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Library Director, Josephine Raeppel, 1945-1972: Home

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Dr. Josephine Raeppel Passes Away

Albright lost a dedicated Albrightian with the death of Josephine Raeppel on August 2, 1974. Below is the eulogy given by Dr. Arthur L. Schultz, Albright's president at the memorial service for Dr. Raeppel.

Born in Rochester, New York, August 22, 1903,  she grew up in that city and graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also received a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Library Science from Columbia University; a Master of Arts degree from New York University; and, in 1955, a Doctor of Education degrees from Oregon State University.

Dr. Raeppel came to Albright in 1945 as Librarian and served with distinction in this position for 27 years before retiring in June, 1972. She was formerly Librarian of the Bergenfield, New Jersey, Junior-Senior High School and a member of the Library staff at the University of Rochester and the Union Theological Seminary, New York City.

Apart from her work at Albright, Dr. Raeppel was instrumental over the years in organizing several libraries and taught Library Science and Literature courses on other campuses. As a librarian for the YMCA in 1942-43, she helped select books for six million war prisoners.

She was professionally affilated with numerous organizations and was an active member of the American Association of University Women, American Association of University Professors, Secretary-Treasurer of the Albright College Chapter of AAUP, former President of the Altrusa Club of Reading and currently served as President of the Albright College Women's Auxillary.

Dr. Raeppel traveled widely throughout this country and Europe. Through the years she found additional time to study seven foreign languages, read extensively and play the piano for her own enjoyment.

She was truly a remarkable individual and those of us who are here this afternoon along with scores of other colleagues, former students and friends who are on vacation or live away from here -- All of us had a love and concern and fondness for Josie Raeppel. We told her so two years ago on May 23, 1972 in a Recognition Dinner. She was most appreciative of the gift and testimonial received at that Recognition Dinner.

Dr. Raeppel continued to render valuable services to Albright College during her retirement by serving as President of of the Albright College Women's Auxiliary. Her unique sense of humor, quiet manner, sincere, wholesome personality,elicited the cooperation and loyalty of women in the Auxiliary. During these summer months, she was well aware of the appreciation and esteem in which she was held, as many of us expressed verbally and in written form our appreciation of her concerns and interest in Albright and as a genuine friend and colleague.

You could summarize the distinguished life of Dr. Raeppel in three words of courage, conviction and consecration.

She had courage of heart and spirit. She was not afraid to stand by her conviction of right and wrong. She was not afraid to stand alone for what she knew to be God's truth and God's will.

She was so unusual. Her sense of humor will never be forgotten. Her loyalty and affection for her staff and colleagues, will likewise never be forgotten. She was gentle with the weak and young and broken, but could be very stern when a courageous stand or strong conviction was necessary.

She could be a saint. Westcott says "The mark of a saint is not perfection, but consecration. A saint is not an individual without faults, but an individual who has given himself without reserve to God."

Among all of the tasks of life and opportunities she faced, Josie Raeppel relied upon the resources of God, her creator and sustainer. Even during illness and pain, she had control of herself because she knew that her life was in the hands of God.

What this world needs today is more individuals of courage, conviction and consecration such as our dear friend Josephine Raeppel. She accomplished a lot during her lifetime but was not able to finish everything. And you and I shall not finish things either, but we can make them better and thus carry on the tasks and concerns of our friend and colleague who has inherited eternal life.

Source: The Bulletin of Albright College, September 1974