Dr. John Kok passes away

Professor emeritus of philosophy died on July 5

Dr. John Henry Kok, professor emeritus of philosophy at Dordt University, passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at his home after a brief illness. He was 71 years old.

Kok earned his undergraduate degree from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and a Ph.D. at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He began work at Dordt in 1983. He taught philosophy for many years, served as Dean of Humanities and Dean for Research and Scholarship, and was Director of the Andreas Center for Scholarship and Service before retiring in 2014.

He also worked as the managing editor for the Dordt College Press for 20 years, publishing many books.

“On his own, he became an editor, a one-man publishing house, Dordt College Press, turning out books and translations almost single-handedly, books he deeply believed the community he served and often led needed for the tough tasks of stewardship,” wrote James Calvin Schaap, professor emeritus of English, in his essay titled “John Henry Kok.”

Kok and his wife, Sanneke, were married in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1969, and had seven children. As stated in his obituary, “John and Sanneke enjoyed traveling and visiting their children and grandchildren around the world. His family is grateful to God for his life and love.”

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, July 8 at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, “please go out and love your neighbor.”