Nevin Willard Raber

July 18, 1918February 6, 2019

Nevin Willard Raber, Jr. July 18, 1918-February 6, 2019

Nevin Willard Raber, Jr., a resident at the Meadowood Retirement Community died February 6, 2019 at IU Health Hospice.

Nevin was born at home in Fowlerton (Grant County), IN, son of Nevin Willard Raber, Sr. and Ida (Decker) Raber. In 1929 the family moved to Santa Fe (Miami County), IN where his father was assigned as agent for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and the family residence was the living quarters of the railway station. He graduated from the Butler Township High School after attending the one-room Santa Fe grade school. Following graduation, he attended International College in Fort Wayne, IN where he received a diploma in General Business. Shortly thereafter he was employed by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway as a telegraph operator and station agent. He continued working at most of the stations between Chicago and Cincinnati during summer and holiday vacations while attending Purdue University.

At Purdue, his major studies were General Sciences, English Literature and History. As an ROTC Cadet he attained the rank of Cadet Colonel, selected to be a member of Scabbard & Blade, was awarded the Purdue Order of Military Merit and won the Albert Smith Tactical Competition prize saber. Also, as a member of the Inter-Collegiate pistol team he was awarded a “Block P” letter. Nevin was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Field Artillery upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1942. He was a Phi Kappa Tau fraternity member where he served as the Chapter Treasurer.

Nevin met Dorothy Lockman while they were students at Purdue University. After graduation, Nevin was called to duty with the US Army, and Dorothy was awarded a Dietetics Internship at the Indiana University Medical Center hospitals. They married in 1943, and their children, Nevin Douglas (Jessica) Raber and Ann (Charles) Dobbs of Bloomington, IN, and granddaughter Hannah (Matthew) Cummings, great-grandson Oscar Nevin Cummings, and grandson Jonathan Nevin Dobbs survive. After 71 years of loving marriage Dorothy died in 2014.

During WWII, Nevin was stationed at various camps in the US with different medium and heavy field artillery battalions, and was sent to the Philippine Islands in 1945. Upon his return in 1946, he reverted to Reserve status and was assigned to various artillery units until 1962 when he was transferred to The Adjutant General Corps and assigned to the AGC School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison. He retired from the Army in 1978 with the rank of Major.

After the war, Nevin entered the Graduate School at Indiana University with a goal of becoming a diplomatic historian. He completed the course work for a Master’s degree, but left in 1947 without completing a thesis. Relying on his experience as a railway agent, he secured a position in the Traffic Department of the Wm. H. Block Co. in Indianapolis. While employed he completed a course in Traffic Management at Butler University and was inducted into the professional fraternity, Delta Nu Alpha. Three years later he was offered a position with the Indianapolis Public Library, Business Branch and began his career as a Librarian.

Since future advancement required a library degree, Nevin returned to Indiana University, re-enrolled in the Graduate School and entered the Library Science program. While completing the library science degree requirements, he also finished his history thesis. In 1952 he was awarded Master of Arts Degrees in both History and Library Science, and returned to the Indianapolis Public Library as Head of the Business Branch. In 1957, he was promoted to Assistant Director of the Indianapolis Public Library system. In 1962, Nevin was offered the position as Head of the Business Library at Indiana University which he accepted. He was appointed to the faculty as Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Kelley School of Business, and as Business Librarian in the University Libraries. He retired in 1983 and was awarded Emeritus status on both faculties.

During his library career Nevin was a member of the American Library Association, the Indiana Library Federation and the Special Libraries Association and its Indiana Chapter. He served a term as President of the SLA Indiana Chapter, and on numerous committees in the other organizations. He was involved in the design or re-modeling of a number of libraries and was a consultant for library operation and interior layout.

Visitation for Mr. Raber will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 1-3 p.m. with a private family service at 3:00 p.m. in Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home, 4150 E. Third St., Bloomington, Indiana, 47401.

Memorial contributions may be made to the libraries of Indiana University, Purdue University or Monroe County.

Online condolences may be made to the family at


  • Visitation Saturday, February 9, 2019

Nevin Willard Raber

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Mary Popp

February 9, 2019

Mr. Raber was a fixture in the IU Libraries through all the years he worked there and he was always kind to and patient with those of us who were junior or new. His quiet demeanor hid a fierce intelligence ans well as both warmth and a nice sense of humor; I enjoyed being his colleague. Sending condolences and warm thoughts to his family. He was one of a kind.

J. Blue Davis, DDS

February 8, 2019

I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of such a gentle sole. It was an honor and pleasure to know Mr. Raber in the last almost 8 years. I enjoyed his stories(upon asking) and hearing of some of his history. - Most of which I now, after reading his amazing obituary, wasn’t privy to. God bless Nevin and god bless all of you who will feel his absence. I really enjoyed my short time I had knowing him on this earth. -Blue

Mark Sieber

February 8, 2019

I am sorry to hear of his passing, and wish Doug and all the family peace. As a longtime neighbor of the Rabers in my youth, I have warm memories of the family. "Mr. Raber" would be out working in the yard and would wave as I walked by.

Nancy Dalrymple

February 8, 2019

Dottie was a member of our bridge group and Nevin came to our Christmas dinners with Dottie at which time strange, funny, tasteless gifts were chosen from an assortment gathered at garage sales throughout the year. At first Nevin was a bit reserved about this but I remember his hearty laugh as he got into the spirit. He and Dottie had a long, loving relationship and may they both now be together in love and peace.