemistry and in 1922 as registrar. In the meantime, Dekker received his M.S. degree from the University of Chicago in 1928. Due to increasing enrollment at Calvin, Dekker became a full-time registrar for the college in 1951. After a 37-year career at Calvin, Dekker retired.

On a personal level Harry G. Dekker was a both a churchman and a family man. The Dekkers attended the Neland Avenue Church. Dekker served as an elder as well as president of the Young Men’s Society for several years. In 1915, Dekker married Mae Kleinhuizen. Together they had four children-Mary Dekker Hall, Ahleen Dekker Heynen, Charles Dekker, and Doris Dekker Smedes. After 55 years of marriage, Mae passed away on March 3, 1970. Ten years later, Dekker also passed away in June of 1980. He was survived by his four children, 16 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

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