Rev. Mark Henry Vander Meer, 65, passed away Dec. 22, 2018 at Kline Hospice House in Mt. Airy, MD, following a 4+ year battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. \n\nMark was born on May 25, 1953 in Kalamazoo, MI, son to the late Fredrick and Virginia Vander Meer. During his childhood and teenage years, he, his parents and two sisters lived in Holland, MI; New Brunswick, NJ; Hackensack, NJ, Lake City, CO and Montrose, CO as Mark's father served churches in the Reformed Church in America and Presbyterian Church across the country. Mark enjoyed music and helping his dad with construction projects. As a young man, Mark showed skills in leading, managing, and engaging with people. He earned money through paper routes and working as a church janitor. He worked with youth groups and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and his school marching band. \n \nMark graduated from Hackensack High School in 1971. He attended Hope College, Holland, MI and graduated from Northwestern College, Orange City, IA, in 1977. At Northwestern, he met the love of his life, Evelyn "Evie" Hooyer, and they were married, on July 16, 1977. He received his Master of Divinity degree from New Brunswick Seminary (NJ) in 1980, graduating first in his class. \n\nMark preached his first sermon at age 9. It was winter in Michigan, and evening worship services had been canceled. So the family set up "church" in the dining room near the piano. He wrote his sermon carefully in red pen. His mom tucked it away and years later had it framed for his office. \n\nFollowing graduation from seminary, Mark became a church planter with the Reformed Church in America. His first church plant, Ocean Community Church (1980-1990) in Manahawkin, NJ, soon outgrew its temporary home in an insurance company building and established a permanent church home near the New Jersey shore. \n\nMark's second church plant, Monocacy Valley Church (1990-2014), started in 1990 and held its first worship service a year later. Mark, Evie, and their sons Joshua and Aaron had moved into a new housing development in Frederick, MD where, as the first homeowners on the block, they were ready to welcome each new neighbor. Mark and Evie were given a sabbatical in 2006 during which they toured the Holy Land and studied the roots of the early church. \n\nMark's life-long pattern was one of being engaged and active in his personal and professional life. He believed strongly in being an active member of the community. During his decades in ministry, Mark volunteered with Mission of Mercy, Convoy of Hope, and other local charities. \n\nFollowing retirement, and after his official diagnosis, Mark continued to feel a strong desire to give back by impacting the future of others with Alzheimer's. He agreed to participate in a clinical trial which meant traveling an hour each way to Baltimore where he underwent periodic tests and lab work. He and Evie testified before congressional committees and participated in speakers' panels. He, Evie, and their family participated in a wide variety of Alzheimer's advocacy and awareness through the Alzheimer's Association Greater MD Chapter and encouraged their friends and neighbors to do the same. Mark's brain and spinal cord have been donated to a clinical trial for early-onset Alzheimer's disease.\n\nMark loved his extended family, who live coast to coast. Visits, reunions, weddings and graduations were always a joyous celebration with time to reconnect. After he was diagnosed, he reminded his family "when I can't talk with you any longer, please remember I'm still inside here." \n\nMark will continue to touch the lives of many through his legacy of introducing people to the God who loves them, teaching others what it means to live with compassion, and sharing with everyone the gift of laughter. He will be missed.\n\nMark is survived by: his wife of 41 years, Evie; two children, Josh Vander Meer and Aaron Vander Meer (wife Karin); grandson, Zeke, all of Frederick, MD; sisters, Sherry Ten Clay (husband, Roger), of Albuquerque, NM; Christy Weygandt (husband Rob Honcoop), of Schaumburg, IL; nieces and nephews, Mike and Kim Ten Clay, of Wentzville, MO; Dave Ten Clay of Des Moines, IA; Andrew and Val (Yeo) Weygandt, of Portland, OR; Brittany (Weygandt) and Austin Souto, of Clemson, SC; and Rebecca Weygandt of Seattle, WA; mother-in-law, Eleanor Hooyer of Sheldon, IA; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary Ann (Hooyer) (husband Bruce Wierks) of Holland, MI; Janie Garcia of Edenburg, TX; Glenn Hooyer (wife Sue) of Sioux Falls, SD; nieces and nephews, Clint and Kim Hooyer, Christa (Wierks) (husband Rob Murphy), Carl Wierks, and Grant and Kelsey Hooyer; and 9 great-nieces and nephews. \n \nIn addition to his parents, Mark was preceded in death by: his father-in-law, Henry Hooyer; brother-in-law, Robert Hooyer; and great-niece, Christiana Murphy.\n\nIn lieu of flowers, the family has requested that you consider donating to Mark Vander Meer's Care Fund. The cost of care for the Vander Meer family was exceptional, especially toward the end of his life. To donate, please follow the link below: http://www.ppfinc.org/recipients/mark-vander-meer/.\n\nA memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 pm, January 5, at Grace Community Church, 5102 Old National Pike, Frederick, MD, Rev. Craig Moorman officiating. A stand-up reception will be held immediately following the memorial service. Professional services are entrusted to the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.garylrollinsfuneralhome.com.