Posts Tagged ‘death’

Dr. Willard Aldrich Memorial Audio and Program

Comments Off on Dr. Willard Aldrich Memorial Audio and Program Written on February 26th, 2010 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General

We finally got our hands on the audio from Dr. Willard Aldrich's memorial service. We've decided to post it because of the large number of requests for it that we've gotten from folks who wanted to hear it. We've also posted the entire program from the service as well.

Read past posts for the full history of this story.

The Audio

  • Listen
  • Download
    Wilard Aldrich Memorial

The Program


Dr. Dan Remembers Dr. Willard Aldrich

2 comments Written on December 2nd, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General

Dear Multnomah Family,

As many of you know by now, Dr. Willard Aldrich, Multnomah’s second president, passed into the presence of the Lord last Friday, November 27, at 3:00 am. The Lord was gracious in allowing him to pass away peacefully, under hospice care and surrounded by his family. He would have been 101 years old on January 4, 2010.

Friend and Founder

Dr. Willard was a close friend of Dr. John Mitchell, Multnomah’s founder, nearly all his life. He was a member of the first meeting on Valentine’s Day, 1936, that met to discuss—and decide—to launch a School of the Bible to meet the spiritual needs in the Northwest for training men and women in the Word of God. He was the school’s first registrar, and served on the board of trustees from 1936 through his retirement from the board in 2004. That’s a tenure of 68 years! It is a tribute to him that he was always an encouragement to me as I tried to fill the office he held for 35 years.

2nd President, Lasting Legacy

But by far his greatest and lasting legacy was his leadership of Multnomah as its second president. It was during his presidency that Multnomah moved to its current campus on Glisan Street, formerly the Oregon Trade School for the Blind (PDF, pg 5) , on acreage surrounded by nursery farms. The old cafeteria was renovated under his watch, and Memorial Dorm, Bradley Hall, the Dirks Prayer Chapel, and the Lytle Gymnasium were added to the campus during his presidency. Perhaps the project closest to his heart, though, was the A-Frame, patterned after a smaller version he built on his own property above Camas, Washington.

He also worked to secure Multnomah’s accreditation with ABHE, to pioneer the Grad Certificate program, to develop many of the majors , and to launch two masters’ programs (the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and the Master of Sacred Ministry) which would later become part of the seminary. And, he coined Multnomah’s current motto, “If it’s Bible you want, then you want Multnomah.”

He taught systematic theology as a member of the faculty well into the 1980s, authored several books, published The Doorstep Evangel, which students would pass out on outreach day, and had a special place in his heart for the nation of Israel and Jewish evangelism. He and Doris were parents of nine children, many of whom were, or currently are, in vocational ministry. However, I cannot verify the rumor that he, Dr. Ted Bradley, and Dr. Roger Congdon competed for the largest family on faculty (Dr. Congdon would have won with 13!).

With Dr. Willard’s death, the last of the founders passes from this earth. But his memory, his legacy, and his impact on Multnomah and theological education will always remain.

Memorial Service

You are invited to his memorial service on December 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm. It will be held at Bethel Community Church in Washougal, Washington.


Daniel R. Lockwood
Multnomah University

PS - If you'd like to attend the memorial service, please let the church know or comment on this blog - if there are a lot of people they may need to move the service to a larger facility.

Dr. Willard Aldrich, You Will Be Missed

9 comments Written on November 30th, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General

DrWillardAldrichHe Wanted Bible

Dr. Willard M. Aldrich was committed to Christ and to creating a biblically focused Bible college. As a founder and president of Multnomah University, he coined the slogan, “If it’s Bible you want, then you want Multnomah.”

On November 27, 2009, Dr. Aldrich passed away due to natural causes. He was 100 years old.


A Rich History

Dr. Aldrich founded Multnomah School of the Bible with Dr. Sutcliffe and Dr. Mitchell in 1936. He served as Multnomah’s first registrar and married the dean of women, Doris Coffin. They had nine children: Jonathan, Jane, Joe, Becky, Tim, Virginia, Annette, Tad and Bobbie. All nine children graduated from Multnomah, including future Multnomah president Dr. Joseph Aldrich. After Doris died, he married Multnomah alumna Mildred “Mimi” Boukaert in 1959. Dr. Aldrich and Mimi were married 47 years until her death in 2007.

In 1940, Dr. Aldrich resigned from faculty and was absent from Multnomah for two years. He returned as an instructor in 1942 and became president in 1943 at Dr. Sutcliffe’s retirement. During his service as president, Dr. Aldrich lead Multnomah through the end of World War Two; under his guidance, Multnomah responded to the post-war enrollment boom by relocating to a new campus and renovating buildings and grounds. His efforts moved Multnomah to become one of the earliest degree-granting Bible Colleges. Multnomah’s second president, Dr. Aldrich served for 35 years until his retirement in 1978. He subsequently served on the board of trustees until his retirement in 2004 and was an Honorary Life Member.

A Tribute to Dr. Aldrich

“As the second president of Multnomah School of the Bible, Dr. Willard assumed leadership during its fragile beginnings,” Dr. Dave Funk said. “From its start during depression years, through low enrollments during World War II, the boom of materialism and the free spirit of the hippie years, Multnomah’s survival depended on a man committed to the long haul and to the vision he shared with co-founder, Dr. John G. Mitchell. As a co-founder, Dr. Aldrich shared the commitment to biblical values and ministry emphasis that characterized Multnomah’s position in the Bible college movement.

“Describing Multnomah’s emphasis he coined the slogan, ‘If it’s Bible you want, then you want Multnomah.’ Personally Dr. Willard exemplified both priorities, theological and pastoral.”

Education, Pastorship, and Authorship

Dr. Aldrich held a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He pastored Emmanuel Baptist Church in Vancouver, Wash. and served on the Board of Reference for several mission societies. He pioneered leaflet evangelism through the monthly publication, “The Doorstep Evangel,” which brought the gospel to many people for 38 years. Dr. Aldrich was an early founder and later president of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. He also authored several books, including “The Battle for Your Faith,” “Grace,” “The Death of Christ” and “When God Was Taken Captive.”

Leaving a Legacy

Known for his graciousness, faithfulness, and friendliness, Dr. Aldrich was greatly loved in the Multnomah Community. He influenced many people for Christ, both at Multnomah and throughout his life. The Willard M. Aldrich Hall was dedicated in February, 2000, in his honor. Today, both North and South Aldrich Hall buildings are used as a college men’s residence hall.

Memorial Service

A memorial will be held at Bethel Community Church in Washougal on December 12, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.


Gordon Patterson, You Will Be Missed

1 Comment » Written on September 23rd, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Media, Pray For MU, Students

PattersonGordon Patterson, 1984 Graduate Certificate Alum, entered into the presence of the Savior on Tuesday afternoon, September 15, 2009. He was hit by a car while riding his bicycle home from work. He is survived by his wife Carolyn (Carrie) Grafe Patterson, 1980 Alum, and three children, Caleb (22), Julia (19) who is a freshman at Multnomah Bible College, and Jonathan (14).

090916_candlelight_vigilGordon was a very popular teacher at Hudson Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington - following the accident, the students there held a candlelight vigil. See video at the end of this post.

News Stories

So much has been reported on this accident that we decided to give you a link to search results about it.

Google News Search Results

Public Memorial Service

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2009
  • 7:00 PM
  • Hudson Bay High School Gymnasium
  • Map

Video of Student Candle Light Vigil

Please pray with us as we consider Mr. Patterson's wife, children, and students.

Dr. Roger Congdon, You Will Be Missed

10 comments Written on June 23rd, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General, Media

Beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, pianist, theologian, Multnomah Bible College Prof & Dean Dr. Roger D. Congdon went to be with the Lord on June 18th, 2009. He was 91-years old.

The Congdon family name is one familiar to generations of Multnomah friends. Many of Dr. Congdon's own children and grandchildren are alumni. He taught and led at Multnomah for 37 years.

Memorial Service

  • Monday, June 29, 2009
  • 6:30 PM
  • Emmanuel Baptist Church
    • 14810 N.E. 28th St.
    • Vancouver WA 98682
    • 503-254-9586.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Emmanuel Baptist Church or Gideons International.

Comments, Memories & Condolences

  • We've included a scan of the obituary published by The Oregonian below.
  • Please leave your thoughts and prayers in the comments section below.

Roger Congdon Obit Scan 

Dr. Joe Aldrich, You Will Be Missed

113 comments Written on February 12th, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty

A Letter from President Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood


Dear Multnomah Family and Friends Worldwide:

I just received word this morning that Dr. Joe Aldrich, Multnomah's third president, has passed into the presence of the Lord.  He was surrounded by his wife, Ruthe, his two children, Kristi and Stephen, and other members of his family.  While his Parkinson's condition was progressively degenerating for many years, he recently took a severe turn for the worse.  Last weekend, he lapsed into a coma and the doctors told Ruthe he did not have long to live.

This morning the Lord took him home.


A Memorial Service For Dr. Joe

Dr. Joe provided important leadership for Multnomah during a significant time of transition.  The author of many books, his book Lifestyle Evangelism became a classic.  His vision was the impetus for the founding of Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and he pioneered the pastoral prayer summits, shepherding them into what is know today as International Renewal Ministry.  His love for students and his lasting imprint on Multnomah is memorialized in the naming of the Joseph C. Aldrich Student Center (JCA) dedicated in 2007.

What You Can Do

I know that Ruthe and the family would cherish deeply your prayers in this dark valley of their loss. We will collect your written condolences, print them, and send them to the Aldrich family.

3 Options

  1. Leave a comment below
  2. Email:
  3. Mail: 8435 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97220

jca001-16 jca001-44

Update (2/17/09): We released a formal Multnomah University press release that details some of the accomplishments of Joe Aldrich's life.

Update(2/19/09): The Oregonian has done a nice writeup about Dr. Joe Aldrich.

J. Merrill Peterson Memorial Service

Comments Off on J. Merrill Peterson Memorial Service Written on January 2nd, 2009 by
Categories: Athletics, General

J. Merrill Peterson on extreme right
J. Merrill Peterson on extreme right

Former Multnomah University trustee and men’s basketball coach, James Merrill Peterson, died on December 17 of natural causes at the age of 86. He served faithfully for 40 years on Multnomah’s Board of Trustees and coached the men’s basketball team from 1962 to 1965. During Mr. Peterson’s reign as coach, he led Multnomah to a record year of 15 wins out of 19 games.

Mr. Peterson is remembered by family and friends as one who embodied strong moral integrity, a disciplined work ethic, and committed faithfulness to God and others. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Melba Baller; sons, Timothy J. and James M. Jr.; and six grandchildren.

In remembrance and celebration of his life, you are invited to a public memorial service held in Mr. Peterson’s honor on Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 1 p.m. in Riverview Abbey Funeral Home, 0319 SW Taylors Ferry Road. His family has generously requested that all remembrances be sent to the Multnomah University Student Aid Fund, c/o Multnomah University, 8435 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97220.