A Tribute to Richard Odermatt

October 26th, 2017

Today, CPI Chairman Jim DeMint shared his thoughts on the passing of Richard Odermatt, longtime Heritage Foundation research editor and friend.


There are few people in the conservative movement who have had a hand in developing policy solutions to more problems and crises than Richard Odermatt—and fewer still with the kind of grace and joy that Richard showed to the people lucky enough to be around him each and every day. He had a sharp wit, but his outlook on life was tempered by deep and resounding peace. His was the disposition one might expect of a man who relied on his faith in Christ through easy times and hard times alike.

Richard was the personification of a servant leader. Using his many resources and talents, he devoted his life to helping those around him. While it wasn’t uncommon to find him in the office on Saturdays and Sundays, the time he didn’t spend in the office was spent at church. He spoke numerous foreign languages, taught seminary courses, enriched his teaching and understanding with extensive travels throughout the world, and passed along his beloved religious traditions and encyclopedic knowledge of liturgical music to the next generation.

In a town filled with self-promoters and attention seekers, he intentionally avoided the spotlight. Richard Odermatt’s life was marked by hard work, humility, and joy. His passing creates a void that will be felt by many—and I am incredibly thankful and privileged to count myself among them.

A memorial service will be held on November 17:

The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17
Refreshments to follow