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Life Story / Obituary
Rev. Corey Dykstra was a devoted husband, father, and pastor yet could best be described as a big kid at heart. A lover of all people, it was no surprise that he touched many lives over the years. An avid reader and deep thinker, whatever Corey set out to accomplish, he gave his all! He wanted nothing more than for people to know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. No one could deny the love he had for his family, especially his children, Kyle and Lucas, as they were his greatest treasure. Deeply loved and fondly admired, he will be forever remembered by his special family and all who knew him.
Corey's story began in the year of 1984 just as the first Apple Macintosh computer went on sale. James Cameron’s, The Terminator propelled the Canadian director into international fame, and Sally Ride became the first American woman in space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. During the height of Canadian Prime Minister John Turner’s term, John and Glenda Dykstra welcomed home their newborn baby boy, Corey Jason, on July 27th in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The second of four children, his birth brought much joy and happiness into their home.
Growing up, Corey was fiercely independent. He was very active and loved to take things apart and put them back together. In addition to his natural sense of mischief and wonder, he fell in love with reading the Bible at the tender age of seven or eight. Fascinated by the rich stories, reading became his passion. As an adolescent, he enjoyed working alongside his dad who owned an auto parts store, fixing cars while listening to classic rock. His family was deeply committed to their faith and attended the local Christian Reformed Church. With a large number of relatives living in the area, a majority of his childhood years were spent at family gatherings and celebrations over the years.
After graduating with the Class of 2002 from Fort William Collegiate High School, he took a year off and spent time working. By 2004, Corey enrolled in business classes at Dordt College in Iowa and while there he met the love of his life, Jill Hiemstra! Sharing similar course schedules and many commonalities, they began dating by their junior year. Close to graduating, Corey began to feel the call to become a pastor and realigned his class load to study theology. As soon as he graduated in 2007, he and Jill were joined in marriage on July 14th in Salem, Oregon, her hometown. After completing their romantic honeymoon fifth-wheeling from Oregon to Washington, and British Colombia, they returned to Ontario for their second wedding reception with family and friends. Later, Corey joined the seminary at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. Ambitious and determined, he graduated just three short years later and completed his internships in Ontario. When he received his first call at Walker United Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he gladly accepted as he was excited to start spreading God’s Word. Corey was officially ordained in February of 2013, after receiving his clearance from immigration to enter the United States.
Faithful as well as approachable, Corey made for an extraordinary pastor. Well liked by his church family, he even took old school risks on "his" trampoline, ultimately breaking his ankle which was a story the youth at church rarely let him forget! He longed to connect with people and enjoyed sharing his love of the Lord and teaching others to trust in His ways. In May of 2018, Rev. Dykstra completed his Th.M. degree from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, an accomplishment which made him and his family very proud. He was a firm believer in Jesus’ teachings and His way of salvation. Rev. Dykstra was adamant that Christ’s blood on the cross was the atonement for all sins. He led his church members to understand that they were loved by Jesus Christ and they were forgiven for their daily sins.
Corey enjoyed making lasting memories over the years. A family man, he and Jill loved to take the boys camping and explore nature together. His passion for reading led him to nearly finish a book a day when he found the extra time. Devoted to his life of serving others, often he read books on theology. He also loved to tinker with technology and built his own computer. He could be called upon to problem solve whenever people were struggling with how to use the newest tools or tricks on their gadgets. Corey had a great singing voice and loved to listen to his classic rock. When it came to his favorite meals, he loved his meat and potatoes and his salty chips for snacking. Described as intense, hard-working, and God loving, there is no doubt that he will be deeply missed by his church family as well as his special loved ones. May they be comforted in knowing that even in death, Corey is loved by his Lord and Savior and receives the salvation that can only come from Jesus Christ. A blessing to many, Corey leaves behind a legacy of faith and love to be reflected in the hearts of the countless lives he touched over the years.
Rev. Corey J. Dykstra age 34, of Walker, passed away unexpectedly on June 22, 2019. He was preceded in death by his infant son, Eric; and grandparents, Nellie Joffers, Wytse Dykstra, Peter Hiemstra, and Raymond Vegter. Corey is survived by his wife of twelve years, Jill; sons, Kyle and Lucas; soon to be born daughter; parents, John and Glenda Dykstra and Gene and Cindy Hiemstra; siblings, Janine (Ray) Olthuis, Mitchell (Dana) Dykstra, Charmaine (Adam) Zachary; grandparents, Pieter Joffers, Hendrikje Dykstra, Elizabeth Hiemstra and RuthAnn (Vegter) Engelsman; sisters-in-law, Emily (Derek) Greydanus and Kim (Justin) Stevenson; brother-in-law, Peter Hiemstra; many nieces, nephews and friends. The funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at Remembrance Church, 4575 Remembrance Rd NW. Visitation will be held at Remembrance Church from 2-4 and 6-8 on Friday and for one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Contributions in his memory may be made to Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Interment in Maplewood Cemetery in Lamont. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.