The only president of the national civic organization Ruritan to come from the Roanoke Valley died this week. James K. “Corky” Rader was a member of the Bonsack/Blue Ridge Ruritan Club and served as Ruritan National President in 1982. He was retired from the US Postal Service in 1989 as a supervisor after 24 years of service.
Ruritan National is the parent organization of all local Ruritan clubs, organizations devoted to improving America’s communities through fellowship, goodwill and community service since 1928. While many of the organization’s presidents have come from Virginia, including former Virginia Governor Mills Godwin, Rader was the only one to call Roanoke home.
Rader served on the Ruritan National Board of Directors from 1964 through 1967 and served as national secretary from 1977 – 1979. He was vice president in 1981 and national president in 1982. He also served as a Ruritan National Foundation trustee from 1973 through 1976. While Jim was Ruritan National President he attended the Service Club Leaders Conference at the White House at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan. Jim was a Ruritan Forever, a DRM, and a Tom Downing Fellow.
During Rader’s term as national president Ruritan grew – adding two districts (Tall Corn and Rapidan) and 28 new clubs. The Ruritan Foundation experienced its most successful campaign and its highest level of contributions that same year. The foundation is the non-profit arm of the organization which provides educational scholarships for hundreds of young people each year.
Rader served in United States Army. He was a lifelong active member of Bonsack United Methodist Church. After his retirement he was an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, and the National D-day Memorial. He was an avid camper and traveler. He had traveled the entire country.
Following his active terms as a Ruritan leader, Jim continued to be a familiar face at Ruritan – while his wife of 56 years, Lou served a term as a Ruritan national director, as well as later as they were both frequent volunteers. Lou and Jim were even known to park their RV outside the Ruritan National Office in Dublin, VA, hook up to the power and water, and enjoy a “commute” of just a few steps as they volunteered for weeks at a time.
Lou and Jim together made a powerful connection with Sgt. Bob Slaughter and the folks at the National D-Day Memorial – spearheading Ruritan fundraising that helped retire the memorial’s debt.
In addition to his wife Lou, Rader is survived by two daughters, Lynne Rader Alger and her husband, Bruce, of New Market, and Cindy Rader Durham and her husband, Al, of Covington; seven grandchildren, Katie Durham, Erin Durham, Morganne Durham, Trey Alger, C.B. Alger II, Amanda Alger and Greg Alger; in-laws, John and Hallie Seibel, Cookie Seibel, Ginny and Eddie Keith, and Betsy and Lewis Hoback; numerous nieces and nephews; and other family members and friends.
submitted by Ruritan National