The Rev. Eric Ravndal III
September 26, 1939 – February 4, 2023
The Rev. Eric Ravndal III, 83, died peacefully at home in Orlando, Florida on February 4, 2023, surrounded by his family. Eric was born on September 26, 1939, and raised in Orlando, the second of Eric and Florence Ravndal’s two children and grandson of both U.S. Consul General G. Bie Ravndal and Toledo grocer and businessman Charles Tiedtke. After graduating from Choate Rosemary Hall Preparatory School and Harvard University (B.A., General Sciences), he served in the U.S. Navy. As a young officer, he met his future bride, Sarah Belden, on a blind date in New York City. They were married on his 25th birthday in 1964 and returned to Florida, where Eric went to work for the Winter Park Land Company. They settled in nearby Maitland to raise their family and Eric became an independent real estate broker. As their young family grew to include four children, they hosted annual neighborhood Christmas carol sings with Sarah at the piano and were very involved at All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park. Faith Alive and Cursillo weekends in the early 1970s changed the course of their lives. In 1977, Eric answered a call to the Priesthood and the family moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he completed his Master of Divinity degree at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in 1980. After ordinations to the Diaconate and Priesthood and over two years as Assisting Priest at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in DeLand, Florida, Eric was called to be on staff at Nashotah House, where he worked in Admissions and helped coordinate the seminarians’ pastoral internships. His people skills and pastoral gifts filled a valuable role in the seminary community. During this second period at Nashotah House, Eric cultivated his love of photography, thoroughly documenting family life and his children’s many activities. In 1987, he was called back to Central Florida to become Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Apopka. He retired from parish ministry in 1998.
A lifelong golf enthusiast, retirement was good for his game as well as for reviving old friendships and building many new ones at the Country Club of Orlando. Retirement also enabled him to succeed his mother’s late cousin, John Tiedtke, on the Board of The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, on which Eric served for many years, first as President, then as Chair. A stalwart supporter for the 21 years that Sarah sang in the choir and beyond, Eric attended nearly every Bach rehearsal and performance, and loved the choir and its members as much as he loved the music they made. Eric and Sarah rejoined All Saints Church, Winter Park, where Eric served as retired Assisting Priest and as the regular Celebrant at the early Thursday morning service. His natural love for people and his ability to build strong, sincere friendships were among his greatest gifts, as was his love for family pets and animals in general. In his combined role of both family and clergy, he officiated the weddings of several of his children, nieces, nephew, and grandchildren, and baptized many of his grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eric Ravndal II and Florence Tiedtke Ravndal, and his sister, Alice Ravndal Sleight. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Sarah; children Chris (Heather), Beth Sanabia, Eric IV (Darcy), and Mary (Ann); grandchildren Keturah (Justice) Spriggs, Marley (Karl) Lund-Peterson, Brenden and Grant Ravndal; Nicholas, John, and Amanda Sanabia; Ian, Sofia, and Kai Ravndal; great-grandson Shiloh Spriggs; and many extended family members. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 17, at All Saints Church, Winter Park. The service will be livestreamed at https://www.allsaintswinterpark.org. Memorial contributions can be made to All Saints Episcopal Church (Winter Park, FL) or The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park (FL).
Leave a reply