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Langeland Sterenberg Funeral Home
315 E 16Th St
Holland, MI 49423
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Renze Lyle Hoeksema Sr.


1919 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Renze Lyle Hoeksema Sr. Obituary
Renze Lyle Hoeksema Sr. died peacefully in his sleep on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Hospice House of Holland from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 94 years old.

Renze was born in Grandville on September 13, 1919. A World War II veteran, he joined the U.S. Army on February 27, 1941. He served in the Pacific Theater as an intelligence officer attached to the headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur. He met his Australian wife of 65 years, Marjorie Coombes, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where she was employed as support staff for the U.S. Fifth Air Force Command. They married on March 21, 1945. After the war, he earned a BA in history from Hope College in Holland, and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Renze spent 20 years as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department on assignments in Washington, D.C., the Philippines, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. For his service, Renze received honors including the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the National Medal of Merit, and awards from the governments of the Philippines and South Vietnam.

After his State Department service, Renze joined the Hope College faculty in 1971 as a Professor of Political Science. He taught courses about the U.S. national government, international law, and the politics of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Far East and the Soviet Union, as well as courses about the Holocaust and about race and ethnic relations in the U.S. While at Hope, he enjoyed each opportunity to direct the Washington (D.C.) Honors Semester, Washington May Term and the Model United Nations. He was a consultant for the 1979 peace talks between Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin and President Jimmy Carter. In 1998, the Hope College Alumni Association honored Renze with a Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Education was Renze's passion. After his retirement from Hope College in 1986, he helped found the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP) in 1988, and was an active HASP instructor. In this capacity, he taught at Hope College, Calvin College, Davenport College, Aquinas College and Grand Valley State University. He was also active in the Holland Rotary Club, serving in a number of positions, including its presidency, and for several years with the Rotary International Youth Exchange program.

Renze was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie (nee Coombes) Hoeksema; his father and mother, Clarence and Lily (nee DeWindt) Hoeksema; his brothers, Frederick and James Hoeksema; and his sisters, Gertrude Van Polen and Gladys Timmer; and his daughter-in-law Susan Nolen-Hoeksema.

Renze is survived by his three children, Richard Nolen-Hoeksema of Bethany, Connecticut, and Houston, Texas, Renze Hoeksema Jr., and wife, Kristin, of Canton, and Margot Wynveen and husband, Barry, of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada; his six grandchildren, Bryan, Katie, Leigh, Leslie, Michael and Renée; and his sister-in-law, Emma Hoeksema of Jenison.

Renze will be missed. He lived a full and amazing life. He would regale his family and students with stories about his adventures. He had a great passion for teaching and learning.

A memorial service for Renze will be Friday, April 25, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th Street, Holland. Burial will be in Dutton Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour before the service.

Contributions in Renze's memory may be made to "The Renze Lyle Hoeksema Prize in Political Science" at Hope College, Department of Political Science, P.O. Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422. The prize was established to award a junior majoring in political science who best demonstrates excellence in the classroom, interest in political science and promise of a useful career in public service.

The family would like to express their thanks to Home Care by Resthaven and Hospice House of Holland for the special care they provided to Renze.

langelandsterenberg.com
Published in The Holland Sentinel on Apr. 20, 2014
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