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Postma, Richard (1891-1976) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Postma, Richard (1891-1976)

Historical Note:

Richard Postma was born on March 17, 1891 in the village of Rottevalle, the Netherlands. His father, Ynse Postma, worked as a carpenter, and often it was hard for him to find a job. So, young Postma and his family would move from town to town for his father to find work.  At the age of sixteen, Postma became the principal of the school in Rottevalle.  A pivotal moment in Postma's life was when he attended a youth meeting in Amsterdam. It was there that a speech made by Abraham Kuyper that truly resonated with Postma. From that point on, Postma decided to devote his time and energy in serving the Lord, with a special focus on inspiring young people to live a Christian life.

In 1912 Postma immigrated to the United States, and settled in Chicago. During this time, Postma met Reverend William Stuart. Rev. Stuart took Postma under his wing and taught him English. Rev. Stuart even arranged for Postma's long-term girlfriend, Gertrude Dykstra to travel to the United States. He married Postma and his bride, Gertrude, on December 29, 1913.

While in Roseland, Postma took classes through the YMCA, and eventually became a teacher at the Christian school. By 1917 Postma and his growing family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he accepted the role of principal of the Pine Street Christian School. He eventually moved on to work at Grandville Avenue Christian School.

In 1919 the movement of Young Calvinist Federation began, in which Postma played a major role. Postma served as the director of the Young Calvinist Federation for many years which allowed him to travel around the world promoting their mission.

Another important role Postma played in the lives of youth was as "Uncle Dick" of the Banner Children's page.  He began writing for the Banner in 1931 and soon after his mailbox was full of letters from children. For the children's page, Postma always encouraged his young readers to assist in causes such as raising funds for a new school bus in Japan.

Richard Postma died on August 16, 1976 several weeks after a major surgery of removing a tumor from his brain.

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