Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA


Lottie Louise Riekehof

August 13, 1920August 6, 2020

Dr. Lottie Riekehof, a retired dean, administrator, and faculty member, passed away on August 6, one week short of her 100th birthday. Dr. Riekehof was Gallaudet’s Dean of Women in the early 1970s, and a faculty member and department chair until her retirement in 1990. She was also the author of "The Joy of Signing: A Dictionary of American Signs." First published under a different title in 1961 and still available today, this book sold well over one million copies.

According to her Wikipedia entry, Lottie Louise Riekehof was born in Germany on August 13, 1920. She, her parents, and a younger sister emigrated to northern New Jersey in 1923; her two brothers were born in the U.S. She learned sign language from deaf parishioners in her church and from Dr. Elizabeth Peet at Gallaudet, then became an interpreter and interpreter educator. Dr. Riekehof earned her bachelor’s degree at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and her master’s and doctoral degrees at New York University. She served as Dean of Women at Central Bible College for 21 years before assuming the same role at Gallaudet in 1970.

Dr. Riekehof later led the interpreter education program within the Office of Sign Language Programs, and subsequently became that office’s director. She served as the first chair of the Department of Sign Communication. She was also the author of The Joy of Signing: A Dictionary of American Signs. First published under a different title in 1961 and still available today, this book sold well over one million copies.

Dr. Riekehof was a long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia. She is survived by her children, 29 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and a host of friends.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Lottie Louise Riekehof

have a memory or condolence to add?

Christel McDonald

August 15, 2020

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Lottie Riekehof, my wonderful neighbor for over 40 years who helped me understand the challenges and needs of the deaf people in the world. She enriched everyone and her warmth will be greatly missed. My sympathy goes to every single member of her wonderful family she loved so much. Thank you, dear Lotti, for your compassion and Love.

Johnese Burtram

August 12, 2020

Rejoicing in Sis Lottie's home going.
Praying for her many family members who are grieving today.

Lottie was a wonderful example of a Christian lady. Ken and I have have great memories of our connections with her. She is welcomed in heaven and greatly missed here on earth. Heaven is richer and we are the poorer. We have another treasure in heaven.

Looking to the day when "we all get together."
Ken and Johnese Burtram

Sue Haugen (nee Dement)

August 11, 2020

In 1995, one year after I graduated from high school in Washington, DC, Lottie was at Calvary Assembly with a Sign Language choir from Central Bible College. I shared with her that I felt the Lord was leading me into the field of Deaf education. She looked me in the eyes and said firmly. "And what are you doing about it?"
She suggested I talk with Dr. Elstad, who was President of Gallaudet College at that time. As a result of that conversation with Lottie, and the advice from Dr. Elstad, I continued my education to become a teacher.
For the past 60 years I have worked at two State schools for the Deaf, served as a DVR Counselor, worked as a Sign Language Interpreter for over 40 years.
I currently work as an Independent Living Specialist with people who are Deaf.
Lottie was always an inspiration to me -- in my work with Deaf people, but also as a prime example of a Godly lady!!
Only in Heaven will we see the results of her life!!

Eunice Foster Lee

August 11, 2020

I first met Lottie Riekehof at Central Bible College in the Fall of 1958. I was a new student and she was the Dean of Women. She also became my sign language teacher. We have remained friends throughout the years. Little did I know I would be involved with the deaf for the remainder of my life. I always considered her my "other mother." I was priviledged to meet some of the children she adopted for various countries.

My deepest sympathies to all the remaining family members. I know Lottie Riekehof is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior.


Jerome Meadows

August 11, 2020

Dr.Riekehof was the amazing woman who saw something in me.back in 1976. She accepted me into her ITP at Gallaudet. Since then I have been a successful Healthcare Interpreter. I owe it all to Dr Reikehof. My mentor and role model. May you Rest In Peace. Jerome Meadows

Dennis Marquardt

August 11, 2020

It was such a joy to serve as one of the Pastors at Arlington Assembly of God with Lottie and her ministry to the deaf. She became a dear friend and will be deeply missed. She was such a servant of God, and lent her many skills to serving others her entire life. We rejoice in her presence with the Lord, but will miss her here.

Joe Pereira

August 11, 2020

Sister Lottie Riekehof very kindly accepted to play at Silma & I wedding ceremony at Arlington A.G. on the last day of the year 1977. It was very appreciated and unforgettable to find someone who could be celebrating New Year's Eve some place else with her family and friends to join us on the most important day of our lives. We are forever grateful to her.

Randall Howard

August 10, 2020

Thank you for the many blessings you have provided over the years to Gospel Publishing House and the hearing impaired and deaf community. Your passion for The Joy of Signing should be celebrated. Enjoy your Heavenly reward!

Robin Bevers

August 9, 2020

Thank you for all your contributions and books for the hearing impaired and deaf people around the world in a time where you were our only advocate. Very little assistance was available and you helped make it possible for many to succeed in this world. God bless you and rest in Peace.

Sue Green

August 8, 2020

I was just thinking of this amazing woman as I looked at my Joy of Signing book. She was an organist and pianist at Arlington Assembly of God for many years. She often interpreted for the large deaf congregation. We attended the church for quite some time before we realized how well known and important our lovely humble organist was. Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your master!


Learn more about the Riekehof name