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In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made to Third Reformed Church.
Life Story / Obituary
Earle Van Heyningen, age 94, beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died peacefully on June 23, at Point Iroquois in Freedom Village, Holland, Michigan. Earle was born in Chicago on October 15, 1921, to Gerritt and Belle Van Heyningen. Earle attended Englewood Christian Grammar School (1927-1935) and graduated valedictorian and senior class president from Chicago Christian High School (1935-1939). He received a scholarship to Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he received an AB in Chemistry with a minor in mathematics (1939-1943). He obtained a teaching associate appointment to the University of Illinois where he received his doctorate (1943-1946), majoring in organic chemistry and minoring in physical chemistry and mathematics.
Earle was pre-deceased by his parents and his loving wife Dena (63 years), sisters Louise, Edna, and Adlynn, and brother Vernon. He is survived by his children, Carol Troost, Scotia, New York; Mary Schakel Van Heyningen, Holland, Michigan; Louis Schakel (Deborah), Holland, Michigan; and Nancy Bryant, Indianapolis, Indiana. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Dena (Wil) Condra, Stephanie (Robert) Molitor, Nathan (Krista) Bryant, Ben Schakel, Deborah Troost, Matthew Troost, and Maggie (Nicholas) Hirt. He is survived by 12 great-grand-children. He is also survived by his brothers Roger and Jim, and sister Marian.
While at the University of Illinois, Earle worked with the National Research and Development Corporation Antimalarial Program. From 1946 through 1985 he was with Eli Lilly and Co. Research Division holding positions from Senior Research Chemist, Research Scientist, director of several Eli Lilly Divisions, and retired as Director of Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry Research Division. He has held a continuing membership in the American Chemical Society since 1944 and was the author of over 20 published scientific papers and articles.
As a member of Christian Park Reformed Church, Earle sang 2nd tenor in the choir, served as a deacon, elder, vice president of consistory, Sunday School teacher, Adult Bible study leader, a delegate to Illiana Classis, RCA, and Regional Synod of Chicago, RCA. When they moved to Holland in 2003, Earle and Dena made Third Reformed Church their church home.
Community service included serving on the boards of Hope College, the Metropolitan Center of Indianapolis, the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, the Candidate Review Board of Warren Township Schools, among others. Community interests ranged from Public Action for Correctional Efforts to the Children’s Museum, art, symphony, theatre, and the Zoological Society.
Earle and his wife Dena traveled extensively. Earle was especially interested in art and archeology. He participated in digs around this country, Western Europe and Northern Africa through Earthwatch Expiditions in Archeology and Paleontology. He and Dena were part of a team that set up a museum in Tunisia. His interest in the Mayan culture led him to create several small sculptures of Mayan figures. Earle also listed bicycling, photography, woodworking and giving travelogues as hobbies.