Clarence Van Essen
Clarence Van Essen passed on to his heavenly home on Friday, February 4,
2022 at the age of 94. He was dearly loved by his family: wife, Henrietta
(Vanden Bosch) and children: Carla (Brynley) Jones, Douglas (Vicki
Hellenbrand) Van Essen, Vivian (Pete) Battjes, Debra (Steve) Van Drunen and
Beverly (Clark) Holesinger; 19 grandchildren, their spouses, and 52 great
grandchildren. Clarence was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Dawn
Van Essen and 2 great-granddaughters: Amari and Talia Daake.
A Memorial Service will be held at Platte Christian Reformed Church,
Platte, South Dakota on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 2:00 PM. Visitation
will be held from 12:00 - 2:00 PM at the church. Reverend Van Essen will be
laid to rest at Platte City Cemetery, Platte, South Dakota. Family and
friends are invited to the service or to view the service via live
streaming. Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through
www.mountfuneralhome.com. The service will be live-streamed under "Photos
and Videos" on the funeral home website (Webcasting), through “Mount Funeral
Homes” Facebook page and at www.plattecrc.org.
Clarence was born to Jacob and Clara (Bolt) Van Essen on September 30,
1927 and is survived by brothers: Henry (Dot) and Wesley (Jean) and sister,
Joyce Bruxvoort. He was preceded in death by sister, Ella (late Jack)
Kooiman, brothers: Henry, Raymond (late Lena), and Nelvin (late Jennie) and
brother-in-law, Marvin Bruxvoort.
Clarence attended Edgerton Christian Grade School and one year of high
school. He then worked on the family farm until he was 18. Clarence was
drafted after WWII and made Profession of Faith before reporting to Fort
McClellen in 1946 for basic training. After basic training, Clarence was
sent to Japan where he served as a telephone installer repairman for 9
months. After being discharged from the Armed Services on April 6,
1947, Clarence returned to his family farm. Shortly thereafter he became
very ill with pleurisy and spent 7 months on bed rest.
During this time, Clarence heard God’s call to enter the ministry. He
took a college entrance exam, passed and enrolled in a Pre-Seminary course
at Calvin College. It was shortly before entering college that Clarence
began dating Henrietta Vanden Bosch. They were married on June 29, 1951 and
enjoyed 70 years of marriage. After graduating from Calvin College, Clarence
entered Calvin Seminary where he completed his education for ministry in the
Christian Reformed Church.
Clarence and Hennie served 6 churches over the next 36 years: Cedar,
Iowa, McBain, Michigan, Platte, South Dakota, Fulton, Illinois, Maple
Heights, Ohio, and Harrison, South Dakota. Clarence retired from full-time
ministry October 1, 1992.
During working and retirement years, Clarence and Hennie served on many
boards and for various ministry organizations: Dordt College Board,
Christian Reformed World Missions Board, Classical Home Missions, Marriage
Encounter and several others. He also led numerous men’s and women’s Bible
studies, took many young people to Young Calvinist Conventions, and
organized youth Bible Camps. Clarence also spent many Sundays during
retirement preaching in various churches and together with Hennie served in
short-term and long-term fulfillment of church vacancies.
Clarence was a loving man who enjoyed people of all ages. He truly loved
his family and spending time with them. Laughter and joy was a part of each
day and he enjoyed playing “Rook” and sharing a bowl of popcorn with family
and friends. He loved “making a joyful noise” in praise to his Heavenly
Father. More than anything, Clarence daily modeled his faith to everyone he
met, knowing and believing that his only comfort in life and in death was
that he belonged, body and soul, to his faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Clarence’s name to:
The Gideons International Processing Center, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, DC
20090-7251 or Dakota Christian School, 37614 SD Hwy 44, Corsica, SD 57328.
Werner-Harmsen (Waupun) and Mount (Platte) Funeral Homes have been
entrusted with Clarence’s care.