Rev. Richard Venema

  • BORN: April 15, 1922
  • DIED: November 30, 2015
  • LOCATION: Helena, Montana

Richard Venema, age 93, of Helena, Montana, passed away on Monday, November 30, 2015 in Helena.

Funeral Services will be Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in Sheldon. Rev. Cornelis Venema and Rev. G. I. Williamson officiating.

Burial to follow at East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon.

Visitation will be Monday, December 14, from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in Sheldon.

Dr. Richard J. Venema, 93, passed away on November 30 in Helena, Montana. He was born on April 15, 1922 on a farm near Hospers. In 1945 he married Carrie Van Surksum. From 1942-1947 he farmed and raised turkeys in partnership with his father. He and his family then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he enrolled at Calvin College to pursue his studies for the gospel ministry. In 1951 he graduated from Calvin College and went on to obtain his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Calvin Seminary in 1954. At a later date he was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from this same institution. In 1981, while serving as the pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church in Chino, California, he completed his studies to obtain his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Northern Baptist Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.

As a seminary student, Dr. Venema began preaching in the summer of 1952. After serving as an intern at the Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa, he was called by this congregation in 1954 and ordained as a pastor. From 1958 until 1963 he served on loan to the Reformed Churches in New Zealand. Since then he served as the pastor of churches in Iowa, Michigan, and California, including four years as the Director of the Friendship House, a mission to Native America Indians in the San Francisco Bay area. He officially retired as the senior pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church in Chino, California, in 1986, but continued to serve as an associate pastor until 1989. After moving back to Northwest Iowa, he served as an interim pastor of a number of vacant churches. In 1994 he transferred his ministerial credentials to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. From 1995 until 2009 he served as a stated supply in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska, and Helena, Montana.

Dr. Venema is survived by his third wife, Nijole; his children Gerard A. (Patricia) Venema of Grand Rapids, MI, Richard C. (Virginia) Venema of Augusta, GA, Cornelis P. (Nancy) Venema of Dyer, Indiana, Laura (Peter) Janoschek of Aalen, Germany; son-in-law Ed De Young (late Karen) of Lethbridge, Alberta; step-daughter Ieva; 14 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren; sisters Theresa (Peters) and Melvina (Marlowe Pranger) Vander Linde; sisters-in-law Audrey (late Henry) Venema and Norma (late Alvin) Venema.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Carrie (Van Surksum) in 1994, his second wife Mary (Ewing) in 1997, daughter Karen (De Young) in 2010, brother John M. Venema and his wife Virginia, brothers Henry A. Venema and Alvin H. Venema, sister Harriet (De Jong) and her husband Roy, and brothers-in-law Herbert Peters and Donald Vander Linde.


“ Richard is my cousin, memories go back many yrs. Our sympathy goes out to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Hazel & Bernard...Read More »


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