|Birth: ||Jan. 4, 1909|
|Death: ||Nov. 27, 2009|
Camas-Washougal, WA Post-Record
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Dr. Willard Aldrich
Dr. Willard Aldrich died Nov. 27, 2009 in Camas. He was 100.
Willard was born Jan. 4, 1909, in Tacoma. He was the fifth child and youngest son of Porter and Ida Aldrich. As a youth he attended the youth group led by Dr. John Mitchell, who remained a close friend and mentor for over 45 years. Upon graduating from Stadium High School, Willard worked his way through Wheaton Colleghe in the boiler room of the heating plant. For a summer job, he worked at Mt. Rainer National Park as an ice-cream maker. that skill made him the friend of a dozen or so black bears who also loved ice-cream. he graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary, earning his ThM and ThD degrees. In the summer of 1934, he became the youth pastor at the Portland Union Bible classes. On Feb. 14, 1936, Dr. Aldrich helped establish the Multnomah School of the Bible, where he served as professor of theology and the school's first registrar. During the first year, Doris Coffin, the first dean of women, became Mrs. Willard Aldrich.
In 1943, Dr. Aldrich became the youngest college president in the United States. he served in that capacity for 35 years, and as a faculty member for 40 years. Both the scholl and the students flourished under his calm, godly leadership. At Willard's retirement, the school enrolled 800 full-time day students and 500 part-time evening students. Over the years, 10 Bible schools were started as an outreach of Multnomah. In his 35 years as president, Dr. Aldrich was involved in securing property, and building both the original and present campuses. He was involved in the construction of the 1033 building on the old campus; the building on the Glisan Street campus in 1952; the prayer chapel, memorial dorm, the library addition; the Bradley Hall and music building; the student center A-frame and the gym. He also was a member of the executive committee of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges and served one year as its president.
Dr. Aldrich carried on an active writing ministry, including a four page monthly publication, The Doorstep Evangel, of which over 14 million were distributed by churches to homes. Eventually this paper included the monthly "Out of the Mixing Bowl" column by Doris, which chronicled the challenges and blessing of raising nine children. This led to an expanding ministry as a popular speaker at women's events. Tragically, however, Doris was taken home in 1958.
Doris's niece, Mildred had been in Multnomah's first graduating class as well, and was well-loved by all the Aldrich children. So, in the year following Doris's death, his children enthusiastically supported Willard as he married "Mimi." Gifted in hospitality and creativity, she complemented his ministry and embraced the Aldrich children and the Multnomah family as her own. She and Willard were married for over 46 years, until her death in 2007.
His nine children all love and serve Christ; his four sons all graduated from seminary and have spent their lives in ministry; three of his daughters married men in ministry; the other two actively serve Christ in their churches and other Christian organizations. His children and grandchildren describe him as consistently wise, humble, selfless, balanced, loving and a blessing.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, at 2 p.m., at Bethel Church in Washougal.
Memorial donations can be made to Multnomah University, Portland; Bethel Church in Washougal or The Firs in Bellingham, WA.
Created by: Bonnie
Record added: Sep 08, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96721442
Added: Jan. 26, 2013