Dr. John Earl Raber: Obituary


On Thursday, February 20, 2020, Dr. John Earl Raber went home to be with the Lord.  Dr. Raber was born in Altoona, PA on September 13, 1938 to the late George Dewey and Agnes E. Little Raber.  He is preceded in death by all of his siblings consisting of four sisters and two brothers.

Dr. Raber’s life has made an impact on this earth that has been felt far and near.  He graduated from Bucknell University and Lock Haven University then went on to the University of Georgia where he received his doctorate.  From there his passion for high school wrestling flourished.  Dr. Raber coached young men in high school and on the collegiate level.  He moved to Dahlonega, GA in the summer of 1971 and along with his precious family he brought his love for wrestling.  Dr. Raber played a direct role in establishing the Lumpkin County High School wrestling program.  He established and directed Dr. John’s Wrestling Camps that were hosted all over north Georgia.  Dr. Raber was a head wrestling official for the GHSA, NCAA, ACC, and SEC collegiate wrestling.  He recently accepted the distinguished honor as an inductee to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dr. Raber fell in love with Dahlonega, GA.  He taught Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of North Georgia.  Dr. Raber retired after 23 years of educating and coaching at the college level.  Even though he was retired he never felt detached from the college he loved.  Dr. Raber continued to show the community he loved leadership and compassion.  He served on the Dahlonega City Council, two terms as Mayor, as a Lumpkin County Commissioner, and Lumpkin County Commission Chair, and as the Director of the Regional Development Council with the State of Georgia.  Dr. Raber along with many other great men established the Cooper-Green Prayer Group that still meets faithfully every Tuesday morning to pray for the needs in the community.

Along with all the compassion that Dr. Raber had he was also determined to show kindness in any way he could.  One way that he did this was with his “bread and sweet route”.  Dr. Raber picked up and delivered sweets and bread to various places dear to his heart such as the Rainbow Children’s Home, the Dahlonega Homeless Shelter, the Community Helping Place, and the NOA Women’s Shelter.

Survivors include his daughter Daina Raber, El Cajon, CA; sons and daughters-in-law Gregory and Lisa Raber, Dahlonega, Brian and Lynn Raber, Greenville, S.C., and Michael and Laura Raber, Dahlonega; grandchildren Easton Bajsec (Scott), Tate Justus, Jordan Moore (Jeremy), Keaton Raber, Caitlyn Raber, Lucas Raber, Daniel Wiggley (Jennifer), and Jessica Roberts (Brad); nine great-grandchildren; and his fiancé Juanita Tipton, Dahlonega.

Dr. Raber’s wishes were to be cremated and rather than having a single service to remember him by his wishes were that he be remembered every time a wrestling mat is pounded, and every time a kind deed is done in the town that he loved, Dahlonega, GA.

In lieu of flowers or gifts the family requests that contributions be made to the Community Helping Place, P.O. Box 712, Dahlonega, GA  30533.

To share a memory of Dr. Raber or a condolence with the family visit andersonunderwood.com.

Anderson-Underwood Funeral Home of Dahlonega

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