Condolence & Memory Journal

Dr. Gordon Van Wylen was the department chair and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where my father, Allan I-lin Chow was a Ph.D. graduate student from 1961-1962. In addition to being a mentor, he had a formative influence on my father's Christian faith. In addition, he, Margaret and family were good family friends of ours. In the summer of 1971, I (Martin) had the privilege of spending part of a summer with the Van Wylens. It was at this time that I experienced firsthand, everyday life in a large and loving family. I recall the time when Gordon, a junior high Sunday school teacher, asked me to read and give a presentation of C.S. Lewis' children's story, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in class, to which I agreed and did. This was a milestone event in the spiritual life of a 14-year old young Christian. In recent years, Gordon maintained contact with us through our ministry newsletters, and blessed us with his encouraging words, giving, prayers and friendship. He is a legendary member of 20th Century America's "Greatest Generation," as exemplified by a full life of love, devotion and service to God, country, education, community, church, publishing houses, family and friends. I will miss him dearly. My heartfelt condolences go to Liz, Steve, Ruth, Dave & Emily and families!

Posted by Martin Chow - Fontana, CA - Family Friend   December 21, 2020

I fortuitously found that Prof. Van Wylen died at the beginning of November 2020. I want to say some words in his honor. He was a person, who I had not the possibility to meet personally but through his technical written work, it is recognized the compromise among love, dedication, inspiration, knowledge and truth that always he had present, characteristics considered and cultivated by an outstanding person. I am a mechanical engineer graduated many years ago from the National University of Mexico. Nowadays, I give some classes on Thermodynamics and I always have to go irremediably to one of his text books on Thermodynamics, where I practiced a lot in my students years, in spite of that there are many attractive new books on this topic. From a technical point of view, his work will be an inspiration to follow, because of its formality and compromise with the truth. My condolences to his family, that will accept soon his departure to the eternity.

Posted by Jorge Hernandez - Temixco, Morelos, Mexico - Significant Other   November 30, 2020

to the brother of Gordon( Wayne Van Wylen ) I Just would like you to know that I'm thinking about you and your family on the passing of your brother. After reading his obituary it sounds like he was a very wonderful person and he did many good things while he was here on earth. I miss not working at the bank and waiting on you but I just wanted you to know that you are in my prayers Your teller friend Maria

Posted by maria lindenthal - Friend   November 16, 2020

Dr. Gordon J. Van Wylen will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He was a man who loved his family and trusted God, had great integrity and absolute personal and professional honesty. Gordon was my friend and trusted advisor for more than 70 years from the time we first met as graduate students at MIT. Gordon was successful in whatever he undertook including Science and Technology, Academic Administration and productive involvement in the Christian Life. He authored many publications including the most widely used textbook in American Universities and throughout the World, "Introduction to Thermodynamics".

Posted by John A.Clark Clark - Bloomington, MN - Coworker   November 16, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Amir - Student   November 14, 2020

Rest in peace

Posted by Amir - Student   November 14, 2020

Sending our condolences for the loss of Uncle Gordy. Our love, thoughts, and prayers to all of you.

Stu and Karen DeWitt

Posted by Stuart DeWitt - Greenville, MI   November 14, 2020

As a Mechanical Engineer who studied thermodynamics in a far away land, based on Professor Van Wylen's seminal book, I was saddened to hear of his passing. The legacy he lives is rich, and inspirational. May he Rest In Peace.

Posted by Ehsan S. - Australia   November 12, 2020

Gordon Van Wylen was one of the finest Christian men, and most accomplished Christian leaders, I have ever known. He was highly intelligent, thoroughly honest, deeply insightful and discerning. I'll never forget him. Neal Plantinga

Posted by Neal Plantinga - Ada, MI - Friend   November 11, 2020

Dear Van Wylen Family,

Our sincere sympathy to all of you in the loss of Dr. Van Wylen, a man revered by us and many others.


Posted by Roger & Beverly Mulder - Friend   November 10, 2020

"Dr. Gordon van Wylen was an exceptional Hope President, servant leader, and human being under whose administration I was honored to serve as faculty. I especially valued the many dinners he and Margaret hosted for faculty, staff, and students throughout their years at Hope. They would always make time for these despite their incredibly busy schedules. The discussions were always stimulating and thought provoking. With deep gratitude for their work and abiding example to all." Anne Larsen, Faculty, Friend, Holland, MI, Nov 09, 2020

Posted by Anne Larsen - Holland, MI - Friend   November 09, 2020

My sincerest condolences to the VanWylen family, especially Emily and Dave and their families whom I knew a bit. My memories of Gordon and Margaret go back more than 30 years to my student days at Hope, and in subsequent years, they were my care elders at my church, and special friends. He leaves a great legacy for Hope College, Holland, and beyond.

Posted by Lannette Zylman - Holland, MI - Friend   November 09, 2020

My thoughts are with tour family. He led a prolific and exemplary life as well as a lasting legacy.
Elizabeth Wallenius

Posted by Elizabeth Wallenius - Tinley Park, IL - Acquaintance   November 09, 2020


What an amazing legacy and inspiration he leaves behind. Many wonderful memories to celebrate. Thoughts and prayers from New Life Kids at New Life Church.

Posted by Melinda Green - IL - Friend   November 08, 2020

May the promises of life eternal with our Savior give the family comfort & peace during this time.
Sincerely, James & Linda Schippers Holland Michigan

Posted by JAMES & LINDA Schippers - Holland, MI - Neighbor   November 08, 2020

I was a student of Prof. Van Wylen at the U if M in the 50s. Our class used a looseleaf copy of his new "Thernodynamics" textbook. Remember him fondly.

Posted by Garrett Hanson - Grand Rapids, MI - Student   November 08, 2020

Posted by Graham Duryee - Friend   November 08, 2020

It is a privilege to have had Dr. Van Wylen as a part of my book of life.

Posted by Rob Zaagman - Acquaintance   November 08, 2020

I appreciate all that Dr. Van Wylen did for Hope College and the Holland community. I am particularly grateful for his role in my life, as a role model and encourager. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Posted by Thomas Folkert - Kalamazoo, MI - Friend   November 08, 2020

A proud legacy left to a proud family. This man really lived life fully and is now fully alive with Christ!

Posted by Barbara Campbell - New Lenox, IL - Friend   November 07, 2020

Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. He is now on Eternal Patrol.

United Submarine Veterans Assoc., Escolar Base, Michigan

Posted by Larry Morin - Acquaintance   November 07, 2020

We are very sorry for the loss of Gordon. May he rest in peace.

Blaine, Cindy, Parker, & Chloe.

Posted by Blaine Bugaski - IN - Family Friend   November 06, 2020

A true life well lived.

Posted by Andrew Carey and Family - Alto, MI - Acquaintance   November 06, 2020

Jim and Lynne Bekkering

Posted by Lynne Bekkering - Beulah, FL - Friend   November 06, 2020