Lore Melitta Raether, 96, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at Lightways Hospice in Joliet, Illinois on January 10, 2024. She was born on September 13, 1927 in Landsberg/Warthe, Germany (now Poland), the third of seven children of Gottfried and Margarete Goetze.
Lore earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Bonn, specializing in child psychology. She worked as part of a research team sponsored by the German Department of Health, to follow the development of children born around the time of WWII. The results were published in many books and reports from 1954-1968.
She married Manfred Raether, on July 30,1956 in Bad Godesberg, Germany. In 1958, rather than pursue a doctoral degree, she immigrated to the United States with her husband. They eventually settled at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and she devoted herself to raising their two children, Gerhard and Helmut.
She pursued a wide variety of interests. She studied the Japanese art of Ikebana (flower arrangement) with Shozo Sato. She was chairman of the Children’s Theater, where she created puppet shows. She loved baroque and older music, and played recorder, harpsichord, and viola da gamba. She was a member of the recorder group “Prairie Winds”, the American Recorder Society, the Viola da Gamba Society, and the Cioffi Players. She was a passionate member of the Social Science Club, where she gave numerous presentations on different subjects, and eventually served as President.
Lore and her husband, Manfred, loved to travel. They mainly visited Western Europe, especially their favorite city, Vienna, Austria. They lived in Japan for 6 months during Manfred’s sabbatical and later visited several countries in Asia. In later years they discovered cruising, passing through the Panama Canal, sailing around Cape Horn, taking a transatlantic cruise to the Mediterranean, and exploring Scandinavia and Russia. Because of her extensive travels, Lore developed a passion for other cultures, especially the Japanese.
Lore was not hesitant to dive into hot topics around politics and religion. She had strong views on many subjects and was not afraid to express her opinions. She remained active even in the later years of her life and loved long walks in nature.
After living in Champaign-Urbana for most of her life, last year she moved to Willow Falls Senior Living, in Crest Hill, Illinois to be close to her son, Helmut.
Preceding her in death is her beloved husband, Manfred. Surviving are two sons, Gerhard Raether (Jennifer Field) of Santa Monica, California, and Helmut Raether (Mary Lou) of Shorewood, Illinois, as well as two grandchildren, Kirsten Raether and Jason Raether.
The family will have a private memorial service at a future date in California.