Collection 242 Oral History Interview with Ruth E. Hess
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with Ruth Edna DeVelde Hess (1909-1997), a missionary with the Plymouth Brethren Church at Sakeji School for missionary children in Zambia. Topics discussed include: Hess' life as a child in Wheaton, Illinois, and education at Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College; marriage to Lyndon Roth Hess; calling to be teachers of missionary children; decision to go to Africa; their work at Sakeji School from 1932 to 1982; and descriptions of life and customs in Zambia among the Lunda Tribe. The time period covered by the interviews is 1909-1982.
Ruth Hess was interviewed by Virginia Luknic on December 2, 1982.
- Created: 1982
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Ruth Edna De Velde was born in 1909 in the Chicago area, and grew up in Chicago suburbs, including Wheaton, Illinois. Her father was a high school teacher in Irving Park. Being concerned about providing a Christian education for their two children (her older brother was Everett C. De Velde), her parents decided to move to Wheaton in 1923, in time for her brother to enter Wheaton College. Ruth attended Wheaton Academy.
Ruth went on to attend Wheaton College herself (1927-1931), and met her future husband there (Lyndon Roth Hess). They shared a common calling to serve on the mission field as teachers of missionary children, and were married in August, 1932, before sailing for Africa in November.
They were sent out to Sakeji School in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), under the auspices of the Brethren Assemblies (Plymouth Brethren). Mr. Hess began as a teacher, but assumed the duties of principal when the British missionary who had held that position went back to England. Ruth Hess also began as a full-time teacher but, during their second year at Sakeji, she took on the responsibilities of the school's housekeeper. She continued to teach on a part-time basis.
The Hesses had five children, and served at Sakeji School until 1975, when Mr. Hess resigned because of a suspected heart problem. Following a furlough in the United States, when the condition was discovered not to be serious, they returned to Sakeji, becoming involved with direct ministry to the Lunda Tribe.
The Hesses retired in 1982 and lived in Wheaton until they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1994 where Ruth died on March 4, 1997.
1.00 Audio Tape
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in December, 1982.
November 20, 1987
Revised January 19, 1990
- Aeronautics in missionary work.
- Boarding schools -- Zambia.
- Boarding schools.
- Children of missionaries -- Education.
- Children of missionaries -- Zambia.
- Children of missionaries.
- Christian Missions in Many Lands.
- Evangelistic work -- Zambia.
- Evangelistic work.
- Fisher, Walter.
- Hess, Lyndon.
- Hess, Ruth.
- Intercultural communication -- Zambia.
- Intercultural communication.
- Language in missionary work.
- Leedy, John W.
- Missionaries -- Training of.
- Missionaries -- Appointment, call, and election.
- Missionaries -- Leaves and furloughs.
- Missionaries -- Training of -- United States.
- Missionaries -- United States.
- Missions -- South Africa.
- Missions -- Zambia.
- Mixter, Russell Lowell,
- Northern Lunda (African people)
- Plymouth Brethren.
- Sakeji School (Zambia)
- Wheaton Academy (Ill.)
- Wheaton Bible Church (Ill.)
- Wheaton College (Ill.)
- Wheaton College (Ill.) -- Alumni.
- Wheaton College (Ill.) -- Athletics.
- Women -- Religious life.
- Women missionaries.
- Zambia -- Description and travel.
- Zambia -- Social life and customs.
- Collection 242 Oral History Interview with Ruth E. Hess
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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