GOSHEN — Ray Keim, 87, died unexpectedly Saturday morning at IU Health Goshen Hospital.
He was born Feb. 16, 1926 in Kokomo, to Abraham J. and Susan (Troyer) Keim.
On June 7, 1952, he married Clara Elizabeth Bontrager in Kokomo.
She survives along with their children, Beth (Mark) Ropp, Inman, Kan., Paul (Julie) Keim, Goshen, Mark (Ron Dick) Keim, Grant’s Pass, Ore., John Keim, Goshen, and David (Kelly) Keim, 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, Ind., 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 experience had an immense impact on Ray, who found both inspiration and direction for much of his later life.
Upon his return to the United States, 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 degree in 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, they 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 past time, he enjoyed difficult crossword puzzles.
Friends may call Saturday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen.
A memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Dunlap. The Rev. Craig Maven of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va., and the Rev. 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.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.