Gary Lee VanHulzen

Passed: February 14, 2022

Gary Lee VanHulzen

Passed: February 14, 2022


Gary Lee VanHulzen, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher, coach, and friend entered into eternal glory on February 14, 2022.

Gary was born on October 16, 1946 in Artesia, California to Gerrit and Annetta VanHulzen. He graduated from Valley Christian High School. A football scholarship brought him to Central College in Pella, Iowa where he earned a teaching degree and met his wife, Mary. They were married in January 1968. Gary spent his career teaching at his alma mater, Valley Christian High School (Cerritos, CA) and at Lynden Christian High School (Lynden, WA). He positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students through both his teaching and coaching. After his retirement, Gary continued to serve others by volunteering at the Whatcom Hospice House, and then serving as chaplain at the Christian Health Care Center in Lynden.

Gary is survived by his dearest wife Mary, and his children: Jennifer (Joel) Gontjes and Jon (Leanne) VanHulzen. He deeply loved each one of his grandchildren: Jaymes (Kendra) Gontjes, Jansen (Amber) Gontjes, Emma Gontjes, Riley VanHulzen, and Ellie VanHulzen. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy (Jerry) Westra, his brother, Jim (Laura) VanHulzen, along with brothers- and sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, their families, and many friends.

Even though Gary struggled with Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s at the end of his life, he remained strong in spirit and lived out his signature blessing: “Keep the Faith.”

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, February 19th at 11:00am at Sonlight Church in Lynden.

Memorials in Gary’s name may be made to: Lynden Christian Schools – 417 Lyncs Drive, Lynden WA 98264, or to Christian Heath Care Center – 855 Aaron Drive, Lynden, WA 98264.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

Please share your memories of Gary in his online guestbook.

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: February 19, 2022 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Sonlight Church
  • Location: Lynden, WA - (Get Directions)

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19 responses to Gary Lee VanHulzen

  1. Jacki Matter says:

    It was my privilege to teach with Gary at LCHS in his early years there. He had a knack for brightening everyone’s day with his smile and laugh. But most of all, he always exemplified Christ. And he gave his all, no matter what he was doing, whether at school or church. My sympathy to Mary and all of his family.

  2. By far, one of my favorite teachers. He challenged us to think and debate about why we believed what we believed. His energy and excitement about what he taught was such an inspiration! What a legacy he leaves!

  3. Peter Raap says:

    As a first-grade immigrant, I needed someone to mentor me in the ways of the CRC, the Christian school system, and all things American. Gary fit that bill in spades! If I followed Gary, I was sure to succeed. So, together we sang in the Youth Choir; sang in the Adult Choir; served on the Missions Committee; led the Young Peoples group; led Sunday morning services at the State Mental Hospital; led the Sunday evening song services; played Varsity Football together; sang in all the school choirs; and at the end, I was privileged to help him work out and get ready for College Football. From there we went to different Christian colleges. It is so great to read how he kept mentoring, all through his teaching career. He certainly left his mark! Sorry, Van Hulzen family, for your great loss, but the angelic choir above has gained a spirited and most joyful voice.

  4. Eric Dekker says:

    Mr. Van Hulzen stoked my lifelong interest in History as an instructor at VCHS. I remember laughing a lot in his class at some joke he would make.

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