Chester A. (Chet) Raber, 93, of Lititz, Pa., died Oct. 10, 2022. He lived at Luther Acres retirement community. He was born July 21, 1929.
He and Gerry were married Oct. 13, 1951. She was the love of his life. His greatest joy was tandem biking with Gerry, which they did from ages 40 to 80, with numerous trips to Europe and national parks in the United States. Under Gerry’s guidance, he came to love classical music and opera.
He had two careers. The first was as chaplain and therapist at three psychiatric institutions. During this time, he became interested in organizational development. He created a “people” management system. Many organizations adopted this system, which taught people to be fully engaged as teams. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College in Indiana and two master’s degrees plus a doctorate in psychology of religion at Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
He inspired friends through direct and engaging dialogue. He constantly encouraged those he met in work and church settings. He was hopeful about the future because he believed that people are basically good and that when they do harmful deeds it is because of fear and ignorance. He read extensively and was always ready for a discussion about the past and the future of humankind. He authored several books. He volunteered his time and intellect with many not-for-profit organizations and was the founder of several, including Welcoming Dialogue of Lancaster County, a group supporting gay and lesbian people.
He believed that human history is best understood as being the story of gradual and continuous development from adolescence into maturity, resulting in peace, prosperity and creativity for all.
Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Gerry; a daughter, Kris (Kevin) Holsopple of Los Alamos, N.M., a brother, Merrill (Boots) Raber; and two grandsons.
He was preceded in death by a son, Jon, in 2007; a daughter-in-law, Kimiko Shimazako, in 2019; and a sister, Ann Hunsberger.
He donated his body to medical research. His family and friends will celebrate his life at a future date.