Fred Wybenga passed away at home on August 31, 2020, after suffering for several years from occupation-related diseases. Fred, born June 16, 1934, was the son of Pete and Marie Wybenga. He was born and raised in the then-small town of Alphen a/d Rijn in the Netherlands. His father served in the Dutch Merchant Marine and was thus frequently away at sea, including almost six years during World War II.
With Europe in shambles after the war, the family decided to emigrate to America in order to provide better opportunities for the children. The family disembarked ship in early 1950 at Hoboken N.J. and settled in the Washington D. C. area. Fred graduated from Bladensburg, MD High School, and then received a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Maryland in 1955.
After gaining U.S. Citizenship, Fred went to work in June 1955 as a service engineer for the Babcock & Wilcox Company, headquartered in Barberton, Ohio. For the next 44 years, he worked for B&W in several locations, some of them overseas, and in different capacities. He also served eight years in the U.S. Navy Reserves in an inactive capacity. Fred met Sandra Hood in Gallipolis, Ohio while working on a jobsite in West Virginia. They were married in 1963 and became the proud parents of Susan, Thomas, and Timothy. They actively lived out their Christian faith wherever they resided and were always fully involved in their churches, mostly within the Christian Reformed Church and, more recently, in the Presbyterian Church of America.
After retiring in 1998, Fred continued to stay active in the Tallmadge Woods Homeowners Association, served on several committees for the City of Tallmadge and for the City’s school system, and was heavily involved in the Tallmadge Historical Society. Together with Sandra they volunteered as a husband-wife team at Inventure Place and at the International Institute where they taught English as a Second Language and American History to help new immigrants prepare for their Citizenship tests.
Fred was preceded in death by his sister, Frieda Townshend and younger brother, Peter Wybenga.
He is survived by his dear wife of 57 years, Sandra Hood Wybenga; children, Susan (Jamie George) in Chattanooga, TN, Thomas in Bellevue, WA, and Timothy (Susie Lyon) in Portland, OR. Also surviving him are brother, Dirk Wybenga of Wenatchee, WA; grandchildren, Robert (Bethany), Maggie, Annie and Mia Paden; Mitchell, Marieke, and Cassandra Wybenga; and Jane and Kees Wybenga; along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
For those reading this obituary I, Fred, want to leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses, coming from the text of Chapter 12 in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” I confess that I have fallen far short of keeping His commandments. But, quoting from the Heidelberg Catechism, I also know “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.”
Amen, so let it be.
Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at the Donovan Funeral Home, 17 Southwest Avenue, on the Historic Tallmadge Circle.
A private family memorial will occur this week, with a celebration of life service to be scheduled when safer to do so.
Interment will be at Tallmadge Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation to the Haven of Rest, PO Box 457, Akron OH, 44398.
Haven of Rest Ministries
175 East Market Street, Akron OH 44301