Delbert Ray Rydquist
November 14, 1937 - August 21, 2021
Delbert Ray Rydquist, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed from this life and into the presence of his Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, August 21, 2021, in Modesto, California, at the age of 83. Delbert was born on November 14, 1937, in Escalon, California, to Roland and Iva Rydquist. It is on the family ranch in Escalon that he grew up with his four siblings. He attended Van Allen Grammar School and graduated from Escalon High School in 1955. After graduating from Modesto Junior College, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Sacramento State University in 1959. On June 22, 1958, Delbert married his high school sweetheart, Elaine Runsten. They shared 63 wonderful years together, their marriage filled with love and companionship. Together, they raised their three children: Dean, Craig, and Susan, each of whom make their parents proud.
Delbert accepted his first teaching position at Orville Wright Elementary School in Modesto where he taught fifth grade. Delbert was a gifted and dedicated educator who loved watching children learn and grow. After receiving his Master’s Degree in School Administration, he became principal at Orville Wright Elementary. Over the next 18 years, he also served as principal of Fremont, Rose Avenue, and Robertson Road Elementary schools. In April 1985, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services for the Modesto City School District. He worked in that capacity for 13 years until his retirement in 1998 after 39 rewarding years in education. During his retirement, he enjoyed traveling and on his boat fishing. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren who were to him each a special joy and delight.
Growing up, Delbert attended Escalon Covenant Church with his family and accepted Christ into his life as a seventh grader at Mission Springs Covenant Church Camp. As one who loved and followed his Savior Jesus Christ, Delbert was actively and continuously involved at Modesto Covenant Church since 1959. Over these many years, he faithfully served in a variety of capacities in many areas of ministry. He was a man of integrity, both a servant and a leader. He will be greatly missed.
Delbert is preceded in death by his parents, Roland and Iva Rydquist, brother, Ronald Rydquist, and sister, Marilyn Watson. Delbert is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elaine, their children, Dean (Donna) Rydquist, Craig (Kelly) Rydquist, and Susan (Ken) Mann, six grandchildren, Rachel, Tom, Caroline, Sarah, Jack, and Mary, sisters Janice Vine and Phyllis Nichols, and many nieces and nephews.
Deegan Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Rydquist family. A private graveside service will be held at Burwood Cemetery in Escalon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to: Parkinson’s Foundation, Modesto Covenant Church, or the charity of your choice.
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