Professor Emeritus D. Ivan Dykstra Dies
Posted March 1, 1999
HOLLAND -- D. Ivan Dykstra of Wooster, Ohio, who
was a member of the Hope College faculty for more than 30
years before retiring as professor emeritus of philosophy,
died on Sunday, Feb. 28, 1999. He was 83.
Dykstra was a member of the Hope faculty from 1947
until retiring in 1980.
He was born on March 15, 1915, in Platte, S.D.,
the son of the Rev. B.D. Dykstra and Nellie (Schippers)
Dykstra, and grew up in Iowa. He graduated from Hope in
1935 with a major in philosophy, and his activities as a
student included Forensics, the YMCA and the Addison
He was awarded the bachelor of theology degree
from Western Theological Seminary in Holland in 1938, and a
doctorate in theology from Yale University in 1945.
He joined the Hope faculty as a professor of
Greek. He was appointed professor of philosophy in 1950,
and chaired the department until 1977.
For 15 years, from 1964 to 1979, thousands of Hope
freshmen came under his tutelage in Philosophy 113, one of
two courses the college then required to provide an
introduction to liberal studies. His course used as its
base the text "Understanding the Human Enterprise," which he
His publications also included "B.D.," a biography
of his father, who was an 1896 Hope graduate, published in
1982 by the Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. of Grand Rapids
as volume 10 in the Historical Series of the Reformed Church
in America. In 1983, the college published "Who Am I? And
Other Sermons," a collection of sermons and addresses that
D. Ivan Dykstra had delivered on campus.
In 1977, he was one of 1,200 U.S. community
leaders invited to Washington, D.C., to assist in the
formation of a nationwide bipartisan committee of Americans
in favor of ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties.
The college's Alumni Association presented him
with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1970. He delivered the
college's Commencement Address in 1977, and in the spring of
1979 he received the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator
(H.O.P.E.) Award from the graduating senior class.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Kathryn,
of Wooster; two sons, Brian and Ruth of Wooster, and Darrell
and Virginia of Macomb, Ill.; two grandchildren; two
brothers, Wesley of Alma, Mich., and Vergil of Bethesda,
Md.; a sister, Ava Berkebile of Centreville, Va.; a sister-
in-law, Dorothy Dykstra of Sioux Center, Iowa; and nieces