Granger Westberg

Granger Westberg
Granger Westberg

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

Good Grief Groups

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