John Henry Koerten
John Henry Koerten, age 84 of Sevierville, Tennessee passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2013.
God’s plan for John Koerten was clearly seen throughout his life. Born on November 17th, 1928 and reborn by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord, November 1953. After growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland, where his family sheltered a young Jewish girl and her mother for several years, John joined the Dutch Navy. After serving in the navy, John came to the United States and settled in Wausau, Wisconsin, where he met his loving wife, Charlotte Heubner. Married on October 14th, 1950, they both were drawn to the gospel of Jesus Christ. John became a believer while living in California. God surrounded John with loving Christians who shared the “good news.” John’s favorite verse became John 5:24 which says, “verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
After receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, John began studying the Word of God. John taught adult and youth Sunday School classes in churches where he attended and sang tenor in multiple gospel quartets. He also held home Bible studies, where neighbors accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. John was always willing to share the good news of the gospel. He made a trip to bring Bibles to the underground church in the former communist Soviet Union. Several years later John returned to assist in evangelistic meetings in Russia. John’s loving and caring lifestyle was appreciated by all. He ran successful businesses where his employees loved and admired him. God was always first in everything he did. John’s Christian example spoke volumes to his children, relatives and friends. Crescent Lake Bible Camp in Rhinelander, Wisconsin became a large part of the spiritual growth of John and his family. He attended family camp for 45 consecutive years and major decisions for Christ were made there by the whole family. His children and grandchildren are all followers of Jesus Christ, something he was eternally grateful for.
John was an avid runner, walker and hiker. John ran in several marathons, took very long walks around Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin, and hiked Mount LeConte 83 times, even on his 80th birthday. Once arriving at the summit of Mount LeConte, John would write in the visitor’s book the verse from Psalm 90:2 which says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” John leaned on the promises of God continually, trusted His Word and exuded confidence that God had prepared a place for him. The peace of God was evident in his life even to the very end. Another favorite verse of John’s was Proverbs 3: 5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct they paths.” Yes, God had a wonderful plan and path for John’s life. Today, we know he is celebrating with his Savior in eternity. John ran and finished the race well and left an example to many.
John is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Charlotte, his three children Marjorie (husband Rod), Dr. James Koerten (wife Karen) and Timothy (wife Julie). John was blessed with eight wonderful grandchildren: Brent Barnett (wife Sarah), Dr. Alison Hoff (husband Joe), Hilary Korb (husband Stephen), Dr. Jonathan Koerten (wife Amber), Brett Koerten, Katie Koerten, Toby Koerten (wife Chelsea), and Shelby Koerten. John was also blessed with six great grandchildren: Anneke, Kyler, Johan, Samantha, Molly, Adeline, and Cara. John is also survived by sisters Gertrude deJong (husband Don) and Henrietta Pittman (late husband Harry), and brother Gary Koerten. Loving brother Henry Koerten (wife Carol) preceded John into eternity in 2012.
Funeral service 10 AM Saturday, July 6 at First Baptist Church, Sevierville with Mr. David Faulkner officiating. Interment will follow in Middle Creek Cemetery. Arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville.