Ervin Raber’s Retirement Celebration is at Raber Patios in Shipshewana on October 5, 2019. The doors will be open from 9am-4pm with refreshments served all day. Ervin’s Steak Bites from 11-2.
Come and enjoy reminiscing with Ervin and Clara. Ervin Raber was born in 1949 to John and Anna in Honeyville, Indiana. Living on a farm he liked to practice his auction chant. At age 7 Ervin would practice his auction chant by selling the horses and harness to the fence posts as he helped around the farm. In 1965 Ervin completed his formal schooling and got a job at Honeyville metal shop. There he built stainless wash vats and hog equipment. Soon after, his dad got cancer so he returned to farming full-time. 1969 brought the Vietnam war and Ervin went to Bronson hospital in the x-ray department for 2 years as a CO. In December of 1972, he moved to Chouteau, Oklahoma and worked in a Feedmill and as a ranchhand. In 1973 he went to auction school and started a weekly consignment sale. His early childhood dream of being an auctioneer was coming true. In December 1974 he moved to Florida and worked in a lumber shop for 18 months before moving back home to Indiana. On May 20, 1976, Ervin and Clara got married and they bought Raber Masonry from his brother Levi. This was a business that his father had started in the 1940s and Ervin had helped when he was a child. Raber Masonry had a record year when they sold one semi load of glazed tiles per week, all year long. Many of these being used in milking parlor parlors during the dairy boom in the late ’70s. In 1978 Ervin and Leroy Miller founded the Honeyville Consignment Auction, at the Honeyville Feedmill. In 1979 the sale was at Honeyville Metal. For s everal years it was at the Leroy D. Miller farm and then it moved to the John Yoder farm. Ervin Raber remained part of the sale until 1993. Ervin and Leroy Yoder started the Topeka Carriage Auction in the late ’70s, he moved it to Shipshewana where it remained till 1993. Ervin and Leroy D. Miller started Shipshewana Tent Rental in 1986. Ervin and Clara were house-hunting with another couple in Florida when he first saw 4 track windows for a sunroom. He wanted them for his own house so he called PGT in Venice, and ended up as a dealer to buy windows for his own home. During this time he had auctions two or three days a week. A tent rental company and his masonry work so he wasn’t sure why he signed up to be a dealer for windows. Ervin opened a showroom in 1993 to keep his dealership for the windows. He rented his first building from Shipshewana businessman Mel Riegsecker. He sold Raber Masonry so he could focus on his new venture Raber Patio Enclosures. He sold the tent business and went from auctioneering as a side business to a hobby. Ervin is still a licensed auctioneer today. Word-of-mouth has been the best advertising for Rabers. Their recipe for success is customer satisfaction and investing in other people’s wellbeing. God first, family second, and business third. The family may say that business tends to move up to 2nd sometimes, but it is a good goal to have. One of the biggest benefits of self- employemnt for the Raber family was having a flexible schedule for vacations. The Dale Carnegie course and being part of Amway was also helpful in learning how to do business. All honor goes to God and all the wonderful employees he has provided. Ervin served on the Indiana Haiti Auctionboard for two seven-year terms. Florida Haiti Auction board for seven years where he currently is an advisory member. He has been on the ARC of LaGrange County board for many years. Pappy’s Grilling Spray launched in 2015 after 20 years of development. Granddaughters Kristen and Karissa are business partners. They do the book keeping and bottling, which they started while homeschooling. Ken Chupp of E&S Sales was instrumental in getting Pappy’s to market. He helped with bottles, labels, and ingredients. Pappy’s is available in wholesale quantities from Ervin. Also available in stores in Shipshewana at Raber Patios, Yoder Meats and E&S Sales. In Topeka, IN, Middlebury, IN, Millersburg, IN and Chouteau, Oklahoma. In the 1990s Clara got arthritis and they begin traveling to Mexico for treatments, they still go every other year. The Rabers also live in Pinecraft, Florida during the winter months and enjoy fishing. Ervin has been on the Pinecraft planning committee for years. Ervin and Clara have three children. Deanna married Matt Yoder of Nappanee, they have 7 children, Katrina, Deborah, Meredith, Ethan, Travis, Erika and Megan. Delores married Chris Schlabach of Shipshewana, they have 2 children Karissa and Kristen. Dean married Sara, they live in Middlebury and have 4 children, Benjanim, Sofia, Maggie and Evie. Dean Raber and Chris Schlabach now own and operate Raber Patios and are hosting Ervins Retirement Celebration.
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