The Thistle

Dr. Gerard Van Groningen – Home With the Lord at 93

The Covenant Seminary community sends condolences to the family and friends of the Rev. Dr. Gerard “George” Van Groningen, who went home to be with the Lord on Friday, June 20, 2014, at the age of 93.

Dr. Van Groningen was a World War II US Army veteran, and the beloved husband for 64 years to Harriet (nee Stuitje). He had a long and distinguished career as a pastor and educator, serving at churches in Borculo, Michigan, and Geelong, Australia, and as a professor at Reformed Theological College in Australia, Dordt College in Iowa, Reformed Theological Seminary in Mississippi, and Covenant Theological Seminary in Missouri. He was a past president of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and was instrumental in establishing Reformed seminaries in Brazil and Latvia. 

Dr. Van Groningen was the loving father of Betty (Herman) Westendorp, Rev. Jerry (Sherri), Jay (Laura), John (Patti), Rev. Dr. Willis “Bill” (Connie), Beverly (Bob) Jonkman, Dave (Dawn) , and Dr. Chuck (Laura); the cherished grandfather of 34; a great-grandfather of 29; and the fond brother of Henry (Leona) and the late Alice (late Bill) Honcoop, Cornelius (late Jeanette), and Arthur (late Wilna).

Visitation is Wednesday, June 25, 2014, from 3:00 p.m. until the time of the funeral service, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Colonial Chapel, 15525 S. 73rd Ave. (155th/Wheeler Drive and Harlem), Orland Park, Illinois.

A private family committal service and military honors will take place Thursday, June 26, at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, for the Gerard and Harriet Van Groningen Presidential Scholarship Fund. Express your thoughts and condolences or find more information at


Listen to a Biblical Theology course taught by Dr. Van Groningen.