Hans Olav Riddervold, MD

Class Year



Posted on: July 28, 2022

Hans Olav Riddervold died peacefully on July 14, 2022, in Oslo, Norway, surrounded by his family.

Son of Julius and Rina Riddervold, Dr. Riddervold was born on February 21, 1923, in Kirkenes, Norway. Shortly thereafter, the family moved south to Sauda, Norway where they lived when World War II broke out on April 9, 1940, the day that Germany invaded Norway. Throughout this ordeal, he experienced the loss of many colleagues and friends to the enemy, and barely escaped himself after a brief imprisonment by the Germans. Eventually, after hiding in a cabin near the Swedish border, he was able to enter Sweden using a fake passport and then make his way to Britain. Dr. Riddervold was in Edinburgh when the peace finally came to Norway on May 7, 1945. He travelled home to Norway on a troop transport ship from the port city of Glasgow with two destroyers escorting them on the journey over to Norway. When the ship came up the Vestfjord into Tjeldsundet above the Arctic Circle, he was ecstatic to see Norwegian flags flying on both sides of the fjord. Dr. Riddervold’s love for his homeland was reflected in his signature, which ended with the words “Everything for Norway.” This was a slogan the occupying Nazis had banned. Writing or uttering these words would lead to imprisonment, but Dr. Riddervold never wavered in his defiance of the Nazi tyranny.

In 1951, Dr. Riddervold received his degree in medicine from the University of Oslo and soon travelled to Korea to serve as a field doctor during the Korean War. When Dr. Riddervold returned to Norway, he worked at Lovisenberg Hospital in Oslo where he furthered his education in radiology. In 1956 he was sent to Suez as a field doctor during the Suez crisis before returning to Norway to serve as chief physician in Hammerfest above the Arctic Circle. In 1959 he returned to Korea and worked at a university hospital the Scandinavians had established in Seoul. Following this time in Korea, he returned to Sauda, Norway and became head of the radiology department. In 1967 he moved to Charlottesville, Va., with his wife, Sigrid Anna Margareta (Anna Greta), and their two young boys, Julius and Leif. In Charlottesville, he worked as a radiologist at the University of Virginia, specializing in hard to detect fractures. A daughter, AnnaMaria, was born in Charlottesville in 1968 securing three kids born on three different continents. Dr. Riddervold established the Norwegian-Virginian Radiological Society which for years has facilitated the exchange of radiologists between the UVA Medical Center and Norway. Dr. Riddervold continued to work at his beloved UVA until his 85th birthday in 2008.

In addition to his life as a radiologist, Dr. Riddervold was fond of good wine. In the late 1970s he planned a small vineyard on the farm they owned in Keswick, Va. The first vines were planted in 1980 and eventually grew to just over 12 acres of grapes on the property aptly named Vinland, after the name given to the New World by the Vikings when they first set foot in North America. Several award-winning wines were produced from the grapes grown at Vinland, and Dr. Riddervold established himself as one of the pioneers of the Virginia Wine Industry.

In the summer of 2018, Dr. Riddervold and Anna Greta returned home to Norway to live with their daughter, AnnaMaria Riddervold Nordin, and her husband, Lars Fredrik Riddervold Nordin.

Dr. Riddervold is survived by his wife, Anna Greta, daughters, Hanna Riddervold, Kirsten Riddervold, Kari Riddervold, Anna Maria Riddervold Nordin, sons, Julius Riddervold and Leif Riddervold, 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

You can read more about Dr. Riddervold here.