John Bernard Hulst was born on September 3, 1929, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Arnold William and Jessie (Bos) Hulst. He attended Seymour Christian School, Grand Rapids Christian High School, Calvin College, and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He later attended the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver, where he earned a Doctor of Theology degree. Dr. Hulst served three Christian Reformed Churches before he was appointed to the staff at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa in 1968. Dr. Hulst worked at Dordt College for twenty-eight years, the last fourteen as the College President, retiring in 1996. During his career he was a member of many denominational, educational, public justice, and community organizations. Because he was a polio survivor, he supported the goal of Rotary International to eradicate polio worldwide. John met Louise Jacoby while they were students at Calvin College and they were married in December of 1951. They had two sons who died in infancy and three daughters, Lizbeth, Susan and Mary. John died early Friday morning, February 8, 2013, at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella, Iowa as a result of cancer at the age of 83 years. John is survived by his wife of 61 years, Louise; their children: Lizbeth Hulst of San Jose, California, Susan and James De Young of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Mary Hulst of Pella, Iowa; their grandchildren: Nicole and Eric Schaap of Denver, Colorado; Andrew and Sarah, Brian and Alena, and Ellen De Young of Minneapolis; Nathan Early and Devin Brotherson of Pella, and John Early of Des Moines, Iowa; his brother, William and Edna Hulst of Caledonia, Michigan, his sister, Ruth and James Mulder of Spring Lake, Michigan, a brother-in-law, Donald and Lauris Pruis of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his infant sons, his parents, Arnold and Jessie Hulst, and his sister, Alice Pruis.
Memorial services were held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the Second Reformed Church in Pella.
Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.