The 1970s

During an era of nationwide shortages and limitations, Providence was growing and expanding. Throughout the decade, not only did we expand our existing services into new locations, but we also expanded the types of services we were able to offer. We broke ground in 1971 for a larger Holland Home retirement community. We broke ground again in 1975 to open Rest Haven South in South Holland, Illinois. Both were completely full – with a waiting list – from the day they opened. In fact, there was also a waiting list of people who wanted to work at Rest Haven or Holland Home, indicating the earnest interest in personal involvement with this exciting new venture.


Rest Haven

Left: A 1970 Annual Report lists the involvement of churches and individuals in meeting the needs of the elderly. Center and right: More than 1,000 people gather to support Rest Haven at the tenth-anniversary Torchlight. This is the first year that “How Great Thou Art” is sung as the closing song.


Holland Home

1971 – Church and community members gather to witness the groundbreaking for the new Holland Home in South Holland, Illinois, which would double the number of people to whom we could offer retirement living.

Holland Home

1971 – Richard Mulder and other Rest Haven leaders pose at the groundbreaking for the new Holland Home in South Holland, Illinois


In a January 1972 newsletter, Richard Mulder reported on the progress of the new Holland Home, “Because of your continued faithfulness and warm generosity, hope is perpetuated. Gifts received through Wills, Memorials, Churches, Auxiliary, Torchlight, and general mailings have made it possible for us to continue with needed expansion and meet our debt retirement schedule.” By early 1973, the new Holland Home is not only constructed, it is full.

Holland Home Holland Home

1973 – The new Holland Home nears completion

Holland Home

Interior work in the new building

Holland Home


The newly completed Holland Home provided 311 retirement apartments on a spacious lawn in South Holland, Illinois.

Holland Home

Left: Jacob Schuringa and Clarence Builthuis are featured in a Shopper article about the new Holland Home. Right: The newly completed Holland Home provides 311 retirement apartments.


Under cloudy November skies, the threat of rain, and a brisk wind, members of the Rest Haven family gathered to break ground for a new health care community. Board Chairman Peter Vanderploeg explains, “The extensive waiting lists at Rest Haven and the Holland Home cannot be ignored. These lists represent urgent needs, human needs, people who have been created in the image of God, our fathers and mothers, and they deserve our maximum respect and dignity.” Two years later, Rest Haven South opens its doors to meet those urgent, human needs with quality care.

Rest Haven South

1975 – Brisk November winds make the weather less than ideal for the groundbreaking rituals!

Rest Haven South

1975 – Faithful crowds gather to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for Rest Haven in South Holland, Illinois

Rest Haven South

1975 – Speeches and prayers are part of the groundbreaking ceremony

Rest Haven South

1976 – Richard Mulder confers with his leadership team; from left: Peter Schurman (Rest Haven, Palos Heights), Richard Schutt (Rest Haven, South Holland), Richard Mulder (Executive Director), and Harold Ridderhoff (Holland Home)

Rest Haven South

1976 – The new Rest Haven South building is completed and ready for occupancy. We begin serving people from this location in 1977.


By 1978, Richard Mulder had been leading the ministry for 20 years, in partnership with the church women who had originally formed the Rest Haven Auxiliary. To celebrate his anniversary, these women expressed their appreciation for Mr. Mulder.

Rest Haven Central

1978 – Residents of Rest Haven Central gather in the chapel for a special ceremony honoring Richard Mulder for 20 years of service

Rest Haven Central

1978 – The Women’s Auxiliary surprises Richard Mulder by re-naming the Rest Haven chapel Mulder Chapel in honor of his 20 years of passionate leadership

Richard Mulder, 1978 Rest Haven Central

1978 – The Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 20 years of enhancing life for Rest Haven residents by involving the community in creative fundraising events.

More history — the 1980s >