Raised in a blue collar family, Dick started working as an apprentice at a bakery in The Netherlands. He attained the training necessary to become a baker full-time. After a few years in baking, he was ready for a new challenge and shifted his career to becoming a chef. He excelled at this newly chosen career path. He was awarded the highest award in the restaurant industry worldwide; a Michelin Star while working at Restaurant De Kromme Dissel in Heelsum. During this time he met the love of his life, Therese Van Amstel, and the two were married May 18, 1966, and they quickly started a family.
Pressure to perform in the kitchen started to affect his personal life and in 1971, Dick and Therese surrendered their lives to Jesus. Life took dramatic turn and a life full of blessings and love followed. Dick left the restaurant world and started cooking at institutions and ended his cooking career in 1992 at the International Conference Center De Burght.
In the spring of 1991 Dick and Therese visited Haiti and their lives were forever changed again. One and a half years later God called them to South America. They sold all they had, packed 4 suitcases and started a journey of selflessness in Bolivia. Twenty six years later with an orphanage, Daycare, kindergarten school and farm for the people of Santa Cruz, Dick and Therese were just getting started. After 52 years of blessed marriage, Dick was diagnosed with cancer. He fought and believed he would overcome this disease. He went home to be with the Lord.
Leaving a tremendous legacy in his children and the thousands of lives he touched through their Mission Timothy with the love of the Lord, he will not be forgotten and will be remembered as a wonderful dad, a loving and adoring husband and a great Man of God.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Therese Altena-Van Amstel; daughters, Esther (Michel) Altena-Fokken of Wouw, The Netherlands, Miranda (Joshua) Altena-Wilson of Salina, Lydia Altena of Roosendaal, The Netherlands, and Cristel Altena of Salina. He also leaves behind twelve grandchildren, one great granddaughter and one great granddaughter on the way. He is also survived by his sister, Ineke Voskuil-Altena and brother, Henk Altena of The Netherlands.
Procession to Gypsum Hill Cemetery for a graveside service will begin at Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home in Salina, Kansas, on Friday January 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM.
A Celebration service will follow at 4:00 PM at Heartland Worship Center, 118 S. 8th Street, Salina, Kansas.