(Jan. 19, 1920-Jun. 20, 2009). Born in Indianapolis and raised in Crawfordsville, Ristine graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wabash College in 1941. After graduating from Columbia University Law School, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and was honorably discharged as a captain in 1946. Later that year, he married Lou Durrett of Wichita Falls, Texas, and began his legal career with Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis.

Ristine moved his family to Crawfordsville to practice law there in 1948 and was elected to the Indiana State Senate in 1950, serving through 1960, when he was elected lieutenant governor. In 1964, he was the Republican candidate for governor. For his 14 years in public office, he is particularly remembered for his 1963 tie-breaking vote as president of the senate, which resulted in Indiana’s first sales tax.

After serving as president of Elston Bank in Crawfordsville from 1965 to 1967, Ristine held senior management positions with L.S. Ayres & Co. and moved to Indianapolis in 1970. In 1972, he joined The Lilly Endowment as vice president of community development and retired as executive vice president in 1982.

Ristine’s board service included chairing the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Meridian Mutual Insurance Co., the Indiana Historical Society, the State Board of Mental Health, and the Association of Mental Health. He also served as vice chairman of the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Historic Landmarks Foundation and was an elder of Second Presbyterian Church.

Six Republican and four Democrat Indiana governors (starting with George Craig, whose term began in 1953, and ending with Mitch Daniels, who served in the office from 2005 to 2013) named Ristine a Sagamore of the Wabash for his service to the state.

Revised February 2022

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