Daniel G. Sterken, age 44, of Shorview died November 12, 2018 at JA Wedum Hospice in Brooklyn Park. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, November 15th at Bethlehem Baptist Church Downtown Campus, 720 13th Avenue South in Minneapolis. A luncheon and visiting time will follow the service at the church. Private graveside service at Stanchfield Baptist Cemetery.
Daniel Gordon Sterken (1974-2018)
A Life Well-Invested
by A. Timothy Heijermans, father-in-law
Daniel G. Sterken of Shoreview, MN passed into his Creator’s presence on Monday evening, November 12, 2018 after a fourteen-month bout with cancer.
He is survived by his wife Kristy and their three children: Abigail (13), Lauren (11) and Tytus (7); parents Dick L. and Carol L. Sterken of Jenison, MI; parents-in-law A. Timothy and Kathryn R. Heijermans of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; brothers Dick L. Sterken Jr. (Kirsten) of Ann Arbor, MI and David P. Sterken (Erika) of Jenison, MI; eight nieces and nephews; grandfathers Albert J. Sterken (Mary) and David L. Evans; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
The second of three sons, Dan was born on June 4, 1974 in Grand Rapids, MI to Dick and Carol Sterken. At the young age of four he professed faith in Jesus Christ and was an active member of Baldwin Heights Baptist Church of Jenison, MI during his teen years, when he was active in the youth group.
After graduating from Jenison High School in 1992, Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, with a pre-med emphasis. Considering missionary service in the longer term, he attended Moody Graduate School, graduating in 1999 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies.
For three years Dan taught fourth grade at Mid-West Christian Academy, a Christian primary school in Chicago.
In August 2002 he married Kristina J. Heijermans, whom he had met in 1999 during summer camp work at Lake Ann Baptist Camp. Kristy had grown up in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as the daughter of missionary parents. From the beginning of their relationship, Dan and Kristy shared a love for Christ and the Bible’s Good News about forgiveness of sin through Jesus’ death on the cross for them and His bodily resurrection from the dead. Their family mission has been to know Christ and to make Him known.
Dan has led his family to dedicate themselves to Christ as they made their home a place of service and hospitality, ministered for fourteen years as Minister of Youth and Education at Immanuel Baptist Church of Wausau, WI, and trained young people and families in applying the principles of Christian life to everyday life.
Sometimes accompanied by Kristy and Abby, Dan led mission trips to Mexico, Ecuador, Bermuda, Canada, Minneapolis, Chicago, Kentucky, Louisiana and Europe during their ministry in Wisconsin.
In the past two years Dan has served with Campus Outreach in cooperation with Bethlehem Baptist Church of Minneapolis, and with Training Leaders International of Minneapolis. Dan and Kristy have spent time with international students to assist them in their adjustment to life in the USA, offer company during holidays, and give them opportunities to polish their English language skills.
In the plan of God, the Sterkens have navigated some rough waters during their sixteen years together. In 2007 their second daughter Lauren was born with cerebral palsy, due to oxygen deprivation at birth. Their loving care for Lauren has put God’s grace on display during the past eleven years. Dan has been a loyal, dedicated dad to all three of their children. Because they trust God’s care for them, he and Kristy have led Abby, Lauren and Tytus to calmly and confidently embrace difficulties as part of God’s loving plan to refine and sharpen and deepen the spiritual life of His children.