Granger Westberg, 85, a Lutheran Pastor, hospital chaplain, teacher
and author of Good Grief, died of leukemia
on February 16, 1999. Granger
was truly a pioneer in the field of pastoral care where he made many
contributions during his ministry of more than 50 years.
As a young clergyman, Granger began his career as a chaplain at
Augustana Hospital where he developed an interest in bridging
medicine and religion in the treatment of patients. This interest
led to his being appointed to the faculty at the University of
Chicago's School of Medicine making him one of the first clergymen
to receive such a distinction. He later became dean of the Institute
of religion at Texas Medical Center in Houston. He also served on
the faculty of Wittenburg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he
taught practical theology.
Among Granger's contributions in his desire to unite the strengths of
medicine and religion was his interest in "wholistic" medicine. He was
once quoted as saying, "When I stand across the street and look at
this church, I see a sanctuary for worship, another sanctuary for
Christian Education, and a third sancturay for healing." This vision
led to the establishment of the Wholistic Health Care Center at
Union Church in Hinsdale, Illinois, where he utilized the training
and skills of physicians, clergy, pastoral counselors, nurses
and trained lay people to provide health care. This concept led to
the beginning of the "parish nurse" program that has grown to become
a nationwide movement. In the parish nurse program churches all
across America are placing nurses on their paid and volunteer staffs,
to minister to the health needs of it's parish and the surrounding community.
Granger's interest also led to his preaching a series of sermons on
the subject of grief which led to the publsihing of the book,
Good Grief. This small paperback has sold well over two million
copies and has been translated into several foreign languages. Although
first published in 1962, Good Grief continues to be trusted resource
for grieving persons. Also authored by Granger, When Minister
and Doctor Meet, was published by Harper & Row, Inc., in 1961.
Granger will be greatly missed. We honor his life and treasure
the lessons he taught his colleagues in ministry.
Cecil W. Fike