Richard Muntz passes at age 81
August 19, 2009
The Rev. J. Richard Muntz, former Corban librarian, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on August 15, 2009, after battling cancer for more than 15 years. He began working for Corban in 1975 and served the College for 30 years, which greatly benefitted the library and academic programs.
The son of Dr. J. Palmer and Laura Muntz, Richard Muntz was born December 14, 1927, in Buffalo, New York. He committed his life to his Lord Jesus Christ early in life and spent almost eight decades faithfully serving Jesus and the Church.
He graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., in 1949. He later earned graduate degrees from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Ore.; San Jose State University, Calif.; Northern Baptist Seminary, Ill.; and Wayne State University, Mich. For more than 40 years, he was a librarian and professor at three different Christian colleges and seminaries, including Corban. He also pastored churches in Illinois and Michigan.
During his tenure at the College, Muntz served as Library Director (1975-1994) and Associate Library Director and cataloger (1994-2005). Under his directorship he moved the collection content from that of a Bible college to that of liberal arts, reclassified the books from Dewey to Library of Congress and began using automation to catalog books. Through his participation in several regional library groups, students and faculty could borrow books directly from neighboring private colleges. He also showed his breadth of knowledge by teaching a number college classes, including “Baptist Heritage” and “Children’s Literature.”
An active member of Bethany Baptist Church in Salem, Muntz taught Sunday School, served as a deacon and member of the Shepherd’s Council, and preached on occasion. He was known for his capacity to welcome those new to the church and to provide wise counsel to people in all stages of life.
While much of his life centered on the local church, Muntz also enjoyed traveling (especially going on cruises), sports, studying and teaching, spending time with family, and writing devotionals, which he posted on his Facebook page. In the last devotional he wrote, less than three weeks before his death, he encouraged those who are in daunting situations to “stay close to the camp of believers, imperfect though they are ... [and] trust in the God who answers prayer.”
Muntz is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marietta Hayden Muntz, and his two children: Laura Marie De Soer of Woodinville, Wash., with her husband Jamey, and Palmer Hayden Muntz of Fort Wayne, Ind., with his wife Jeannette. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Jordan Palmer, Phillip Richard, Jameson Hayden and MelodyJoy Marie; a brother, Ernest Muntz of Augusta, Georgia, and a sister, Carrie Clark of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Muntz’s younger brother, Howard Muntz of St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., preceded him in death.
The family thanks Dr. William C. Pierce for fifteen years of medical care. Special appreciation goes to the people of Bethany Baptist Church for their extraordinary support: past, present and future. A memorial service was held Thursday, August 20, at Bethany Baptist Church, with a private graveside service earlier that day. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that memorial gifts be made to the Prewitt-Allen Archaeological Museum of Corban College & Graduate School.