Huizenga's generosity to conservative causes stemmed from his deep religious faith and was made possible by his successful businesses ranging from waste collection to capital management.
The Huizenga family immigrated from the Netherlands in the 1800s. Two generations later, Peter Huizenga, his cousin Wayne and his brother-in-law co-founded Waste Management, Inc in 1968. At the company's height, it was a $10 billion business that employed 75,000 worldwide. Later, Mr. Huizenga turned to capital management, growing the family's wealth and impact.
Last year, Timothy Christian recognized Mr. Huizenga's contribution of raising over $4.5 million to provide scholarships for students to attend the private school Huizenga himself attended, beginning in kindergarten.
Mr. Huizenga's reasoning for supporting Christian education was deep, Timothy Christian School superintendent Matt Davidson said in 2017.
“If you have skills and gifts you owe it to God—not the school—but to God,” Mr. Huizenga would say, Davidson reported. “If God blesses you, and you have the ability, that’s when things start to get really interesting.”
Peter Huizenga reportedly had been fighting cancer for over a decade, but continued to support conservative Republicans through the recent IL GOP primary. Although generously donating to Governor Bruce Rauner in 2014, Huizenga switched allegiances to Rauner primary challenger Jeanne Ives earlier this year, contributing nearly $40,000 to the Ives for Governor campaign.
"I am so sad to hear about Peter Huizenga's death," Ives wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. "Peter was a principled man who lived out his faith joyfully."
Besides contributing to Republican candidates and political groups, Illinois State Board of Elections' records Huizenga also donated faithfully to Paul Caprio's Family PAC, a socially-conservative political action group.
While donations to charitable organizations are not made public, Mr. Huizenga financially supported numerous causes that conveyed what he considered to be a Biblical worldview.
Mr. Huizenga's deeply-held beliefs was reflected in what he had to say about Timothy Christian School.
“The Timothy experience is a great education competitive with public schools in the area,” Huizenga would say. “But we’ve got something that public schools don’t have – teaching of values and virtues within a Biblical worldview. Timothy educates the mind, enriches the soul and provides physical training to the body. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Mr. Huizenga leaves behind his wife Heidi of 50 years, as well as a legacy of children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Christ Church of Oak Brook on Monday, May 8th and the funeral will be Wednesday, May 9th.