Dr. D. Ray Hostetter
Dr. D. Ray Hostetter, lifetime Christian Educator and beloved husband and father died on February 12th at the age of 88 at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida. He passed peacefully from complications due to Parkinson’s disease in the presence of Audrey, his treasured wife of more than 65 years.
Ray earned his doctorate in higher education from Columbia University. He devoted 30 years of service as the President of Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where he and Audrey ushered a small, denominational college into the ranks of nationally recognized, academically prominent liberal arts institutions. He was a founding board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Christian College Consortium. In addition to overseeing the education of thousands of young students in central Pennsylvania, he initiated partnerships with Temple University to bring Messiah’s programs to the urban community and with Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya to offer the first bachelor’s degree program of an accredited Christian liberal arts institution in Africa.
A fourth generation member of the Brethren in Christ Church (one of the four books he authored is titled, The Soul of the Brethren in Christ), Ray was also a vital member of the Sanibel Community Church and the Joseph United Methodist Church. Born in Refton, Pennsylvania, the son of C. N. Hostetter, Jr. and Anna Lane Hostetter, he spent the past 20 years as a resident of Sanibel, Florida and part-time resident of Wallowa County, Oregon. In addition to his wife Audrey, he is survived by his brother and sister-in-law C. Nelson and Esther Hostetter of Lancaster County, his sisters-in-law June Hostetter and Dorothy Damon, and is pre-deceased by brothers Lane and Glenn. His children are son D. Rahn and wife Rebecca Hostetter of Joseph, Oregon and son Curt Hostetter and wife Hoffy Steingrimsdottir of New York City. He has six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
A service celebrating Ray’s life will be held at Sanibel Community Church on February 27th at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya. www.DaystarUS.org.
D. Ray Hostetter’s life was composed of Faith, Vision and Promise. He fulfilled them with humility, integrity and strength. With his passing we mourn our loss and celebrate Heaven’s increase.