Martin Stegink was a lover of nature who reveled in the beauty of God’s creation. He instilled that same delight in his children and grandchildren, taking them camping, hiking through the woods in summer and winter, and swimming in lakes and oceans. A man of many diverse gifts and skills, he died on September 28 in Zeeland, Mich. He was 89.
A World War II veteran, Stegink served at the end of the war with the Army of Occupation stationed in Korea. Following graduation from Calvin Theological Seminary, he was ordained in 1954 and served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Rudyard (Mich.) CRC; Lincoln Center CRC in Grundy Center, Iowa; Prosper CRC in Falmouth, Mich.; and First CRC in Crookston, Minn. He also started two church plants that later became known as Pompton Plains (N.J.) Reformed Bible Church and North Hills CRC in Troy, Mich. He retired in 1989.
He was consistently committed to reaching out to those who were not part of a traditional church community.
Stegink also had a great love for music. He played the clarinet and the piano, and sang both at home and during church services, particularly Handel’s Messiah tenor solos during Christmas celebrations.
He enjoyed all things mechanical, including auto and air shows. When the Miracle Bridge at Mackinac was being built during the mid 1950s, he photographed the construction of this five-mile-long suspension bridge with great fascination, culminating in opening day ceremony photos of then Michigan Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams.
Stegink is survived by Lois, his wife of 67 years; their children Steven and Sally, Thomas and Kathy, Philip and Jill, Lisa and Michael; and by six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Anna Stegink.