Ralph F. Raber, 90, of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, passed away Monday, June 21, 2021, at West River Health Campus in Evansville, Indiana.
He was born September 21, 1930, the son of Frederick Phillip Adam and Katherine Helena (Pfeiffer) Raber in Evansville, Indiana. Ralph graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in the Class of 1948, proudly served in the U.S. Army (starting in the Illinois National Guard) and attended Eastern Illinois University. While at Eastern, he met his future wife. On April 15, 1956, Ralph married Hazel Jean Reinders at Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. They made their residence in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. She preceded him in death on March 10, 2020, after 63 years of marriage.
Ralph played for the Independent Baseball League in Georgia. During spring training in Florida, Ralph came down with the mumps. He was assigned Dr. Ty Cobb, Jr. as his doctor. In 1950, Ralph tried out for the Philadelphia Phillies Farm League. He received a C-Contract in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
After Ralph’s stent with baseball, he returned to Mt. Carmel and farmed the rest of his life. He was a 63-year member of the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, serving as Deacon. For 43 years, Ralph served on the Wabash County Housing Authority Board, being Chairman from 1973 until 2011 for a total of 38 years. He was a member of the Wabash County Farm Bureau, serving six years as President; Land of Lincoln Soybean Association, serving three years as State President; Illinois Soybean Operating Board for six years; and, the American Soybean Board for seven years, serving two years as Vice President. Ralph was Past Commander of American Legion Post #423.
Left to cherish Ralph’s memory is his sons, Mike (Cathy) Raber, Tim (Davi) Raber and Jeff (Susan) Raber; grandchildren, Ryan (Erin) Raber, Abby (Craig) Watson, Gabe Raber, Nick (Kayla) Raber, Audrey (Ben Woodard); great grandchildren, Bo, Eli and Emalyn Raber, and Zoey Watson; and cousin, Richard Raber.
Ralph is preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
Ralph’s family would like to extend a special thanks to their friends Don and Brenda Bosecker and the caring staff of West River Health Campus and Deaconess Home Hospice Services.
Friends and family are welcome to attend visitation Thursday, June 24, 2021, from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Short Funeral Home (527 N. Mulberry Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois). The funeral service will be held Friday, June 25, 2021, at Short Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Cemetery (1827 College Drive).
Memorials can be made to the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ or Heartland Worship Center. Envelopes will be available at Short Funeral Home.
Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the Raber family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph F. Raber, please visit our floral store.
First Christian Church Disciples of Christ
8th and Market Streets, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Heartland Worship Center
212 W 2nd Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863