Ben Van Houten suffered a heart attack on Wednesday night in back
of the family's home in Hamilton, Michigan, about 90 miles west of
Lansing, his father-in-law Calvin Reimink said.
Van Houten died in the hospital, he said.
"He thought the sun rose and set on those kids," said Reimink, whose
daughter, Amy, was married to Van Houten.
"They couldn't have had a better father than him," Reimink said.
Van Houten's family had a history of heart problems, with his own
father dying of a heart attack at age 40, Reimink said.
The 10-year-old sextuplets — four boys and two girls — were born to
Ben and Amy Van Houten in January 2004. Two of them were diagnosed
with cerebral palsy and have special needs, Reimink said. The
sextuplets also have a 7-year-old sister, he said.
Reimink said the Van Houtens are faithful Baptists and are relying
on their church for strength and support.
Amy Van Houten has been too busy with the children to work outside
the home and will find it challenging to manage seven children on
her own, Reimink said. Ben Van Houten worked for TUV/SUD, a German
engineering services firm, Reimink said.
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The sextuplets got national attention when they were born and the
media has continued to follow their growth and how the family has
Services for Van Houten are pending at the Dykstra Life Story
Funeral Home in Holland, Michigan, said an employee.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mo.;
editing by Barbara
Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)
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