Richard “Dick” Kruizenga ’52
Richard Kruizenga died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday August 16th. A Husband, Father, Executive and Philanthropist, Richard was born in Spring Lake, Michigan, in 1930 and died 25 miles away in Holland, Michigan, just short of his 90th birthday. But he traveled many miles in between and affected a great many people along the way.
The son of Richard and Kathryn Mulder Kruizenga, Richard was predeceased by his sisters, Georgia VanWeeldon and Dorothy Boelens; his wife, Margaret Feldmann Kruizenga and his son, Dwight Kruizenga. He is survived by his loving family: son, Derek and wife, Sylvia, daughter, Meg Froelich and his five Grandchildren – Danielle Kruizenga Glenn, Schuyler Kruizenga and Katrina, Annalise and Osgood Froelich.
Richard went to Spring Lake schools and graduated from Grand Haven High School. He attended Hope College from 1949 to 1952 where he excelled in Economics. At Hope, he met a sophisticated and vivacious New Yorker, Margaret Feldmann. The two were married upon graduation and embarked on a 60-year partnership that took them around the world.
Their first stop was Boston where Richard obtained a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied under Nobel Prize Winner Paul Samuelson and his dissertation “Put and Call Options: A Theoretical and Market Analysis” is still cited today.
Richard then embarked upon a 35-year corporate career with Exxon Corporation that took him and his family to New York, Houston and then overseas where he held senior positions in Exxon Japan, Australia and Malaysia. Returning to the US in 1982, he retired from Exxon as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning in 1992.
Richard and Margaret’s Exxon experience developed their love of art, culture and travel that continued through retirement, initially splitting their time between Michigan and Texas, before finally retiring to Freedom Village in Holland in 2011.
Forever citing his education as the source of his success, Richard’s philanthropy included serving on the Boards of MIT, Hope College and the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. The couple were patrons of the Dallas Symphony, the Dallas Theater Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hope College Summer Theater Program, the Holland Symphony Orchestra and the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals. They established the Hope College Margaret F. Kruizenga Scholarship to support students who majored in Art. It was in 1993 that they conceived of their most ambitious project, a gift to Hope College that would eventually become The Kruizenga Art Museum.
Together with the late William “Billy” Mayer, long-time friend and Chair of the Art Department at Hope College, plans for a world class museum on the Hope College Campus became a reality. In 2013 the Groundbreaking Ceremony was held, which unfortunately also served as a Celebration of Life for Margaret who passed earlier that year. Construction completed, The Kruizenga Art Museum (KAM) opened in 2015. Under the direction of Charles Mason, the Museum’s Curator, KAM is home to a rotating permanent collection exhibit and continues to stage premiere exhibitions drawing from the Museum’s wide collection of art from around the world. Currently, the Museum exhibit is “Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters,” demonstrating the important place the Museum plays in promoting multiculturalism on campus.
Richard had a lifelong love of golf, played on the Hope College Golf Team and was particularly delighted to have made two hole-in-ones at Spring Lake Country Club – both on the same hole a mere forty years apart.