Richard “Dick” Wayne Hoekstra, age 89, went to be in the presence of his Lord and Savior when he passed away Thursday, September 2, 2021 at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Services will be at 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. Rev. Jeff O’Connor will officiate. Burial will be at Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until the time of services on Wednesday at the funeral home.
Dick was born September 16, 1931 in Chicago, IL to Theodore and Edna (Faivre) Hoekstra. He was drafted into the US Army and served in Korea from 1952-1953. Dick married the love of his life, Betty (Ostrander) Hoekstra on May 26, 1956 at the Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church. Dick and Betty recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary at Lake Aire Supper Club with their family.
Richard was a life-long resident of Wisconsin Rapids. He was a graduate of Lincoln High school, UW-Stevens Point and earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1963. He impacted many lives in his career as a social worker and administrator for the Wisconsin Health and Social Services, retiring after 33 years of service on September 1, 1993. He also served as executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters from 1972-1994. He had a deep compassion for others and was a champion for the “underdog”.
Dick had a passion for railroad memorabilia including his own model railroad collection and the Green Bay Packers. He was a dedicated servant of the Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church over the years and served on many boards and at one time was Superintendent of the Sunday School. He held a deep faith crediting God with many miracles over the course of his lifetime.
Dick’s greatest love was his family. He was a constant source of love, support and witty humor to all who knew him. He was a believer in higher education and was the first college graduate in his family. He passed on his passion for education to his daughter, Richelle and granddaughters. He leaves behind a lasting legacy of love for his wife, family and God.
Dick is survived by his daughter, Richelle (John Anderson) Hoekstra-Anderson of Wisconsin Rapids; grandchildren: Hillary Anderson (Jordan Driessen) of Appleton, Bethany Anderson of Austin, TX, Jessica (Josh) Lloyd of Almond, and Jeffery Jelinski of Wisconsin Rapids; and sister, Debbie (Rick) Dettmer, Harvard, IL; son-in-law, Conrad Jelinski; many nieces and nephews; and his dog, Max. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty Hoekstra (who recently passed on August 13, 2021) daughters Cheryl Hoekstra and Joni Jelinski, granddaughter, Jamie Jelinski, twin brothers, Ted Hoekstra and Ken Hoekstra, and sister, Georgeanna Finup.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you consider making a donation to the family who will then forward to a beloved ministry which frees Christian slaves working in brick kilns in Pakistan.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the family.
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