Rev. Richard R. De Ridder
1921 – 2006
Pastor, missionary, and seminary professor Richard R. De Ridder passed away July 5 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Rev. De Ridder was born in Holland, Mich., where he grew up and attended Christian schools. He graduated from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, in 1943 and from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1946. Hartford (Mass.) Theological Seminary awarded him a master’s degree in 1956. He subsequently earned a doctorate in theology a The Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
De Ridder married with Adrianna Jaarda in 1944. She preceded him in death in 2002.
Ordained to the gospel ministry in 1946, De Ridder served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Dispatch (Kan.) CRC, 1946; Beckwith Hills CRC, Grand Rapids, 1949; Pleasant Street CRC, Whitinsville, Mass., 1953; First CRC, Muskegon, Mich.,1960; First CRC, Sioux Center, Iowa, 1964; and Silver Springs (Md.) CRC, 1969. He served as a missionary to Sri Lanka from 1956 to 1960. Calvin Seminary appointed him chair of missiology in 1973, from which he retired in 1986.
Following his retirement, De Ridder taught for three years at the International Theological Seminary in Los Angeles. He contributed significantly to missiological literature.
De Ridder was a friendly, winsome, and industrious pastor and scholar. His interactions with parishioners and students were marked by uprightness, quick intelligence, and touches of disarming humor. Among colleagues he enjoyed some fame for the speed and retention with which he pursued a voluminous reading program. He was a meticulous administrator. And he wrote these In Memoriam columns for The Banner for many years.
De Ridder was also deeply devoted to his family. He is survived by his children: Sharon and George Haga, Mary Ann and William White, David and Gladys De Ridder, Judith Flietstra, and Steven and Joyce De Ridder; and by nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren