Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Richard Ruch

April 15, 1930 - April 22, 2016
Holland, MI



Friday, April 29, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Mulder Chapel
188 West 32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
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Saturday, April 30, 2016
3:00 PM EDT
Christ Memorial Church
595 Graafschap Rd
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 396-2305
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Words of Hope
700 Ball Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 459-6181
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Richard Hurley (Dick) Ruch, 86, of Holland, Michigan departed peacefully from this phase of his life into the nearer presence of God on April 22, 2016 at his home. Gifted musician (trumpet), corporate CEO (Herman Miller), Christian philanthropist (Hope College, Words of Hope, many others), and patriarch to his family, he was perhaps best known as Papa to his 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Born April 15, 1930 in Plymouth, Indiana, he was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Patty Lou (Overbeek), his sisters Rose Marie (Harrison) and Ruth (Kuipers), his daughter, Christine (Sligh) and daughter in law Nancy Ruch. A graduate of Holland High School, Dick attended Hope College and graduated with high honors from Michigan State University. In 1984 he was invited to study in a summer program at Oxford University. He and Patty later established scholarships at Michigan State and Hope College. The Ruchs were faithful and generous supporters of both Western and New Brunswick Theological Seminaries, along with many other charities in the U.S. and around the world. Dick served the Church as Sunday school teacher, deacon, elder and musician. He worked for Herman Miller for 45 years, starting out as an accountant and working his way up to Vice President of Manufacturing, CFO, President and CEO, and Board Chairman. Some of Herman Miller’s most celebrated products were the result of his unflinching support of cutting edge designers, his expertise in furniture manufacturing, and his keen eye for acquisitions. He was an early and strong proponent of the participative management movement in American business and truly believed that many of the great ideas came from “the guys and gals on the shop floor.” A lifelong athlete and avid tennis player, he earned eight gold medals in the senior Olympics. He is survived by his grateful sons, Richard S. Ruch (Renee House) of Kingston, New York, Michael D. Ruch, of Kentwood, and Douglas C. Ruch (Linda) of Zeeland, along with their families; the family of Christine Sligh; and a brother in law Lee (Jana) Overbeek and his family.