Rev. Henry R. Vellinga
Donnellan Funeral Home
10525 South Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Vellinga, Rev. Henry R.

Rev. Henry R. Vellinga, 85, who ministered to congregations in the Chicagoland area for 60 years, passed away at home in Chicago on Sept. 20, 2021 after a long illness.

Nearly 100 people sat with Rev. Vellinga in his final days of his life in person or over Zoom. Rev. Vellinga offered visitors their choice of mementoes or photographs he had taken during his travel to 87 different countries.

Henry Vellinga was born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1936, one of 11 brothers and sisters whose parents had emigrated from The Netherlands. He was the first in his family to attend college, earning a BA from Calvin College and a Master's of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rev. Vellinga married Marlene R. Van Kley and was appointed by the Christian Reformed Church at the age of 25 to start a new congregation in Oak Forest, IL. Hope Christian Reformed Church began in a model home with just 23 parishioners. When Rev. Vellinga left two decades later it had 600 members.

From Hope CRC, Hank and Marlene moved to Chicago's Beverly Hills neighborhood, where he took a job as Coordinator of the Protestant Cluster of churches. He subsequently served as pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Beverly, Chapel of the Dunes in Gary, Ind., and Tinley Park Community Church.

Rev. Vellinga is survived by his daughters, Jayne Vellinga, also of Beverly, and Mary Lynne Vellinga (Tim Kirn) of Sacramento, CA.; grandsons Harald and Jacob Kirn; brothers John, Robert and Herman Vellinga, and sister Martha Bosveld.

A memorial service for Rev. Vellinga will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Hope Christian Reformed Church, 5825 W. 151st St. Oak Forest, IL. Donations can be made to Chicago Women in Trades at or to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60643. Arrangements entrusted to Donnellan Funeral Home. For info (773) 238-0075 or sign guestbook at

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Published by Chicago Sun-Times on Nov. 14, 2021.
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Memorial service
Hope Christian Reformed Church
5825 W. 151st St., Oak Forest, IL
Funeral services provided by:
Donnellan Funeral Home
Sponsored by Chicago Sun-Times.
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