Tag Archives: Otto Bost

Raymond Morris Bost

Many thanks to all who have contacted me with condolences after the death of my father, Raymond Morris Bost.

Raymond Morris Bost was born on August 18, 1925. He would have been 92 years old today.

We had a memorial service for him on Wednesday, August 16. Later that afternoon my family gathered to bury his ashes along with my mom’s ashes in the small-town cemetery where my grandparents are buried.

My mom died in January. She and my dad were laid to rest together on what would have been their 70th wedding anniversary.

For those who’ve been asking for details about the life of Raymond Morris Bost, I thought I’d share the obituary and a feature article, both published in North Carolina in the Hickory Daily Record:

Bost, Raymond

August 13, 2017

Raymond Morris Bost
Raymond Morris Bost (1925-2017)

HICKORY Raymond Morris Bost, 91, seventh President of Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC, brought to everlasting life through Christ, was claimed by death on Monday, July 10th, 2017 at Kingston Residence of Hickory.

Born near Maiden in southern Catawba County on August 18th, 1925, he was the son of the late Loy Robert Bost, Sr., and Virginia Anderson Bost. He was the grandson of Confederate veteran Morris Robley Bost and was himself a veteran of military service in World War II.

Dr. Bost attended high school at Happy Valley and Maiden High School and graduated at Latta, SC before enrolling at the The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Following his freshman year, he spent a summer in highway construction work before entering the United States Marine Corps. His Marine duties included serving as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island and as a Radar Operator in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater where he earned a battle star at Okinawa.

Following his discharge from the Marines, Dr. Bost enrolled as a day student at Lenoir-Rhyne College, where he earned the A.B. degree with a major in History. He then enrolled at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, where he earned the first degree in theology, and as a Senior, was named Manager of the Seminary Bookstore.

Ordained by the North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC, in 1952, his first call was to Nativity Lutheran Church, Spartanburg, SC. His second call was to Raleigh, NC where he served as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Campus Pastor at NC State University and Meredith College for the National Lutheran Council.

Accepting the invitation of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC, to prepare himself for teaching responsibilities, Bost enrolled in Yale University, where he earned both a Master’s and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, the latter being in Religion with a concentration in Church History. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Rev. John Bachman of Charleston, SC, distinguished churchman and naturalist.

In 1960 he began his service as a Professor of Church History and Director of Field Education at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. His educational ministry continued there until he was selected in 1966 by President Voigt R. Cromer to serve as the first full-time Academic Dean at Lenoir-Rhyne College. When health concerns prompted the retirement of Dr. Cromer, Bost succeeded Cromer, at first as interim President, and then in 1968 as President, his inauguration taking place in November. While at Lenoir-Rhyne, President Bost also served as President of the Piedmont University Center of North Carolina, an educational consortium then based at Reynolda House in Winston-Salem. He also headed the Independent College Fund of North Carolina.

As the nation celebrated its bicentennial in 1976, Bost was chosen to lead the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia as its President. While there, he also served on his denomination’s Board of Publication, which named him its Vice President. He was a participant in the second series of theological dialogues between Lutherans and United Methodists.

In 1985, Bost accepted the invitation of Bishop Michael C.D. McDaniel to fill the post of Synod Historian for the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. This assignment included a plan to publish three historical volumes for the Synod, a narrative history, a volume of biographical sketches of clergy who have served in the Synod, and a volume of sketches of the individual congregations that have held membership in the Synod. The first, “All One Body”, was co-authored by Bost and Jeff L. Norris and published in 1994. The second, “Life Sketches of Lutheran Clergy, North Carolina Synod”, was published at the end of 2001, and the third volume was to be historical sketches of the Synod’s congregations.

Newberry College, Newberry, SC, whose Board of Trustees was chaired by former Hickory resident the Rev. Dr. John L. Yost, Jr., drew Dr. Bost back into administration in higher education in 1987. Stints as Academic Dean and Director of Newberry College’s Center for Ethical Development were followed by his being named President of the College and, finally in 1995, President Emeritus.

Publications including articles, chapters, and essays produced by Dr. Bost include “Christian Unity in North America” edited by J. Robert Nelson (1958), “A History of the Lutheran Church in South Carolina” (1971), “Essays and Reports of the Lutheran Historical Conference” (1974, 1980), ” A Truly Efficient School of Theology” (1981), and the “Lutheran Quarterly” (1988, 1989). In 1994 Bost edited “Lutheranism with a Southern Accent”.

In retirement, Bost continued his involvement in the life of the Church. He was a Trustee of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and on the Board for the ELCA’s Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries. He served as Interim Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Stanley, NC and chaired the NC Synod’s Committee of Historical Work. He was named Archivist of the NC Synod and served on the Board of Directors for the James R. Crumley, Jr. Archives in Columbia, SC.

In retirement, he also served as a part-time Development Associate for the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which in 2009 bestowed on him its most prestigious non-academic award, naming him to receive its John Bachman Award. Among other honors coming to him were listings in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” (1949), “Dictionary of American Scholars” (5th ed.), “Dictionary of International Biography” (vol.16), and “Who’s Who in America” (37th ed.). Lenoir-Rhyne awarded him an honorary doctorate, and its Alumni Association bestowed on him its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Married to Margaret Vedder Bost, formerly of Hartford, CT, who preceded him in death in January 2017, Dr. Bost leaves two sons; Timothy Lee Bost and wife Patricia Taylor of Palmetto, FL and Peter Raymond Bost of Hickory; a daughter, Penelope Ruth Bost Schrum and husband Danny of Lincolnton, NC. A third son, Jonathan Otto Bost of Bethlehem, PA, also preceded him in death. Survivors also include eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and three nephews.

A Service of Memorial Thanksgiving will be held at 1:00pm, Wed., Aug. 16, 2017, at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 629 8th St. NE, Hickory. Memorials may be made to James R. Crumley, Jr. Archives, 4201 N. Main St., Columbia, SC 29203, and Raymond M. Bost Distinguished Professor Endowment, Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Please sign the online guestbook at www.jenkinsfuneralhome.net. The Bost family has entrusted arrangements to Jenkins Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Newton, 828-464-1555.

Former Lenoir-Rhyne president remembered as good friend, father, husband

August 16, 2017 – BY JOHN BAILEY jbailey@hickoryrecord.com

HICKORY – Raymond Bost wore many hats during his 91 years – from Marine drill instructor at Parris Island to World War II veteran to student at Lenoir-Rhyne College to pastor to Lenoir-Rhyne University president, but his most important roles for those who knew him were as friend, father and husband.

Bost passed away in July just six months after his wife Margaret died, but it’s the life they lived and shared that everyone will remember. They were married for more than 69 years.

Raymond and Margaret Bost
Margaret Vedder Bost and Raymond Morris Bost on Raymond’s 90th birthday in 2015.

Their son Peter Bost said his parent’s untiring, mutual love for each other was something he and his siblings saw every day. One of his favorite stories illustrating this was during the time his mother was in hospice, and they arranged for their father to see her.

“They wheeled my dad into the room, and one of the girls working there asked him, ‘how long have you two been married?’ and my dad didn’t miss a beat and said, ‘not long enough.’”

A Service of Memorial Thanksgiving for Raymond Bost will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 629 Eighth St. NE, in Hickory.

Raymond Bost was born near Maiden in 1925. Finishing high school, he enrolled at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.  After his freshman year, he entered the United States Marine Corps where he served as a drill instructor at Parris Island and as a radar operator in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, where he earned a battle star at Okinawa, according to a Jenkins Funeral Home obituary.

Bost went on to enroll at Lenoir-Rhyne College where he earned an A.B. degree with a major in history.

Raymond and Margaret Bost Wedding
Raymond and Margaret Bost on their wedding day in 1947.

It’s also where he would meet his future wife, Margaret, from Hartford, Conn. She graduated from LR with an A.B. in English and Social Studies. The couple married in 1947.

As she grew older, Penny (Bost) Schrum said she learned to treasure the relationship her parents shared as she watched other failed marriages, hurt people, broken relationships and distraught families.

“Their love for each other never abated,” Schrum said. “It was always a priority, and it always seemed effortless.”

Education was another priority for Raymond and Margaret. She went on to teach at Maiden Elementary and the Brookford School. Raymond would pursue a degree in theology at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and in 1952 would be ordained by the North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Charlotte, N.C.

Raymond Morris Bost Lenoir-Rhyne
Raymond Morris Bost served as President of Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina.

After serving as pastor at several churches, Bost enrolled in Yale University and earned both a master’s and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in religion with a concentration in church history. Bost took his new skills back to LR where he served as the first full-time academic dean at the school.

In 1968, after serving as interim president, Bost became the seventh president for Lenoir-Rhyne, holding the office until 1976.

In 1985, Bost accepted the invitation of Bishop Michael C.D. McDaniel to fill the post of Synod Historian for the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. This assignment included a plan to publish three historical volumes for the Synod.

What always struck Tim Bost the most about his father was the way he “personally integrated” kindness and consideration for anyone he met with a strong sense of spirituality and intellectual integrity.

“I think that is a very rare combination,” Tim said. “To find somebody with that kind of intellect who is not at all haughty about it but always used it as an underpinning of his desire to connect with other people in a very genuine and caring way.”

This combination of personality traits has inspired him his whole life.

He also appreciated his parents’ ethical concerns and their ability of maintaining high standards which was always done by example.

In the early days of the Civil Rights movements, Tim Bost remembers his father taking the family to stores with lunch counters during desegregation in South Carolina to support the movement.

“That was typical of him, that willingness to become a living demonstration of what he thought was good, true and beautiful,” Tim said.

His father’s patience was something else Peter Bost always remembered.

“There were occasions I recall when he would be in a situation where if it were me, I would be extremely upset with someone, and he was never upset with that person or never showed that he was upset,” Peter said. “He always reached out to people in a loving manner, and I think that was just a wonderful example.”

It was an example he spent his life trying to emulate, how to get along and communicate with others.

Penny (Bost) Schrum said along with his patience her father had many “good traits,” including his scholarship and integrity that she used as a model for her own life.

“I think one of the things I admired most about him was the fact that he made everybody feel at ease,” Schrum said. “It didn’t matter if they shared his same experiences in terms of places he lived or educational level or anything like that.

“He was just a genuine person who could communicate with anybody and make them feel like they were the most important person in that conversation.”

“I know that many people tend to say and feel that their parents are the world’s best parents,” Peter said. “I don’t know whether I would be that presumptuous, but I do know that for me personally, I absolutely had the best parents I could ever have hoped for.”

Raymond and Margaret Bost were survived by two sons; Timothy Lee Bost and wife Patricia Taylor of Palmetto, Fla. and Peter Raymond Bost of Hickory; a daughter, Penelope Ruth Bost Schrum and husband Danny of Lincolnton. A third son, Jonathan Otto Bost of Bethlehem, Penn., also preceded them in death.

Survivors also include eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren and three nephews.

Saying Goodbye To My Brother

I’ve been saying goodbye to a loved one, and I’m feeling really tired.

Part of my fatigue is no doubt due to an intense travel schedule during the past week – I flew to Pennsylvania to help conduct a memorial service for my youngest brother Otto. That meant I had to deal with the usual stresses of airline security, crowded airports, and inconvenient timing.

I had a late connection coming back home to Florida. My Uber driver dropped me off at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

I’m still trying to get back onto a regular sleep schedule. That has added to my weariness as well.

But on top of that, I’ve been getting a first-hand understanding of just how physically exhausting grief can be. It’s really taken me by surprise.

A Sudden Departure

The biggest surprise of all, though, was the fact that Otto died in the first place. He passed away suddenly on July 26, while he was vacationing in the North Carolina mountains. With him were his three adult children, his daughter-in-law, and his granddaughter, who will be 2 years old in October.

The day before he died, the whole crew took a day trip to visit with our parents, who are both in their early 90’s. Our other two siblings joined them there. It was a great family gathering.

It was also a wonderful opportunity for saying goodbye, although nobody knew that’s what they were doing at the time.

I missed that occasion, however. So I was glad that I had a chance to go deliver the eulogy at Otto’s memorial service last Sunday in Pennsylvania. He and I had been really close, even though I was 12 older than him and even though we spent most of our years widely separated by geography.

Otto Bost - Saying Goodbye
J. Otto Bost –  August 27, 1960 – July 26, 2016

It was truly rewarding for me to be so closely united with him, and to be a part of the final celebration of his life as we were saying goodbye to Otto.

It was also good to get better acquainted with my niece and nephews. With their Dad gone now, I’m sure we’ll find a need for stronger connections in future years.

An Excuse To Slow Down

And in a way I’m also grateful for the grief and the fatigue. They’ve slowed me down a bit. In the process I’ve found a much-needed opportunity for quiet reflection. I’ve been thinking about Otto, of course, but also about family and love and the remarkable comfort of the cycles in our lives.

As we were saying goodbye during the memorial service, Otto’s son Steven read aloud some verses from the great astrological book of Ecclesiastes. They keep running through my mind:

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. . . .”