posted March 2, 2011

Retired Psychology Professor Lars Granberg Dies

Dr. Lars Granberg of Holland, a retired member of the Hope College psychology faculty who held major roles in the administration while at Hope and was also a past president of Northwestern College in Iowa, died on Wednesday, March 2, at age 91.

The funeral will be Monday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at Third Reformed Church in Holland.  Visitation will be prior to the service at Third Reformed Church, starting at 10 a.m.

Dr. Granberg retired from Hope in 1984 as the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of Psychology.  Through his years at Hope, he founded and directed the counseling center, and served as acting vice president for academic affairs, dean for the social sciences and director of interdisciplinary studies.

Dr. Granberg was born in Egersund, Norway, on May 26, 1919. He immigrated to the United States with his parents and younger sister, Johanna, in 1925.  He attended Chicago public schools, and graduated from Lane TechnicalHigh School.

He attended Wheaton College, where he met his future bride, Carol, who survives him, while working in the college dining hall.  He graduated from Wheaton College in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology, and subsequently served in the U.S. Army during World War II, advancing in rank from private to captain from 1941 to 1946.  He and Carol were married in Baltimore, Md., on Feb. 13, 1943, and she followed him on his in-country assignments until he was sent overseas.

Following his discharge in February 1946, he used the G.I. Bill to further his education.  He completed his master's degree in psychology at the University of Chicago in 1946, and his doctorate in psychology, in human development, in 1954.

He joined the Hope College psychology faculty as an assistant professor in 1947 and was promoted to associate professor in 1952, when he became chairperson of the department of psychology.

He accepted a position as dean of students and associate professor of pastoral counseling at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., in 1954.  While there, he was a frequent speaker at church retreats and family conferences, as well as a teacher at the Young Life Summer Institute near Colorado Springs, Colo., for several summers.

He returned to Hope in 1960, becoming the founding director of the Student Counseling Services and professor of psychology.  With Carol, he served as a member of the committee which organized Young Life in the Holland area high schools.  He served as acting vice president of Hope during the 1965-66 academic year.

In the fall of 1966, he accepted the invitation of Northwestern College of Orange City, Iowa, to become the college's president, serving until 1975.  At the conclusion of his tenure, NorthwesternCollege presented him with an honorary degree, a Doctor of Humane Letters.

He returned to Hope in 1975 as the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of Psychology.  He was dean for the social sciences from 1975 to 1978, and director of interdisciplinary studies--with special responsibility for the college's Senior Seminar program--from 1978 until he retired in 1984.

In retirement, he was a devoted gardener, traveler and insatiable reader.  He was also a founding member of the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP), which was established in May 1988.

His scholarship included multiple articles and reviews as well as the books "Marriage Is for Adults Only" (Zondervan, 1970); "Counseling," of which he was a co-author (Baker Book House, 1971); and, with Carol, "Attaining the Fullness of Christ," 10 studies on the Epistle of James prepared for Reformed Church Women (Reformed Church Press, 1980).

He was an active member of the Reformed Church in America, with service on denominational committees and boards including the Commission on Christian Action, the Permanent Committee on Theological Action, the Board of Christian Education, the Board of Theological Education and the Theological Commission. He was president of the Holland Classis in 1979.

His involvement in professional associations included the American Psychological Association; the Christian Association for Psychological Studies; and serving as a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation. He was also on the board of directors for the Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges from 1968 to 1975, and of Colleges of Mid America, serving the latter organization as president from 1970 to 1972.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Carol Mae (Van Oss) Granberg '62 of Holland; three daughters and their husbands, Barbara Granberg '67 Joldersma and Dan Joldersma of Holland, Karin Granberg-Michaelson '70 and Wesley Granberg-Michaelson '67 of Kentwood, Mich., and Linda and Wade Popovich of Burke, Va.; six grandchildren, Dirk Joldersma '95 (spouse Lisa Meengs '95 Joldersma), Kevin Joldersma '98 (spouse Kelly Bush '98 Joldersma), J.K. Granberg-Michaelson '04, Karis Rose Granberg-Michaelson '10, Sarah Popovich-Judge '08 (spouse Matthew Popovich-Judge) and Michael Popovich; seven great-grandchildren, Oscar, Garett, Anneka, Henry, Ella, Celia and Natalie Joldersma; his brother- and sister-in-law, Paul and Barbara Van Oss; and seven nieces and nephews, including Jonathan Van Oss '85 (spouse Sarah Smith '85 Van Oss).  He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Bergitte (Tonnesen) Larsen Granberg, and his sister and brother-in-law, Johanna and Fred Swanson.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Lars Granberg Psychology Student Research Award Fund at Hope College.

Third Reformed Church is located at 111 W. 13th St., on 13th Street at Pine Avenue in Holland.