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Eckerd ex-professor Bredenberg dies


© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 31, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Dr. Richard R. Bredenberg, a retired Eckerd College professor who launched an international exchange program that has attracted hundreds of Japanese students, has died at 75.

Dr. Bredenberg, associated with Eckerd for 34 years, died Friday (Oct. 26, 2001) at St. Anthony's Hospital after a short illness.

The student exchange program grew out of a teaching assignment in 1969 that sent Dr. Bredenberg to Nagoya, Japan, as a Presbyterian missionary.

He and his wife, Huldah, spent a year teaching at the Kinjo Gakuin Girls School in Nagoya. In 1971, 60 students and four teachers arrived in St. Petersburg from the school to begin the exchange that has endured for 30 years. As the program evolved, Eckerd graduates traveled to Japan to teach English at Kinjo.

Over the years about 1,500 Japanese students and 100 Eckerd students have taken part, his family said Tuesday.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., he graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in philosophy. He received a master's degree in sacred theology from Oberlin College.

He received a doctorate in philosophy from New York University and a doctorate of ministry from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Bredenberg joined Eckerd in 1965 and retired in 1991 as director of teacher education. He remained connected to Eckerd until 1999, however, as director of the school's Management Development Institute that conducts training courses.

Earlier, he taught at Occidental College in Los Angeles and Alfred University in New York state.

He was a member of First Unity Church, St. Petersburg, the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College and the Presbytery of Tampa Bay.

In addition to his wife of 52 years, survivors include two daughters, Ingrid Bredenberg, Montague, Mass., and Sigrid Flor, Orlando; a son, Eric, Los Alamitos, Calif.; and three grandchildren.

E. Dale Gunter Funeral Home & Cremation Services, St. Petersburg, was in charge of arrangements.

The family suggests memorial contributions to ASPEC/Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711, or First Unity Church, 469 45th Ave. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703.

-- Information from Times files was used in this obituary.

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