Claude Peter Van Ooyen

Published Thursday, April 20, 2006 2:10:48 PM Central Time
Ironwood Daily Globe

IRONWOOD, Mich. -- Claude Peter Van Ooyen of Little Girl's Point, Ironwood Township, died April 15, 2006.

Claude was born Sept. 3, 1914, in the Netherlands, son of the late Peter and Anna (Brandsma) Van Ooyen. He graduated from the technical college in The Hague with a specialty in medical prostheses and related instruments.

He first was employed by a hospital in Groningen and then worked for the Netherland Telephone office in Leeuwarden. During World War II, as part of the resistance, he repaired underground communication systems. He also managed a hardware store in Surhuisterveen during this time.

On June 29, 1944, Claude married Amy Joy Hoekstra. Then with four children, they immigrated to the United States on April 26, 1951.

He was employed as a tool and die maker in Grand Rapids. After retiring in 1978, Claude and Amy moved to their home near Lake Superior.

Claude was a talented and creative person. He owned several patents in his name and was a woodcarver who designed his own artistic sculptures. He also played the organ at several churches in the Ironwood area. His favorite composer was J.S. Bach.

Claude was a quiet man of few words who expressed his love for God and his family in music. His children understood and valued his loving guidance and gentle Christian example.

Claude and Amy celebrated their 60th anniversary in June 2004 with a family reunion at Little Girl's Point. Surviving are six daughters, Catharine (James) Verhulst, Boston, Anne (John) Crans, Hudsonville, Janice (Paul) Hiddema, Sparta, Judith (Daniel) Vander Woude, Grand Rapids, Eleanor (Joe) Krakenfels, Belleair Bluffs, Fla., and Amy (Scott) Greving, Grandville; five sons, Peter (Colleen) Van Ooyen, Vancouver, British Columbia, Calvin (Sandy), Hudsonville, John, Kalamazoo, Alvin, Standale, and Troy, deceased; 20 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Other survivors include a sister, Leatitia Van Ooyen Hoekstra, Grand Rapids; a brother-in-law, Ralph (Helen) Hoekstra, Jenison; and two sisters-in-law, Janke Hoekstra and Anneke Hoekstra, Bouwkamp, the Netherlands.

Private family services will be held with the immediate family only, with the Rev. Timothy Coppersmith officiating.

Interment will be at Sunset Acres, Ironwood Township.

Friends of the area and friends from local churches, where Claude so faithfully and passionately was organist for many years, are invited to meet the family for a light lunch at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sunday, April 23, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

To celebrate Claude's life and love for music, memorial contributions may be made to the Calvin College Alumni Orchestra. Send to Calvin College Alumni Association, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapid MI 49546. Please do not send flowers.

Range Funeral Service Inc., Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is assisting the family with the arrangements.