Raymond Keefer Roof, age 93, of St. Thomas, Pennsylvania, died on Monday, January 7, 2013 at the Village of Laurel Run, Fayetteville, PA. He was born August 30, 1919 in Chambersburg, PA, the son of Robert Roof and Sarah Stickell Roof. He was the widower of Mabel Robison Roof, who died in May of 1999. They were married on February 23, 1946 in Steelton, PA. They made their home, and raised their children in Kauffman Station before moving to St. Thomas.
He spent his formative years from age 5 until 18 years of age in the Milton Wright Orphanage, Kauffman Station, PA.
He joined the U.S. Army on March 17, 1939. In August of 1942 he was one of 20,000 American troops to board the HMS Queen Mary in New York City for combat in Europe. After training in England he and his unit were part of the invasion of North Africa on November 8, 1942. He served as a staff sergeant with mortar platoon, Company H, 18th Regiment of 1st Infantry Divistion, affectionately called Big Red 1. He endured combat and contact with the enemy in Algeria for 3 days, Tunisia for 132 days and Sicily for 39 days.
He survived a blast that killed 2 of his fellow soldiers. His left arm and hand were severely maimed. After being hospitalized, he was assigned to operate and oversee the camps where thousands of German and Italian prisoners of war were housed. He remained with the POW battalion in Africa for the remainder of the war in Europe. After the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945, it was determined that he had accumulated enough points to go home. He was discharged after having served seven years and two months in the army.
For 28 years he worked as a demolition foreman at Letterkenny Army Depot. His job involved safely exploding ammunition that had never been used in combat. He later became supervisor and retired with 36 years of service.
He was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the second highest service and medal provided to employees within agencies of the federal government of the United States.
He was an active member of various clubs and organizations. He was a Charter Member of the Kauffman Ruritan Club. He was a member of Marion First United Methodist Church of Marion, PA.
He is survived by one son, Douglas Raymond (husband of Nancy) Roof of Carlisle, PA, two daughters, Linda Kay Reed of Fayetteville, PA and Jill Ann Roof Hinkle of Katy, Texas. He has four grandchildren: Wendy (wife of Kelly) Rollyson of Chambersburg, PA, Bradley (husband of Tracy) Hare of Orrstown, Rene Hare of Fayetteville, PA, and David Joseph Hinkle of Katy, Texas. There are five great-grandchildren: Charles Propper, Chambersburg, Travis Edgar, Monterey, CA, Trevor Edgar, Chambersburg and Kyla and Kendra Hare of Orrstown, and one great-great grandchild, Ava Propper of Chambersburg. Also surviving is his friend, Lula Clark of Greencastle, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by four brothers and two sisters.
The family wishes to thank his long time caregiver, Lori Cook of Willow Hill for her love and excellent care that she extended to Raymond. Additionally the family thanks his more recent caregivers, Diane Massingill and Carol Ramsey for their excellent care.
He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved his country and was very proud of his service to his country. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and current events. He spent many happy times with his family at his hunting camp in Waterfall, PA.
Services will be held on Friday, January, 11, 2013 in the Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home, 725 Norland Ave., Chambersburg, PA. Visitation will be from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. The service will be conducted at 11:00 AM with his pastor Chris Renner officiating. Burial will be in Norland Cemetery, Chambersburg with full military honors provided by the Honor Guard of Post 1599 VFW in Chambersburg. Memorial contributions may be made to his church, Marion First United Methodist Church, 94 Colorado Street, Marion, Pa. 17235.