Life Story / Obituary
John Wesley Tien, aged 91 was born on June 2, 1930. He died this last October 12th after having lived a long and fulfilled life. John was preceded in death by his parents, John H. Tien and Ruth (Mulder)Tien, and his brother-in-law, John Billett.
John leaves behind his beloved wife, Yvonne Tien having shared 69 years of marriage; his precious and devoted sister, Sandra Billett; his dear brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Char DeLoof; his children, Jonathon Scott Tien and Sally (Robert) VanEck, his grandchildren, Meghan (Peter) Cappon, Calvin VanEck, Madelyn (Michael) Cox, and Anderson VanEck; and four great grandchildren.
Having grown up on a farm in Hamilton, MI, John acquired the value of hard work and salvaging anything that could be salvaged, be it lumber, metal scraps or previously used nails which could be hammered straight and saved in jars--in case you didn't know that was possible!
His calling, however, would be to ministry rather than agriculture. Once he and Yvonne graduated as sweethearts from Holland High School, they both went on to pursue degrees at Hope college where John graduated with a BA in English. The summer following their graduation from Hope College, John and Yvonne were married and began their life journey together as John trained for ordination in the Reformed Church of America. John graduated from Western Theological Seminary with his Masters of Divinity.
Over the course of his ministry, John served as a pastor for churches in Illinois and Michigan. He also furthered his education by obtaining two more Master’s Degrees in Christian Education from Chicago Theological Seminary, and Guidance and Counseling from Western Michigan University. To cap off his academic life, John also achieved a Doctorate in Church Development, by Western Theological Seminary.
Although he academically accomplished, John would tell you his most valuable lessons learned came from the annual family road trip/camping excursions. On these memorable trips, the backroads of our country were the routes chosen. John and Yvonne also ventured to many corners of the world abroad as lifelong learners and explorers, a “love” they have passed on to their family.
Although he retired from ministry in 1989, his work did not end. Having a strong sense of purpose in community service, John and Yvonne embarked on a long and meaningful path of volunteering. AMBUCS, the West Michigan Ronald McDonald House and Cran-Hill Ranch, where John served on the board for several years are just a few of their volunteerism highlights. They also were faithful in financially supporting charitable foundations and institutions in which they believed, Hope College and Western Theological Seminary along with many others.
Closer to “home”, John was a cherished Grampa who took his grandkids on memorable camping trips across the country, taught them to fish and bestowed his dry humor on them whether they liked it or not.
He loved working in the wood shop at Freedom Village where he lived for several years with Yvonne and made many family heirlooms. John also loved singing and added his tenor pipes to several choirs in his lifetime. And now, John has joined the choir of heaven, harmonizing with the best.
If you wish, feel free to make a contribution in John’s name to the charity of your choice or to Cran-Hill Ranch, 14444 17 Mile Rd, Rodney, MI 49342.
A celebration memorial will take place on Wednesday, October 20, at 6:00pm, at Dykstra Funeral Home - Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd St, Holland, MI.
Family will gather earlier and there will be a brief visitation from 5:00pm to 5:45pm prior to the service at the Mulder Chapel.
Covid precautions – if you are symptomatic, we ask that you send your love and support to Yvonne via mail or on this website. If you are unvaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask while in the building. Seating will be spaced.