We mourn the passing of Calvin (Cal) Redekop

Photo credit: Everence

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Calvin (Cal) Redekop. Cal passed away on July 20th, 2022, at the age of 96. He leaves behind a significant legacy in academia, charity, entrepreneurship, and he played an important role as a generous MEDA supporter.

Cal was a founding editor of the Marketplace magazine and shepherded the magazine through many iterations. From the Marketplace’s early beginnings as the Church, Industry, and Business Association (CIBA) newsletter, to the Mennonite Industry Business Associates (MIBA) newsletter, and later the MIBA/MEDA newsletter, Cal served throughout these changes. In 1980, the MIBA/MEDA newsletter became the Marketplace, a quarterly business magazine that explored the connection between faith and business. Cal remained the Marketplace’s editor until 1985.

Calvin Redekop was born on September 19th, 1925, in Volt, Montana, U.S.A, the son of Jacob Redekop and Katherine Wall. He married Freda Pellman on August 20th, 1955, and they had three sons (Bill, Fred, and Ben) together. Cal received his bachelor’s degree from Goshen College (1949), his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota (1955), and his doctorate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Chicago (1959).

Cal was an accomplished academic. Throughout his long career as a sociology professor, he wrote widely and taught at several colleges, including Hesston, Earlham, Goshen, Tabor (where he served as Vice-President and Dean) and Conrad Grebel Colleges. He cared deeply about social justice issues and for the responsible stewardship of the environment, actively encouraging his students to think about these issues too.

Along with his passion for education, Cal was a successful entrepreneur. He joined a startup company, Excel Industries, Inc. which sold turf equipment, co-founded Sunflower Energy Works, a pioneering solar energy company in Kansas, U.S.A, and served on the boards of other eco-based companies, including EnerSource, Secure Futures, and Wood Composites Inc.

Cal’s connection to charitable causes was deep: after World War II, he volunteered with the Mennonite Central Committee in Europe and MEDA for decades, and also served on many Mennonite community and association boards. In his later years, Cal and his family created the JustPax Fund and Redekop Family Endowment, non-profit organizations that advanced economic, gender, and environmental justice.

As a lasting testament to Cal’s commitment to charity, he was named as a recipient of the 2017 Regional Journey Award from the Everence Office in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This award recognized Cal for his significant dedication to personal and professional stewardship.

Cal’s memorial will be held in early Fall 2022. Online condolences can be made by visiting the McMullen Funeral Homes website.

We extend our condolences to Cal’s family during this time. MEDA is grateful for his pioneering role as the editor of the Marketplace and his dedication to making the world a more sustainable and livable place.

Above: Cal Redekop

To learn more about Cal’s life, we invite you to explore the links below:

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  • MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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