The Rev. Vernon L. Dethmers of Holland, Michigan, and formerly of Warwick, N.Y., and Glen Rock, N.J., a pastor emeritus of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), passed away peacefully Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, at his home in Holland. He was 93.
The son of Ike and Lydia (Verrips) Dethmers, he was born on Aug. 16, 1927 in Hull, Iowa.
Reverend Dethmers served in the U.S. Navy during the final months of World War II and graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he met and married the love of his life Joyce L. Newton, who predeceased him after fifty years of marriage.
Vern felt called to the ministry while in college. He graduated from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and was ordained by the Reformed Church in America. During his more than fifty-year career, Reverend Dethmers served three churches including Middlebush Reformed Church, Middlebush, N.J.; The Community Church in Harrington Park, Harrington Park, N.J.; and Community Church of Glen Rock, Glen Rock, N.J.
He and his wife Joyce also served one year with the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait in the Arabian Gulf.
During his retirement, he continued serving as an interim pastor to several other churches including Hudson Reformed Church, Hudson, Fla.; Minisink Reformed Church, Montague, N.J.; First Presbyterian Church, Port, Jervis, N.Y.; Warwick Reformed Church, Warwick, N.Y.; Meadow Hill Reformed Church, Newburgh, N.Y.; High Mountain Presbyterian Church, Franklin Lakes, N.J.; The Reformed Church of Shawangunk, Wallkill, N.Y.
Reverend Dethmers provided leadership in various denominational posts. He was president of the Regional Synod of Mid-Atlantic, Moderator of and chair of the RCA Board of Theological Education. He was also worship leader for the annual meeting of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.
During his lengthy career, he provided one-on-one counsel to hundreds of people and helped many to see God’s love and mercy through his weekly church sermons.
Vern loved reading, drawing, painting, watching baseball, gardening, smoking his pipe and drinking coffee with friends. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family during eighteen summers spent at a beachfront cottage “Sandy Cove” on Loon Lake in Chestertown, N.Y. He lived with his daughter Nancy during his last twenty years in Warwick, and most recently Holland, MI.
Vern is survived by his children Daniel Dethmers and wife Judy of Holland, Michigan; Richard Dethmers and wife Iris of Oxford, N.C.; Nancy Dethmers of Holland, Michigan; and Doug Dethmers and wife Janine of Warwick; eight grandchildren: Christopher (Lindsy), Graham (Nikki), Andrea, David (Tara), Heather, Lisa (Michael) Pope, Dexter (Sophie) and Allison; seven great grandchildren: Rebecca, Austin, Isabella, Avery, Posey, Jovie, Cordelia, Rockwell, Aurora and Rosalie.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife Joyce Dethmers; and sister Lynn Bierma.
A celebration of life service will be held at The Community Church of Glen Rock, Glen Rock, New Jersey on Saturday, Oct. 9, beginning at 2 p.m.
To make a donation in Vern’s memory, go to: nationalmssociety.org.