UNION TOWNSHIP — Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Gov. Raymond P. Shafer of Meadville had numerous accomplishments in his long life. Shafer died Dec. 12, 2006, in Meadville at age 89.
He was a 1938 magna cum laude graduate of Allegheny College of Meadville with bachelor of science degrees in history and political science and earned his law degree in 1941 from Yale University.
He was a highly decorated World War II veteran having been commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in December 1941. He served as captain of PT 359 in the Pacific Theater of Operations from 1942 to 1944, receiving the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Commendation for Meritorious Service. The most notable fact was that he took Gen. Douglas MacArthur “back” to Corregidor during the Philippine Invasion on PT 359. Shafer was honorably discharged as lieutenant commander in 1946 and served in the Naval Reserves.
Shafer’s political career began in 1948 when he was elected Crawford County District Attorney. He was elected a Pennsylvania state senator in 1958 and then in 1962 was elected lieutenant governor, with William Scranton elected as governor. In 1966, Shafer successfully ran for governor, taking office in January 1967 and serving until 1971.
Shafer continued on in public life following his service as governor in many ways. He served, for example, as chairman of the National Committee on Drug Abuse under former President Richard Nixon in 1972 and as chief counsel to Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller from 1974 to 1975. He later was chairman of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations from 1982 to 1992.
He also served as president of Allegheny College in 1985-86 and as a trustee of the college for 40 years.