Born in Holland, Mich., on December 28, 1952, son of Herbert and Jeanne Ritsema. Graduated from Maurice-Orange City High School, 1971. B.A. in mathematics (magna cum laude), Northwestern College, 1975. J.D. (with distinction), University of Iowa, 1978. Past president of Sigma Tau. In Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, 1975. House intern, 1977. Outstanding Young Man of America, 1979. Member, Reformed Church in America, Iowa State Bar Association, Sioux County Multidisciplinary Team on Child Abuse and Neglect, and past member, Confidential Records Council. Two terms in Iowa House. First term in Senate.