At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
CRCNA Office of Social Justice
1700 28th Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Community Food Club of Grand Rapids
1100 South Division Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Life Story / Obituary
Harvey Alan Stob, age 76, of Ada, Michigan, passed away on September 25 after a brief illness.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Audrey Stob; children and grandchildren: Ben and Dana Stob,Jillian and Hayden; Sonia and Derek Zeyl, Noah, Anneke, Phoebe; and Dan Stob, Sophia, Jacob and Elizabeth; siblings Cindy and Jim Appel, Warren and Jean Stob, Howard and Ellen Stob, and the late Carol Stokes.
Harvey was born on June 30, 1944 to the late Martin and Therese (Vandermolen) Stob in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His favorite memories of childhood included long car trips to beautiful places like the Grand Canyon and playing in the neighborhood Franklin Park (now Martin Luther King Park.)
Harvey graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and attended Calvin College where his insatiable appetite for books, languages, and learning was nurtured. He loved English, Philosophy, Art, Music, Latin and Theology and was a deep thinker throughout his life. Having found a beautiful partner who would listen to his deep thoughts, Harvey married Audrey (Heeringa) in June of 1969. After graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1972 his sense of adventure and desire to learn new things led to a move to Argentina where he and his young bride began in ministry.
And learn they did! After intensive language and cultural study, Harvey found that he loved the people he would lead. In addition, he learned a lot about bird keeping, a common hobby in the area at the time. Harvey bred and kept canaries and finches, enjoying them for their beauty and song. He also became a huge fan of soccer and enjoyed the World Cup in 1978 when Argentina won over the Netherlands.
Harvey and Audrey brought their family back to the United States in 1983 where Harvey served in Christian Reformed churches in Cincinnati, OH; Ridgewood, NJ; and Ann Arbor, MI. His love for people in his congregations as well as for the arts in each of these communities anchored those days as well as sporting events he faithfully attended for his children. On days off, he could be found going into New York City to enjoy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attending a concert or show, bike riding, or savoring good literature. Retirement only added to his time of learning which also included much travel and studying the history of the places he and Audrey went. He also had more time to train for Ragbrai, a beloved bike race that he took part in for multiple years. Best of all, retirement brought Harvey more time to spend with his grandchildren being goofy, playing chess, cheering at their sporting events, and attending their plays.
Always wanting to ask the hard questions, Harvey researched and then taught classes such as “The Problem of Evil” “How to Read the Bible today” and “Horrendous Evils, the Death of Jesus, and Hell in the Writings of Marilyn McCord Adams and Hans Urs von Balthasar” His last project was writing a review of “That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell & Universal Salvation” by David Bentley Hart.
In response to his diagnosis, Harvey said, “I can only respond in gratitude for the many blessings I’ve had in my life.”
As is fitting, we leave you, the reader, with his words: “I have read extensively about God being a Trinity of love—love overflowing one to the other to the other and back around again. I have read and firmly believe that, out of that overflowing love, all of creation emerged and that all of us were created to live in that love’s embrace. Creation itself, with its wonderful variety of birds, animals, flowers, etc., will truly and fully flourish in the presence of God. When I think of my dying, I can honestly say that I look forward to seeing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to witnessing their love for each other, and to being personally drawn into that love. There is where life truly flourishes. There I will wait for you to join me.”
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memorial Contributions can be made to the CRCNA Office of Social Justice at 1700 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49508 or Community Food Club of Grand Rapids at 1100 South Division Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49507.