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Zylstra, Paul C. (1921-2009) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Zylstra, Paul C. (1921-2009)

Historical Note:

Paul Calvin Zylstra was born on December 21, 1921 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating from high school Zylstra joined the U.S. Army Air Force. After his service, he enrolled at Calvin College. He graduated in 1952 and then went on to Calvin Theological Seminary to pursue a career in ministry. He earned his Th.B.  in 1952 and later earned his Th.M. in 1985.

Zylstra first call came from Aetna, Michigan where he served from 1952 to 1956. He went on to serve the congregations of South Grandville, Grand Rapids, MI (1956-64); San Diego, CA (1965-70); Ferrysburg, MI (1970-76); Preakness, Wayne, NJ (1976-81); and Palm Lan, Scottsdale, AZ (1981-87). Rev. Zylstra retired in 1987.

During Rev. Zylstra's career served on Foreign and Home Mission boards and was a member of many Ministerial Unions. He also found time to write articles and published a book at the age 82 entitled, Grand Rapids' West Side Story. Rev. Zylstra was also a gifted athlete and musician.  He enjoyed playing baseball, running marathons, and ski jumping. He was also a talented violinist, and was a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra.

On August 2, 2009 Paul Zylstra passed away due to congestive heart failure. He was preceded in death by his wife Suzanne Swier in 2007. He was survived by their four daughters.

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