Milson C. Raver dies led Md. teachers group


April 14, 1991

Services for Milson C. Raver, who led the Maryland Stat Teachers Association through 30 years of growth in membership and political might, will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Emory United Methodist Church, 1600 Emory Road, Upperco.

Mr. Raver died Friday on the family farm straddling the border of Carroll and Baltimore counties where he was born 81 years ago. He had been in ill health.

He became the first executive secretary of the MSTA in 1944 and was a leader in its racial integration three years before the court-ordered desegregation of public schools.

A 1926 graduate of Franklin High School in Reisterstown, Mr. Raver received his bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering in 1930.

Mr. Raver taught geology and physics at Western Maryland College in Westminster, becoming its director of public relations.

It was there that Mr. Raver was recruited by officials in the field of public education to take over the day-to-day operation of the teachers association where he worked to improve teachers' education, wages and benefits.

He believed in equality of education, pushed for the integration of Maryland schools, more money for education and led the battle that won the right of collective bargaining for public employees.

Mr. Raver became a familiar figure in Annapolis, where the MSTA became one of the state's strongest lobbying forces.

In a 1974 interview, Mr. Raver recalled how the late Republican Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin "vetoed every bill we ever passed. . . so we fell into the pattern of passing every bill twice, once through the legislature, then over his veto."

Mr. Raver fought unsuccessfully in 1949 against enactment of Maryland's Subversive Activities Act -- a law requiring loyalty oaths of public employees, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967.

After retiring in 1974, Mr. Raver began working for the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Fowblesburg and was named its president in 1978. He remained on the board of directors until his death.

He was an active member of the Emory Methodist Church and its cemetery corporation, and a major participant in the building of the Carroll County General Hospital.

In 1966, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of pedagogy by Western Maryland College.

Over the years, he enjoyed writing about education and politics, and loved music, photography, roses, his farm and traveling.

Mr. Raver is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Kathleen Moore; two sons, M. Carroll Raver Jr. of New York City and James Moore Raver of Cumberland; two daughters, Martha Raver Carlson of Sandwich, N.H., and Anne Raver of St. James, N.Y.; a brother, Robert F. Raver of Baltimore; and 10 grandchildren.

The family suggested donations to Western Maryland College or Emory United Methodist Church.

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