The Van Houten family, who first made headlines 10 years ago when they gave birth to sextuplets, is back in the news, but this time, it is for the saddest of reasons. Earlier this week, tragedy struck the family when the dad of sextuplets, Ben Van Houten died after suffering a heart attack; he was 39.
A doting father and family man, Van Houten died doing what he loved best, spending time with his children. On Wednesday, he had been busy setting up a trampoline behind the family’s home in Hamilton, Michigan when he suffered a heart attack. Van Houten was rushed to the hospital where he later passed away. Sadly, he suffered the same fate as his father before him, who also died from a heart attack at the age of 40.
Ben Van Houten along with his wife, Amy first got the nation’s attention when they welcomed sextuplets in January 2004. Their brood consisted of two girls and four boys. Two of the boys were later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and have special needs. Amy explained that she and Ben did not plan to have sextuplets but after having trouble getting pregnant, she took a series of hormone injections and they ended up with six miracle babies all at one time.
Then three years later, the couple was surprised with another pregnancy. With six two-year-olds, the nine months simply flew by Amy said, and in 2007 they welcomed another baby girl to their family. Amy went on to say that, she and Ben always referred to baby number seven as their exclamation point because although she was not expected, she completed their beautiful family.
Sadly, the family is now minus one. Amy, the sextuplets, and the youngest daughter, Drew are left to mourn the loss of dad, Ben Van Houten who died at the age of 39 after suffering a heart attack.
With such a large family, Amy has always been a fulltime stay at home mother to her seven children while Ben worked for a German engineering services firm, TUV/SUD. Now, suddenly, a widow with seven children to feed and support, her father, Calvin Reimink said his daughter would likely find it difficult to cope and manage everything on her own. Reimink went on to say that, his daughter has a strong support group behind her, referring to her church family.
Amy and Ben Van Houten were devout Baptists who as a couple and as a family relied heavily on the church for both strength and support. Amy will need them now more than ever as she struggles to understand, accept the Lord’s will, and persevere for her children’s sake.
In addition, to their church family, Amy and Ben Van Houten have always had numerous family members including grandmas, sisters, brothers, a niece, and others who they could call on when needed. Amy will surely need them all now and in the coming months.
At this time, memorial services for the dad of sextuplets, Ben Van Houten, who died of a heart attack at the tender age of 39, are pending at the Dykstra Life Story Funeral Home located in Holland, Michigan. He will be missed.
Opinion By Donna W. Martin