Feb. 16, 1926 - April 20, 2013
GOSHEN — Ray Keim, 87, died unexpectedly Saturday morning, April 20, 2013, at IU Health Goshen Hospital.
He was born Feb. 16, 1926, in Kokomo to Abraham J. and Susan (Troyer) Keim.
On June 7, 1952, in Kokomo he married Clara Elizabeth Bontrager.
She survives along with their children, Beth (Mark) Ropp of Inman, Kan., Paul (Julie) Keim of Goshen, Mark (Ron Dick) Keim of Grant’s Pass, Ore., John Keim of Goshen and David (Kelly) Keim of Berne; 13 grandchildren; and brothers-in-law Don Lukeman and Wayne Sommers.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Leona Miller, Katie Kauffman, Elsie Troyer, Susie Sommers and Ellen Lukeman; and brother Dr. Alvin Keim.
Following his graduation from Clay Township High School, Miami County in 1944, Ray volunteered to work aboard a “cattle boat” transporting more than 700 horses to Poland in December 1945 in the aftermath of World War II. This was an immensely impactful experience in which Ray found both inspiration and direction for much of his later life. Upon his return to the U.S., he resumed his formal education, graduating from Goshen College in 1955, having been ordained to Christian ministry in the Mennonite Church in 1954. He attended Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary for two years in the early 1950s and earned a master’s of social work in 1963 at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.
During his working life, Ray combined the discipline of ministry in a congregational setting with working as a psychotherapist in a variety of clinical settings. His pastoral work included ministry at East Goshen Mennonite, Pleasant View Mennonite and Howard-Miami Mennonite churches in Indiana; Trinity Mennonite and Glencroft Community churches in Arizona; and lastly, at First Mennonite, Berne, where he retired in 2004 after 50 years of ministry. He served as staff therapist at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, Goshen, and as pastoral counselor in other counseling centers in Arizona and Indiana. With his wife, Clara, he conducted many marriage enrichment retreats across the county.
Ray’s family meant a lot to him, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed conversation with many people. He will be well-remembered by his many friends and professional acquaintances for his wonderful sense of humor. He took great pleasure and found relaxation in his later years reading theological studies and historical accounts, as well as the newspaper, especially the Sunday comics. As a pleasurable pastime, he enjoyed difficult crossword puzzles.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home. A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2013, at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Dunlap. Pastor Craig Maven, Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va., and Pastor Lloyd L. Miller, Ray’s nephew, will officiate. Cremation has taken place. Burial will be at a later date in Kokomo.
Memorial donations may be directed to Global Disciples, 315 W. James St., Lancaster, PA 17603; or Mennonite Central Committee, P.O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501.