SLAGER, REV. KENNETH R.
Rev. Kenneth R. Slager of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away on November 18, 2020. He was born on June 11, 1925, one of four children born to Raymond and Jeanette Slager.
Ken grew up in Comstock, Michigan. After graduation from high school, he was drafted into World War II, serving with the United States Marine Corp as a military policeman in Guam, Okinawa, and Guadalcanal during the war, then in China afterward. He always felt a kinship with China and the people he met there, and he was overjoyed to be able to make a trip to deliver Bibles there. Upon his discharge from active service, he enrolled at Calvin College, then went on to seminary and became a Minister of the Word in 1953.
While at Calvin, he met his wife of 68 years, Alice Klein, who preceded him in death in 2018. During their marriage, they raised seven children (one and a half dozen, as Ken always liked to say), and served churches in Willmar, Minnesota; Lincoln Center, Iowa; Sibley, Iowa; Vancouver, Washington; and Monroe, Washington. Upon retirement from active ministry in 1987, he and Alice moved back to his childhood home in Comstock, Michigan, where Ken served as the visiting pastor at Second CRC of Kalamazoo. They happily moved to Raybrook in Grand Rapids in 2006, where they did a lot of volunteer work, made many new friends, and re-connected with former classmates and friends. Ken enjoyed the daily morning coffee hours and playing pool with his friends from Estates 1, and he joined the Singing Men from Raybrook, where he proudly wore his wedding suitcoat for performances. Ken loved the Lord and the Christian Reformed Church, and he held firm and strong beliefs about both of them - and many other things.
Ken found great joy in serving as a chaplain of the Civil Air Patrol in Vancouver and Monroe, Washington, and in Kalamazoo. He and Alice were early advocates of recycling and composting, and Ken loved his big vegetable gardens. He was also quite a punster, turning many, many comments he heard into (often quite bad, his children thought) puns. Classical music was on most of the day, every day, and he enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and keeping fit, running 5 and 10K races well into his 70s.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Alice, and his siblings Lucille (Glas), Ralph, and Lois; he is survived by his sister-in-law Grace Slager; children Steve (Rosemary), Jan (Gary) Vander Meer, Doug (Jane), Tim (Dianne), Eunice (David Koller), Paul (Jane), and Mary (Allan) Wolff; 21 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Private graveside services were held on Saturday, November 21, 2020, in Comstock, Michigan. Memorial contributions may be made to World Renew, Kalamazoo Christian Schools, the Raybrook Residents Assistance Fund, or a charity of your choice.
Please visit Ken's personalized web page to sign his online guest book and leave a condolence or message for his family at: https://www.langelands.com
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
2850 Kalamazoo Avenue S.E, Grand Rapids MI 49560
Kalamazoo Christian School Association
2121 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo MI 49008
Raybrook Manor Resident Assistance Fund
2121 Raybrook Street SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546
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