Henry Kuiken Jr. was born in Springfield, S.D. to Henry and Jennie (Vander Molen) Kuiken on 23 July, 1932. In 1936, the Kuiken family moved to Lynden and Henry remained since, attending Lynden schools. Henry died on his 88th birthday of natural causes.
Upon his 1952 Lynden High School graduation, Henry enlisted in the USAF and honorably served 4 years at Fairchild A.F.B. WA as an Engine Mechanic/Crew Chief on B-36 SAC Bombers. Henry then worked at Boeing in Seattle building airplanes and Uniflite in Bellingham building boats. For a time, he operated his own portable saw mill and also a gill-netter fishing boat.
Henry’s paid working career was cut short in 1979 when he was rear-ended and critically injured in a serious car accident. The resulting hip replacement permanently disabled him. Yet being handy with his hands, for the remainder of his active life, he occupied his time doing light volunteer work helping family and friends, but especially his Baker Creek Bible (Grace Baptist) Church, mainly in yard work and fix-it tasks. Henry’s entire life revolved around helping others and especially his church, he seeing this as his way tithing and serving God. Henry was quick to freely help anyone when asked! Henry deeply loved his family and their get-togethers and they loved him back!
Henry loved God life-long and was a “teetotalling” Bible believer of the gospel message. He always faithfully attended church worship growing up in the Lynden First Reformed Church and later, the Baker Creek Bible Church. Henry modeled loving others as himself. He made it his life’s mission to strike up conversations with all he met, never meeting a stranger while making countless friends. He was perhaps the longest and most enthusiastic local Lynden Lions and Lynden Lyncs sports fan, never missing a game! He loved the senior center’s meals and activities, playing pool (with Denny Bajema and others) and just conversing with all who were there.
In 1965, Henry married Donna Bame, and they had two daughters, Kandi and Jenny, (both now deceased), but sadly that marriage ended in divorce and he never remarried.
Henry was predeceased by his parents, Henry Sr. & Jennie, siblings, Sadie (Lambert) Vander Kooi, Robert (Dottie), Alice (Ben) Coplin, Dickie, Sylvia, Dorothy (Gerald) Assink, Joanna (Don) Barker. He is survived by brothers, Gerrit, Dick (Judy), Gene (Sylvia) and granddaughters, Ashley and Ava and numerous nephews and nieces.
Henry very much appreciated the excellent life-extending loving staff care/therapy he received during his three plus years in the Lynden Christian Health Care Center and his 25 year plus Apple Valley Apartments residency under then 34 yrs. manager Addy (Don) Vandenberg’s special care and most recently – the Hospice House’s care. He was especially thankful for those that faithfully visited him while in the rest home, Dave & Shelly Oslie, Shirley Weck, Rich and Joanna Fullner and Pastor Joshua Ausfahl.
An outdoor Memorial service is scheduled at Baker Creek Bible Church in Bellingham on Saturday, August 8, at 1 pm on the church grounds Henry designed, landscaped, built and maintained for many years.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.