Terry L. Huitink
Spirit Lake, Iowa, formerly of Ireton, Iowa
TERRY L. HUITINK, 62, Honorable Senior Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals, of Spirit Lake, formerly of Ireton, Iowa, died Sunday, June 22, 2014, surrounded by his family in the Hospice care facility at the Lakes Regional Hospital in Spirit Lake.
Services will be held in Spirit Lake and Ireton. A memorial service in Spirit Lake will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 26 at the First Presbyterian Church, 3501 Hill Ave. Services in Ireton will begin with a visitation with the family from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 26 at the Christian Reformed Church 301 Maple Street. A memorial service will be held the next morning, Friday, June 27, at 11:00 a.m. at the Ireton Christian Reformed Church. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the Terry L. Huitink Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.
Terry was born on December 2, 1951, in Orange City, Iowa, the son of Willard and the late Bert (Den Ouden) Huitink. In 1961, Terry moved to Ireton, where he was raised and lived almost forty years of his life. Terry graduated from West Sioux High School in 1970, lettering in football, basketball, track, and baseball, and giving the commencement speech at his graduation.
At age 16, while attending West Sioux, Terry met the love of his life, Kathy Gaul. They married in Hawarden in 1971. They spent the rest of his life together, enjoying over forty years of marriage and raising four boys in Terry's hometown of Ireton and at their lake cabin in Spirit Lake.
In 1977, after obtaining his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa, Terry fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer, earning his law degree from Drake University. Terry then returned home, opening the very first law office in Ireton. In 1988, Terry achieved another lifelong dream of becoming a judge, appointed by Governor Terry E. Branstad to the State of Iowa District Court. In 1994, Governor Branstad appointed Terry to the State of Iowa Court of Appeals, a position he held for the remainder of his career, taking senior status in 2008 to (in his words) assume the full-time role of "Grandpa."
Terry and Kathy moved fulltime to Spirit Lake in 2009, replacing their lake cottage with a year-round home on Big Spirit Lake. Since then, Terry spent his time relaxing with his lake neighbors, golfing, and having coffee sessions with friends in Spirit Lake, and teaching his grandchildren how to fish, golf, and enjoy boat rides in his prized Boston Whaler.
Terry will be remembered most as the consummate family man. His best memories are of his 42-year marriage; his decades-long attendance at his children's activities at gymnasiums, tracks, and ball fields throughout Northwest Iowa; and his times golfing, fishing, boating, and spending time with family and friends. Most recently, he made good on his full-time commitment as "Grandpa Terry," traveling hours by car or airplane to visit and spoil his four grandchildren, who always eagerly awaited their grandparents.
Terry also was committed to the community and state that raised him, and his family. Among other things, Terry served as city attorney for Ireton, elder in his churches in Ireton and Spirit Lake, church youth group leader, cub scout troop leader, little league baseball coach, and President of the Falcon Athletic Booster Club. He was a proud member of the Iowa Bar Association, the Iowa Judges Association, and his local bar associations. He served as a juvenile court referee in Sioux County, a child advocate, and earned an "Angels in Adoption" award from Senator Grassley for his committee's work on foster care and adoption in Iowa. Terry also was the most dedicated of Hawkeye fans, as evidenced by his license plate "PAHAWKI."
Survivors include Terry's wife, Kathy; children, Michael and Sandy Huitink, and grandchildren Lucas and Kathryn, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Jonathan and Melissa Huitink, and granddaughter Lauren, of LaGrange Park, Illinois; Daniel and Jenna Huitink, and grandson Thomas, of Scottsdale, Arizona; and Zachary and Chelsea Huitink of Syracuse, New York; his father, Willard Huitink, of Hawarden, Iowa; brother, Douglas (and Judith Garnos) Huitink, of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota; and sister, Kim Butler, of Urbandale, Iowa; in-laws, Audrey Gaul of Hawarden, Karen and Gary Marshall of Vermillion, SD, Connie and Ron Koopmans of Ireton, and Steve and Renee Gaul of Hawarden; and many nieces and nephews.
Terry was preceded in death by his mother, Bert (Den Ouden) Huitink, and his father-in-law, Robert Gaul.
Published in Des Moines Register on June 25, 2014
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