Professor Peter Ristau passed away in Edmonton on May 21, 2013. Hired as professor of Old Testament at NABC (now Taylor), Peter taught for 25 years until health issues forced him to go on long-term disability. Although his teaching career was halted in 1997, he officially retired in 2005; he was one of the longest-serving faculty members in Taylor's history.
Tributes from former colleagues and students have poured in, with many people commenting on his love of learning and on the enthusiasm for the Bible that he passed on to students. One former student, Dr. Allan Effa (now a faculty member), called Peter an avid learner and a gifted teacher, adding, "Biblical Criticism at 7:45 AM was unforgettable. I learned all about "Religionsgeschichteschule." He would come to his office already by 6 AM to study."
Long-time colleague and friend Dr. Dick Paetzel described Peter as a scholar who "for over 20 years wanted students to know and understand the context of the Old Testament."
A Celebration of Life service for Peter was held on May 24, 2013 at Shepherd's Care Centre, where he had served as pastor from 1993 to 1995. The eulogy was given by his son and fellow biblical scholar, Ken Ristau.
"My father's love of learning guided his entire life," Ken told the packed chapel. He talked about his dad's many other interests, from art to stamp collecting, but said he could also be very silly, and loved to get a laugh out of his grand-kids.
"As a family, we can confess wholeheartedly that Peter Ristau was a strong and generous man," he said. "Never ceasing in empathy and compassion, always faithful, and a person who, by his simple presence in our lives, called out the very best in us."
Professor Ristau is survived by his wife Karin and three children, Angela, Evelyn and Ken, and their spouses and children.