He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marjorie Greenfield, of 54 years; and his second wife, Ruth VanKoevering, of 12 years. He is survived by his daughters, Ruth DeHamer (and husband Dan) of Grandville and Mary Koster (and husband Brad) of Rochester Hills; his grandchildren: Alyssa Olson, Ben DeHamer, Ashley DeHamer, Ryan Koster, Lindsey Suszek and Kyle Koster; and eight great-grandchildren.
Ben was raised in a farming community and drafted into the Army in 1941. He was stationed in Brisbane, Australia, as a military police officer and bodyguard for General MacArthur. While serving his country in New Guinea, he was shipped home with a severe case of jungle rot to Walter Reed Hospital for one year. Ben then married his wife Marjorie in 1946 and entered Calvin College and Seminary, where he completed degrees in general studies and divinity in six and one-half years.
Ben and Marge served as missionaries in India, Japan and Korea for four years. He also served as the pastor of First Christian Reformed Church of Grand Haven and Bauer Christian Reformed Church until 1973. Ben was trained in pastoral counseling at Pine Rest until 1975. He then became a counselor at Koinonia Medical in Muskegon until 1995. During that time, Ben also worked as a probation officer, substance abuse counselor and bailiff for the Ottawa County Court. He served part-time at World Vision and Fruitport Reformed Church. In retirement, he enjoyed working in his son's tree nursery.
In the words of Dr. Vincent Peale, "How to Stay Alive All Your Life," thanks to his Lord and Savior whom he served with deepening gratitude, Ben never just existed, he stayed alive all his life. As Paul states in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have remained faithful."
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Fairway Christian Reformed Church, 1165 44th Ave., Jenison, MI 49428, on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Visitation will be held at 11 a.m., with the service at noon, followed by a light lunch.