Arnold Van Dyken, of Lynden, was taken into glory on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, after a long battle with cancer.
Arnold was born Nov. 18, 1938 to Paul and Marie (De Valois) Van Dyken. His parents raised him and his seven older siblings on the family farm along the Nooksack River between Everson and Lynden. It was the same farm on which he and his wife Gretchen raised two sons and two daughters. Arnold graduated from Lynden Christian High School in 1956. He served two years in the U.S. Army, primarily as a chaplain’s assistant at Fort Carson, Colorado, and four years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
In addition to the family dairy, Arnold was actively involved for many years and in various capacities in 4-H (as a dairy club leader), Whatcom County Holstein Association, Kiwanis, Gideons, The Gleaners, Lynden Pioneer Museum, Lynden Christian Schools (especially the paper baler) and more. He enjoyed God’s Creation and took special delight in the myriad varieties of dahlias and gladiolas that graced his yard every summer. He took a keen interest in following the lives and accomplishments of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Picnics at local parks, hikes in the Cascades, days at the cabin, and weiner roasts (at the river, at the farm and at Birch Bay) were the perfect combination of enjoying family and nature. Simple pleasures were the best.
In retirement, Arnold spent seven years working at the Lynden Community Center. He greatly enjoyed delivering meals-on-wheels to many local seniors.
Arnold was always very involved in church and outreach endeavors. He loved the Lord and made it his ambition to be a good witness to others of the love that God had shown to him in his Son, Jesus Christ. He served wherever he was — whether as deacon, elder, catechism teacher or church choir member — and counted both First Christian Reformed Church and the Wiser Lake Chapel as formative in his faith and great blessings to both him and his family.
Arnold is survived by his devoted wife, Gretchen; sons Shawn (Jannette) and Greg (Tami); daughters Brenda Love and Sharlene (Russ) Swearingen, all of Lynden; grandchildren Tori (Michael) Zoerink, Taylor Van Dyken, Ty Van Dyken, Ashley Love (fiancé Matthew Ressler), Sydney Love, Brooke Love and Quincy Swearingen; great-grandsons Rylan, Rhett and Zane Zoerink. He is also survived by brothers/sisters-in-law Ferrel (Marilyn) Stremler, Harlean (Larry) Stegink, Aubin Stremler, Gordon (Marilyn) Stremler and Virgil (Cheeta) Stremler, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousin; and countless friends and acquaintances. All of us will miss his friendly greeting and eagerness to be of help and good cheer.
He was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Marie; grandson Taylor Swearingen; siblings and in-laws Leonard (Idabelle “Ike”) Van Dyken, Ralph (Marge) Van Dyken, Betty Van Dyken, Hilda (Evert) Scholten, Marian Van Dyken, Glen Van Dyken, Edna (Ananda) Perera, and Ruth Stremler.
Memorials may be made to Gideons-Whatcom Camp, P.O. Box 882, Lynden, WA 98264.
A private graveside service will be held at Monumenta Cemetery. Visitation was Monday at Gillies.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.