1944 – 2012
Class of 1999
Pastor Ruth VanDemark died on June 23, 2012, from metastatic breast cancer. She had served Wicker Park Lutheran Church in Chicago since 1999. She helped rebuild the church – both the building and the congregation -- during her years there.
Pastor VanDemark was also an attorney who practiced law in Chicago from 1976 – 2002, combining that vocation with her seminary studies and her ordained ministry. She was president of the Appellate Lawyers Association in 1992-93 and served on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee from 1996 – 2002. Her accomplishments both in the parish and in the courtroom were remembered in articles that appeared in three Chicago newspapers:
She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Leland Wilkinson, their two daughters and a son-in-law, two grandchildren, her mother, and two brothers. A funeral service was held June 23 at Wicker Park Lutheran Church. Ed Krentz, Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of New Testament gave the eulogy. The Rev. Frank Senn presided and Metropolitan Chicago Synod Bishop Wayne Miller preached.