Beloved Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, and friend, Clarence R. Miedema, age 93, of Lynden, WA, gladly entered his home in heaven on June 20, 2023. He lived his long life by the ancient Proverb, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” This was his compass in all decisions, and he was rich in gratitude to God for the life he lived along those paths.
Clarence was born in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1929 to Dennis and Henrietta Miedema and grew up in Ripon, California, where he attended Ripon Christian schools, graduating from high school in 1947. He attended Calvin College and UC Berkley and earned his Doctor of Dentistry from UC San Francisco Dental School in 1955. While in dental school he married his high school sweetheart, Betty Ann (de Boer). Together they enjoyed several moves across the country while he served for 2 years as a Lieutenant in the Navy with the United States Public Health Service in Chicago, IL, and Galveston, TX. He specialized in oral surgery for the Coast Guard and American Seamen. He and Betty Ann then settled back home in Ripon, CA, where he partnered in a dental office, specializing in oral surgery and orthodontics for 30 years. He was known as the “painless dentist” and had a loyal following throughout central California. Once or twice a year he flew with medical missions into remote villages in Mexico to bring emergency dental care where it was not available at the time.
At age 55, Clarence retired from dentistry and began a second career, painting and wall-papering homes in the Sierra Nevadas. He was also a well known ‘rock-hound’ who won awards for his cabochon displays, always giving credit to the Creator who designed the rocks he found joy in enhancing.
Never missing an opportunity to give family, friends, and strangers an opportunity to laugh, Clarence had the gift of good humor even in his last days on earth. He often quipped, “It’s time for me to leave the planet!!”
Clarence is predeceased by wife Betty Ann, son Tom, brother Gerald Miedema, and sister Kathleen Westmaas. He is survived by his special friend, Marian Huizenga, children Laura (Michael) McCullough, Steven Miedema, Lynda (Robert) Schripsema, daughter-in-law Michelle Miedema, and Cheryl Miedema; 14 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law, David (Lynne) Miedema, sisters-in-law Nancy Blanken and MaryLou Aukeman, brother-in-law Jan (Suzanne) deBoer and dozens of nieces and nephews.
The family gives heartfelt thanks to Clarence’s Wednesday morning breakfast friends, Pastor Bryan Lanting and Mountain View CRC, Dr. C Weeresinghe at the Cancer Center, the kind staff at the Whatcom Hospice House, and especially his dearest friend Marian for all the loving friendship and care, especially through Clarence’s years of health challenges and his last months of life.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 30, 2:00 pm, at Mt. View Christian Reformed Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators or MIssion Aviation Fellowship.