Dr. Tom Rider Obituary

Dr. Tom  Rider
Dr. Tom Rider
Dr. Tom Rider

September 20, 1935 - August 14, 2019
Born in Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa


Thomas John Rider, 83, passed away Wednesday, August 14, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held 4 - 7 pm Friday, September 20, 2019, for family and friends at the Unitarian Church.

Thomas was born September 20, 1935, in Des Moines, IA, to John and Thelma (Hulett) Rider. He graduated from East High School in 1953 and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Drake University in 1957 and 1959. He then received a Master’s Degree from Iowa State University in 1966 and a PhD from the University of Iowa in 1970.

Tom married Jane (Whitten) Rider March 3, 1984. He was a Professor at Grand View University for 40 years, retiring in 2000 as Professor Emeritus. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, MENSA, ACLU, ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out), The Iowa Genealogy Society, and the Unitarian Church.

He was the perfect papa and loved his family unconditionally. He was an extraordinary pianist and especially enjoyed playing with his brothers in a Dixieland band (The Simple Seven). Tom also loved baseball, playing in high school and for the American Legion. In his down time, he was an avid coin and stamp collector. Tom was a writer and was well known for his family publications: “Puddles on the Floor”, “Yes, We Have No Bananas?”, “Back From Oblivion”, and “The Montana Diaries”.

Tom is survived by his wife, Jane Rider; brothers, James W. (Gretchen) Rider of Aurora, IL, Paul Edward (Carole) Rider Sr. of Cedar Falls, IA; sons, Thomas David (Beverly) Landt-Rider of Ankeny, IA, Jeff A (Susie) Rider of Des Moines, IA; step-sons, Mike (Kristie) Wilson of Des Moines, IA, Jim (Martha) Wilson of West Des Moines, IA; step-daughter, Susie (Jeff) Jennings of Waukee, IA; grandchildren, Barry Landt-Rider, Jordan Landt-Rider, Andrea Fey Rider, David William Rider; step-grandchildren, Abby Wilson, Hannah Wilson, Bailey (Alex) Jenson, Mallory Wilson, Jack Wilson, Amanda Jennings, Lisa Jennings. He was preceded in death by his father, John Wesley Rider; mother, Thelma Marie Rider; and son, Timothy John Rider

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in honor of his granddaughter, Andrea, to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Iowa Chapter, 1501 42nd Street, Ste 230, West Des Moines, 50266). For online contributions, http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/andrea19.

Tom has left us to be with Charles Darwin and W.C. Fields. We will miss him, his exceptional talent and unique sense of humor.




Celebration of Life
First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, Iowa
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US
Friday, September 20, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Iowa Chapter
4150 Westown Pkwy. Suite 203
West Des Moines, IA US 50266