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Father of Sextuplets Dies of a Heart Attack at 39

Holland, MI – The father of Michigan’s first surviving set of sextuplets has passed away at the age of 39 while playing with his children.

Ben Van Houten suffered a heart attack Wednesday evening shortly after setting up a trampoline for his children at his home in the Holland area in western Michigan.


Ben Van Houten pictured with his family in 2008. From left, John, Ben, 15-month-old Drew, and sextuplets: Nolan, Sammy, Kennedy, Peyton, wife Amy and Gerrit
Image Courtesy of AP

The Van Houten sextuplets were celebrated in the headlines after Amy Van Houten gave birth over a span of three days at a Grand Rapids hospital in 2004.

The premature newborns were very small at birth, with the largest weighing in at only 2 pounds 1 ounce. The sextuplets, John, Nolan, Peyton, Gerrit, Kennedy and Sammy, are now ten years old. Two of the boys, John and Gerrit, require special care, as they both suffer from cerebral palsy.

It’s scary to think we’re responsible now,’ Ben Van Houten jokingly said when they brought the first of the sextuplets, Samantha, home from the hospital.

Three years after the birth of their sextuplets, the Van Houtens welcomed another addition to the family, daughter Drew, who is now 7 years old.

Calvin Reimink, Ben’s father-in-law, stated that Van Houten was playing with his children when the heart attack occurred.

“He was always spending time with the kids,” Reimink said of his son-in-law, adding that Ben wanted to be the best father he could and he excelled.

“Just to know Ben for even one day would be a blessing,” Reimink stated.

The father of seven was employed for 17 years at UTV/SUD, a global testing company in Holland. His wife Amy is a preschool teacher.

Ben also was very involved at Calvary Baptist Church where he was a deacon as well as the leader of their Christian youth program.

Sadly, Calvin Reimink said that Ben Van Houten’s father, John, died of a heart attack at just 40 years old.

Father of Sextuplets Dies of a Heart Attack at 39







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