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For week ended February 13, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by 'Joyce H Feustel'

Bank president to quit job for mission work
Ann Arbor MI News 8Feb00 P2
By John Mulcahy: News Staff Reporter

YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN -- Rick DeVries, a member of a local LDS church has stated that he will resign his positions as bank president and civic leader to serve a three year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He and his family plan to sell their home, pack up and leave Ypsilanti for three years as he serves in the presidency of one of the 333 worldwide missions of the church. He does not know where the mission will be, but "We are willing to serve wherever the Lord wants us to go." DeVries said of his decision to take the missionary post. "I guess the bottom line is, we have a love for the Gospel and the Savior and a desire to be of service to others."

DeVries and his wife will supervise approximately 200 young men and women who spend 18 - 24 months away from home serving as missionaries, teaching the Gospel and baptizing people into the church, as well as spending 4 hours each week in community service. DeVries said of his service as a missionary in Peru in 1977-79 "I learned real quickly in my experience in Peru for two years that ...the greatest joy comes from service to others."

DeVries said that he was taking his wife Dyana, and five of their children on the mission and that his oldest daughter, who graduates from Ypsilanti High School this year, will stay behind to start college in Idaho in July. "Enthusiastic as we are, we will look forward to the day we can come back and renew the acquaintances we have here," said DeVries when asked if they would return to the area.

DeVries expects to know where they will be going by the end of March and will quit his job on June 9. He says they will stay in the United States, but unlikely to be in Michigan. They will begin the mission assignment on July 1st. His ability to speak fluent Spanish will probably affect his location.

DeVries became president in 1974 of what was then Bank One. He remained president when the bank was bought by Citizens Bank. He also co-founded Ypsilanti PRIDE - People Restoring Image and Developing the Environment. The program draws thousands of volunteers for a clean-up day in Ypsilanti each spring. He also was a co-founder of the Washtenaw County Economic Club, which brings well-known personalities to the area to speak. He is presently serving as chairman of the board for the Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce and Washtenaw Development Council.

Keith Peters, president of the Ypsilanti Chamber said "It will obviously be a great loss to the community for three years and I look forward to his return."

Laurie Ridenour, assistant vice president and head of retail at Citizens Bank will serve as co-chairwoman of PRIDE this year. She said "I really think our community is going to suffer quite an impact when Rick is gone. There are very few people in your life that you ever come across that are such visionaries."


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