Abram Martin "Abe" Hostetter M.D.
1929 - 2021
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Abram Martin "Abe" Hostetter M.D.

Abram Martin "Abe" Hostetter M.D., age 91, died January 10, 2021 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA. Born October 10, 1929, at home in Kinzer, PA, he was the son of Isaac Eby and Ruth Martin Hostetter. As a teen he spent several years living with his aunt and uncle Sue and Jay Martin in order to attend high school. Abe was married to Patricia Ann (née Lerch) for more than 67 years. In addition to his wife Pat, he is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren and nine siblings. For most of his life he lived in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, spending nearly three decades in Hershey. In retirement he lived at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville for 16 years, playing an active role in the life of the community.

Abe was a graduate of Lancaster Mennonite School, Eastern Mennonite College (now University), Goshen College and Jefferson Medical College. Committed to the value of education, he spent a year as a teacher in a one room school in Lancaster County, PA. Among his pupils were many Amish children. Over the years he stayed in touch with several of his students. He practiced psychiatry for over 45 years, both in private practice and in various capacities at Norristown State Hospital, Philhaven Hospital, Hershey Medical Center, and Family and Children Services of Lebanon County, PA.

Beginning in 1976, he was part of an ongoing research project which studied the incidence of bipolar disorder among the Old Order Amish community of Lancaster County. Led by Janice A. Egeland Ph.D., and under the aegis of the University of Miami, School of Medicine (Florida), the research team utilized data gathered from the Amish to trace the genetic markers present in those who manifest bipolar disorder. The published findings of the team have led to further work on the genetic foundations of some mental illness.

His professional, philanthropic and community activities included roles in the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, United Way of the Capital Region (PA), Boy Scouts of America, and Rotary International. He was an emeritus fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists as well as the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and was active in the alumni activities of his alma maters. Of Mennonite heritage, he was an involved member of Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey and then Westminster Presbyterian in Charlottesville. Among Abe's varied interests were traveling, listening to classical music, coin collecting, bird watching, and gardening. He was an able administrator, voracious reader, precise editor, and skilled speaker. Abe had a gift for telling stories and rarely lost at Scrabble.

One of 12 children, he was preceded in death by sister Grace Weaver and brother Isaac Hostetter. His son Andrew died in 1979. Known for his devotion to family he is survived by his children; David Hostetter and wife Suni Johnson, Rebecca Sinapius and husband Ken, Samuel Hostetter and wife Melissa; grandchildren Benuel Hostetter, Emma Hostetter, Nicholas Sinapius, Andrew Hostetter, Jacob Hostetter, Melanie Mills and husband Nicholas Greenbury, and Taylor Johnson and wife Alexis; and great grandchildren Solaris Bell, Cameron and Claire Johnson. Surviving siblings are Rhoda Clemens, James Hostetter, Milton Hostetter, Charles Hostetter, Ray Hostetter, Dale Hostetter, Mary Alice Hostetter, Sanford Hostetter, and Nancy Gourley, along with many, many relatives.

He will be interred at Derry Presbyterian Cemetery where his son Andrew is buried.

An on-line memorial service and on-line guestbook will be announced via the Hill & Wood Funeral Home: www.hillandwood.com.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to give in Abe's memory may contribute to WCBR Foundation: https://westminstercanterbury.org/foundation/

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lebanon Daily News from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24, 2021.
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4 entries
January 24, 2021
Abe Hostetter died. He was the founder of Hershey Psychiatric Associates. I joined the practice on June 15, 1977 3-days out of grad school. He brought me, an unlicensed Ph.D., into an equal partnership with another psychiatrist and a licensed social worker. There was no license for counselors at that time and practicing as one was considered practicing psychology without a license. I remained a partner until just short of 26 years when in May, 1993 I felt the call to strike out on my own. He provided thousands of hours of supervision. He was a mentor, a friend, and a confidant. He was patient and had a wonderful sense of humor. He was immensely influential in my professional and personal development. A highly skilled and esteemed clinician, few will ever know about the thousands of volunteer hours he gave to his profession, his community, and his patients. That' because Abe was a humble man. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. The national mental health community and humanity has lost a tremendous human being. Rest in peace, my friend.
Steve Lindenberg Ph.D.
January 22, 2021
Dr. Hostetter served as chair of the board of the Educational and Scientific Trust (later the Foundation) of the Pennsylvania Medical Society for sixteen years (1986 - 2002). During that time, he provided consistent leadership of and advocacy for the charitable endeavors of the Medical Society. I will always be grateful to have benefited from his wisdom, his steady hand, his grace and his wonderful laugh.
Virginia Henning
January 22, 2021
Dr. Hostetter was a fine physician who I knew while practicing medicine in the same era.
Leland Patterson, MD
January 21, 2021
My deepest sympathies go to Pat and their children and the entire Hostetter family. Abe lived his life with a strong sense of purpose and a wonderful sense of humor. He was the consummate storyteller. Abe was a leader in the psychiatric community in central PA and very much an advocate for behavioral health and wellness, as well as a dear and special friend.
Mary McGrath
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