Ruth Hudson Frick, Former First Lady of Elmhurst College, Dies at 86

April 8, 2015 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

From 1971 until 1994, Ruth Hudson Frick was the first lady of Elmhurst College, where she led and belonged to a number of organizations that enhanced the life of the community both at the College and beyond.

Mrs. Frick, 86, of Lancaster, Penn., and formerly of Elmhurst, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Willow Street, Penn.

Born in Findlay, Ohio, Ruth Hudson Frick was the daughter of Ray M. Hudson and Ethel Leidigh Hudson. She graduated from Iowa City High School in Iowa in 1946, and from Findlay College in Findlay, Ohio, in 1950. Married on July 16, 1950, she was the loving wife of Ivan E. Frick for more than 64 years.

Mrs. Frick served as first lady of Findlay College from 1964 to 1971, and became first lady of Elmhurst College when her husband became Elmhurst’s 11th president, in 1971.

Elmhurst awarded its Founders Medal to Mrs. Frick in 1992, recognizing her for the “untold hours” she spent on behalf of the College that made her “a full partner in her husband’s presidency of accomplishments.”

A member of both the Elmhurst College Association and the Elmhurst College Women’s Auxiliary, Mrs. Frick founded Elmhurst: College and Community, an organization dedicated to building a dynamic relationship between the College and the city of Elmhurst. When she and her husband retired, Elmhurst College honored them for their service by renaming the campus’s student union building the Frick Center.

Mrs. Frick was an elementary and high school teacher during the earliest phase of her career. She went on to hold a position with the Board of Illinois Literacy Inc. and serve as a tutor with the Laubach Literacy Program. She also was a longtime member of the American Association of University Women, the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Guild, the League of Women Voters, the Ray Graham Association and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra Auxiliary.

Mrs. Frick was a member of the College First Church of God in Findlay, Ohio; St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Elmhurst; First Congregational Church of Western Springs; and Hamilton Park United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Penn.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Frick is survived by her children—David (Ingrid Plajzer), Daniel (Tamara Goeglein) and Susan (Ronald Searl)—and five granddaughters. Also surviving are her brother, James Melvin (Hazel Martin), and her sister-in-law, Mary Hudson, along with many beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Raymond Hudson.

Two memorial services are planned for Mrs. Frick. The first will be held on April 7 in Lancaster, Penn. The second service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, in St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 125 W. Church St., Elmhurst.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Frick Endowed Book Fund of Elmhurst College. To make your gift, please visit our online giving form, select “Other” under Gift Information, and specify Frick Endowed Book Fund. You may also make your gift by calling the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (630) 617-6424.

Gifts also may be mailed to: Elmhurst College, Attn: Office of Development, 190 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126. Checks should be made payable to Elmhurst College, and the memo line should reference the Frick Endowed Book Fund.

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