HAMILTON, Mich. – A small lakeshore community is still in mourning after the father of the famous Michigan sextuplets died of a heart attack after building a trampoline for his children this week.
On Friday, neighbors spoke about the loss to FOX 17 News. SEE VIDEO ABOVE.
Ben and Amy Van Houten of Hamilton became nationally and internationally known when the couple became parents to Michigan’s first ever surviving sextuplets.
Shortly after building a trampoline for his children Wednesday night, 39-year-old Ben Van Houten had a heart attack, according to his father-in-law Calvin Reimink.
Reimink said he couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law. Reimink was an active member at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland.
“He put God first. He put his family second,” Reimink said. “He put everybody else ahead of him.”
In 2004, Ben and Amy welcomed their six children into the world. Three years later the couple had another daughter.
Reimink said his daughter, Amy, stayed at home with the kids while Ben worked. Reimink said Ben’s father also passed away from a heart attack at the age of 40.
“His dad died when he was seven,” Reimink said.
Funeral arrangements are set for April 14.
The following statement and information is from Calvary Baptist Church of Holland, MI and the Van Houten Family:
Ben Van Houten was a man who loved God, loved his wife and his children, and loved people. He made it clear who he was…He was God’s
“He was the most selfless person I’ve ever met. He was just a servant, through and through. Every fiber,” said Amy Van Houten, Ben’s wife.
Ben and his wife, Amy, served together in many ways. Ben had a heart to serve God and His people and to show his children that their life was not about them and their comfort; it was about God putting them here to glorify Him in everything they did. Ben was a great father who instilled a spirit of service within his children. He taught them to joyfully open doors, greet, and welcome people each Sunday morning. He encouraged them to write notes to the elderly.
Ben and Amy together had a heart for growing godly marriages and families. They opened their hearts and their home to countless couples throughout their 15 years of marriage. Ben, along with his wife, Amy, shepherded dozens of families as Community Group Leaders at Calvary as well.
Ben Van Houten, 39, became a baptized member of Calvary Baptist Church 16 years ago.
He and his wife most recently played an active part in Calvary’s Children’s Ministry, serving as Calvary’s Awana Directors, as part of the Children’s Ministry Leadership team, and in Calvary’s Vacation Bible School outreach each summer. Ben also mentored countless children through Calvary’s bus ministry.
Ben Van Houten was dedicated in his servant leadership through his position as deacon on Calvary’s Leadership Council.
Ben was a respected friend, teacher, and mentor to many people in Calvary’s congregation and the community. He will be dearly missed.
The funeral for Ben will be on Monday, April 14. More details will be release as we receive them.
We will strive to determine how we can best help Amy and her children and will also provide this information as it evolves.
At this time, in order to allow the family to grieve together, we ask that you do not visit their home.