Johannes Danhof, aka John A. Danhof in his adult life, or just “Big John” by those who knew him, was welcomed and enfolded into the arms of his Savior on Friday, February 12, 2021, the same day he celebrated his birthday for 95 years. John was born to Andrew and Gertie Kamps Danhof just south of Churchill, MT in a house along Godfrey Creek on February 12, 1926, the first of 14 children. He lived his entire life in various locations of the Gallatin Valley, except for 1 year in Michigan, residing at the end of his life in the Churchill Retirement Home.
John attended school at Central Park and the Hills School south of Churchill at what was then called Little Holland, through the eighth grade, afterward learning his trade as a farmer with his father. While his formal schooling ended, he was a lifelong learner who read extensively whatever he could get his hands on, developing his skills that became hobbies and later in life learning computer skills to enjoy electronic communication and leisure activity on the computer. He was a crossword puzzle enthusiast developing a large and amazing vocabulary. John always loved a challenge, his interests varied from hunting, fishing, iron fabrication, woodworking, photography, boating, bowling, and just about fixing anything that broke with his signature “John fix” that often-confounded others. However, his favorite pastime was camping with friends and family, a legacy that is continued with his children and grandchildren creating many precious memories and stories that have been embellished and retold over the years to all with enthusiasm.
John married Tressa VanderMolen on October 15, 1948, in Manhattan Christian Reformed Church. He started his career in agriculture near Bozeman and after seven years moved his family west of Manhattan. Twelve years later they relocated to a ranch south of Manhattan that was once the old town of Hamilton, MT, until he moved to Churchill. During his golden years, he and Tressa traveled to Arizona volunteering for Wycliffe Associates for over eighteen years using his talent for repairing and building homes for furloughed missionaries and sharing his wonderful gift of singing for entertainment and worship. When they had time, John and Tressa became regional and world travelers with friends and relatives on many adventures taking in the wonders and geography of God’s creation. John and Tressa had 5 children, 4 of which followed John’s creativity, adventurous spirit, and love for travel into their adult years. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were John’s precious jewels, he delighted in playing, singing, working, and fellowshipping with them whenever he had the opportunity creating cherished memories for all.
John and Tressa were charter members of Bethel Christian Reformed Church which played an important part of their lives. John served the church as a Deacon, Elder, teacher, and a volunteer. He was a supporter of Manhattan Christian School helping to raise funds for education and was a member of the Manhattan Christian School Foundation.
John is survived by his children, Corinne (Gary) Verhoef, Jane (Del) VanDenBerg, Keith (Rose) Danhof, and Lois Danhof; 10 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren with one more on the way; his sisters Evie Potts, Henriette Blanksma, brothers Jim, and Andy (Claire), sisters-in-law Diane Korthuis and Edith VanderMolen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife Tressa; son Alden John; sisters Gertrude Danhof and Thressa Kingma; brothers Bernard, Clarence, and Wayne; four infant siblings; in-laws Winnie Danhof, Sharon Danhof, Nancy Danhof, Arnold Blanksma, and Herbert Potts.
John’s family would especially like to thank those who cared for him at Churchill Retirement Home and Heart to Heart Home Care; Pastor Jack and Pastor Steve, and all who remembered him and upheld him in prayer and called him “friend”.
Memorial donations in John’s name may be given to Wycliffe Associates, or Manhattan Christian School Foundation. Visitation will be Thursday, February 18, 1:30 P.M. at Bethel Christian Reformed Church. Graveside Service will be at 2:00 P.M. at Churchill Cemetery, followed by a Memorial Service at 3:00 P.M. at Bethel Christian
Reformed Church. To view the live webcast of the cemetery and/or memorial service, please visit www.dokkennelson.com.