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Del Nykamp, age 80, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away on Saturday, March 11, 2023.  Survived by his wife of 59 years, Diane; two sons, Dean (Ann) and Duane (Sarah); five grandchildren, Charles, Trent, Daniel, Paige, and Erin.

Born in Zeeland, Michigan, Del lived most of his life in West Michigan. He loved gardening, filling his yard with plants. With a passion for music, he sang in choirs for as long as he was able. He also couldn’t resist being punny.

Throughout his life, Del used his keen insight into people to help students, friends, clients and family realize their God-given potential. Motivated by his faith, he was always looking for ways to help people grow. He could be counted on being there to listen and to sharpen ideas.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Woodlawn Ministry Center, 3190 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI, at 11:00am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Calvin University.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Del’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Burial arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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4 Condolences

  1. Love, Aunt Sylvia Roon on March 13, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Dear Diane, children and all family members – I am sorry for your loss, but happy for his graduation. One day we’ll all be able to enjoy the glory with him.
    When I think of Del my first thought is how much he loved God, and serving His people. He was a scholar and loved sharing what he learned. He will be missed by so many and I as one am grateful to have known him.

  2. Ingrid de Frel on March 14, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    Dear Diane, Dean and Duane,
    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved husband and (grand)father. It has been years ago since I visited you with my sister and aunt, but I will keep warm memories of our staying with your family. I remember Del as a caring and interested father with a smile on his face and twinkle in his eyes.

  3. Randall Bytwerk on March 14, 2023 at 8:57 pm

    Del had a powerful influence on his many students during his years on the Calvin faculty. He sometimes claimed to be only a step ahead of his students, but if that was true it was a long step indeed. He moved from Calvin to other things after too brief a stay, but his work was the foundation of what became the Calvin University Department of Communication.

    He was a model of stimulating teaching, of Christian thinking, of sensitivity to the peculiarities of his students, of bubbling humor and wisdom. I don’t think Del was ever satisfied with what he had accomplished, but surely in the words of Scripture he was a workman with no cause to be ashamed.

    Del leaves a legacy not only in his students, but in the students of his students down through the generations. I, like many others, am indebted to Del for doing what great teachers do: bringing out more in his students than they themselves knew was there.

  4. Kathy DeVries on March 17, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    Dear Diane,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I have fond memories when you lived on the Thornapple River and Del had that big garden and all your beautiful flowers. Heaven received a very wonderful man. I will keep you in my prayers.

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