Life Story / Obituary
Eugene Heideman, an accomplished, yet humble man, passed away on May 15 at the age of 92 in Holland, Michigan. His life was filled with service to God and others, professionally and personally, and he enjoyed most of it thoroughly. He is survived by his wife, Mary, brothers Floyd (Margaret) and Ralph (Miriam), daughters Beth (Mark) Christman and Ruth, sons Paul (Laurie Sanderson) and Carl (Charlotte), grandchildren Tim and Meg Christman, Jack, Hope, Sarah (deceased), and Chris Heideman, Sarina and Linnea Patterson, and one great grandchild, Jake Christman.
After a happy childhood in Hingham, Wi, he went to Central College and Western Seminary and studied with the European theologians in the Netherlands, where he received his doctorate. A job at a tinsel factory inspired him to write his first book, The Reluctant Worker Priest. As a minister in Edmonton, Canada, he worked with Dutch immigrants and then moved to India for ten years, where he held several positions through the Reformed Church of America and the Church of South India.
Upon his return to the States, he taught at Central College and then Western Seminary, also acting as Chaplin and Dean respectively. He moved to New York to become Secretary for Program for the Reformed Church in America, which allowed him to continue to travel the world. Upon retirement, he and Mary moved first to Delaware, where they helped raise Tim and Meg and then to Holland, where they helped raise Jack, Hope and Chris.
Along the way, he wrote a number of books and taught lifelong courses on anything that interested him, to include baseball, lives of presidents, and caregiving. His last book was published in his 89th year. He loved a good game of Rook or Hearts, fellowship with his friends, an esoteric book and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He spent his last years on studies of the endlessly confounding Canons of Dort.
He asked for a simple obituary. In that vein, his most important roles were as husband to Mary, for whom he was an excellent caregiver for several years, and as father and grandfather. He always had time to listen, was a wonderful mentor, and full of common sense with gentle humor. He was especially close to Ruth, who was the only one who could get him to go shopping. He will be greatly missed.
The family would like to especially thank the staff at Copper Harbor at Freedom Village for providing compassionate and excellent care for Gene for the last two years.
A funeral service will take place on Wednesday, May 25 at 11:00am with a one-hour visitation prior to the service at 10:00am at Third Reformed Church, 111 W 13th St in Holland. For those who are unable to attend in person, a live stream will be available here
* Please note masks will be required during the visitation and service.