Philip Karl Raeder, Jr.


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Philip Karl Raeder, Jr., 87, of Myrtle Beach passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 06, 2017 at Veterans Victory House Nursing Home in Walterboro, SC. He was born February 13, 1930 in Passaic, NJ, son of the late Philip Karl, Sr. and Meta Moss Raeder….

This reads the way most obituaries start, but as all lives are like novels, Philip K. Raeder’s life had many chapters filled with adventure, drama, suspense, and intrigue, along with a bit of the usual humdrum that we all experience.

He was born in NJ, but his parents returned to their native Germany until he was 8. They returned to the US and settled in East Greenbush, NY, where Philip eventually graduated from a small two-room school. After working in industry, Philip’s father started the First Albany Pork store and eventually purchased the Canterbury House Restaurant in Scotia, NY. Philip worked with his older sister, Doris (who survives him), in support of the family businesses. But he had a desire to fly, so he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1949 and trained as a radio mechanic at Scott AFB, IL. During that time he met and married Mary Ann Wilenius. He was stationed in Japan and took part in the Korean War, leaving the Air Force in December 1953 and returning to IL to attend University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign on the GI Bill. Philip and Mary Ann had three children: Lise, Pearce and Janice, and eventually returned to the Albany, New York area. Philip worked for the State of New York and even ran for County Coroner. Philip and Mary Ann divorced in 1969.

In the 1950s, Philip began and had some modest success as he raced everything from sports cars, sedans and production cars to single seat formula cars. This success included lap records at Watkins Glen in NY and a 4th at the SCCA National Championships in 1973.

Philip married Theresa Novotny, continued to race and worked as a consultant in the 1970’s and 80’s which included establishing Kubota Tractor in the northeast and selling Walter Truck Company products in the Northeast US and eventually worldwide. He retired from racing in 1975 and decided to revisit his passion for flying, gaining his private, instrument and commercial ratings and finding a convenient way to see his clients (airports) by air. He enjoyed tinkering, as with race cars, and did so with airplanes - building and restoring multiple small aircraft and flying with a warbird group. He helped with Theresa’s love of dogs and raised and showed Irish Wolfhounds. Theresa died of colon cancer in 1995.

Philip was fortunate to meet Donna Hodge in October of 1997 and they formed a union that would last till his life ended. Donna and Philip moved to Myrtle Beach, SC and enjoyed a very active, happy life. They travelled to many exotic destinations. They enjoyed their “melded families”. Philip still tinkered with cars and Donna continued to work part time as a registered nurse. They were members of Berlin United Methodist Church. As Philip’s physical condition deteriorated, Donna was there to take care of him. He died peacefully in the company of fellow veterans at Victory House, four weeks after arriving.

Philip K. Raeder is survived by Donna Hodge Raeder. Donna’s children and their families: Diane (Jim) Gerardi; David (Sherri) Hodge; Becky (Steve) Cardinale. Grandchildren: Bryce Gerardi, Jennifer (Rich) DeBernardis; Ryan Hodge, Joshua (Lindsey) Hodge; Lauren. Great Grandchildren: Corrine and Hatti DeBernardis; Romey Hodge; Adrian. Brothers-In-Law: Leslie (Kathy) Eldredge; the late Richard (Sandra) Eldredge; Harold (Diane) Eldredge; Dennis (Mary) Eldredge. Sister-In-Law: Alice (James) Crosier. And several nieces and nephews.

Philip’s three children and their families from his first marriage: Lise (Stephen) Bull; Pearce (Caroline) Raeder; Janice (Bill) Reid. Grandchildren: Mary and Jonathan (Christine) Bull, Patrick and Kathryn Raeder, Chelsea Reid. And great grandchildren Maya and Jay Bull.

Philip K Raeder, Jr is remembered as a companion, a husband, a father, a friend and an inspiration - for all that entails. He was a terrific intellect, character and wit. He will be sorely missed by those who loved him, but with the comfort he is in a better place.

Memorial Services will be private, with a ceremony and burial at Arlington at a future date.

The family requests that memorials be made in Philip's name to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or any other Veterans association of one’s choice.

Condolences may be made at

Burroughs Funeral Home and Cremation Services (843.651.1440) of Murrells Inlet is assisting the family.