Arie Johannes "Han" van den Blink
Plant a Tree
Plant a Tree


3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday, March 8, 2019
McInerny Funeral Home
502 W Water Street
Elmira, New York, United States


11:00 am
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Grace Episcopal Church
Corner Of Church & Davis Sts
Elmira, New York, United States

Obituary of Arie Johannes "Han" van den Blink

age 84, of Elmira, New York, passed away peacefully on February 11, 2019. Han was born on April 30, 1934 in Mojowarno, East Java, Indonesia, the oldest son of the late Rev. Jan van den Blink and Tine van den Blink-Woudstra, who were Dutch missionaries. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years Katherine Nelson Mooers van den Blink. Surviving him are his children Arie Johannes "Jan" van den Blink (Clare), Sarah Welles van den Blink, Katherine van den Blink Miller (John), granddaughters Margaret van den Blink Jones (Juan), Elizabeth van den Blink Brockett (Daniel), Emily van den Blink, and great-granddaughter Clara Jones. Han is survived by his brother Leo van den Blink (Marjorie), nieces Sasha van de Water and Kieren van den Blink, Uncles Jacques van den Blink and Kees van den Blink, and Aunt Nel van den Blink. He is also survived by special friend Anneke van Steenbergen-Postma.

Han and his family were interned in Japanese concentration camps from 1942 to 1945 and in an Indonesian concentration camp in 1946. This experience was a defining moment for Han and his family and greatly affected them the rest of their lives, and influenced Han's spiritual journey.

Han came to the United States in 1953 as a Rotary Exchange student at Alfred University and met Nelson in 1954 in Elmira where they were married in 1956.

He was a 1955 graduate of Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, a 1962 graduate of Yale Divinity School with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and received a PhD in 1972 from Princeton Theological Seminary in Pastoral Theology.

Han had a long and varied career in religion, counseling, and education. He was first a hospital chaplain in Knoxville, TN, and then after attending a pastoral counseling program at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS in 1965, Han and his family moved to Princeton, NJ in 1967. He worked as a counselor and psychotherapist in Princeton until 1983, becoming a NJ licensed psychologist during that time. Han then became a Professor at Colgate Rochester Divinity School and taught there for many years. In 1992 Han became an Episcopal Priest having formerly been an ordained Presbyterian minister. He was an Associate Priest at Grace Episcopal Church in Elmira and finished his career as the Priest at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Troy, PA. Han received many honors and awards for his work over the years, including being a Diplomate and past President of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and received several teaching awards at Colgate Rochester. In 2001 he became the Chaplain General of the Community of the Transfiguration in Cincinnati, OH, a position that was very special to him.

Han's hobby was flying sailplanes and he enjoyed soaring with family and friends for many years. He first soloed in the Netherlands in 1951 and flew often in Elmira at Harris Hill and at the Schweizer Soaring School.

Han became a US citizen in 2004, as he said it is "a country which has given me so much, where I married the love of my life, where my children and grandchildren are, and where I have lived and worked with so much pleasure and personal and professional satisfaction."

Family and friends are invited to visit McInerny Funeral Home, 502 W. Water Street, Elmira, on Friday March 8, 2019 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. A Mass in honor of Han's life will be held Saturday March 9, 2019 at Grace Episcopal Church, 375 W. Church Street, in Elmira, NY, at 11:00am. Burial will be private.

Donations in Rev. van den Blink's memory may be made to the National Soaring Museum, 51 Soaring Hill Drive, Elmira, NY 14903 and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 130 Elmira St, Troy, PA 16947.

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