Dr. Charles Raper is a native East Tennessean, having been born in Rhea
County and spent most of his early years in Bradley County. He received
his bachelor degrees at Carson-Newman College and received his Medical
Doctor degree at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis in 1960.
After his internship he practiced medicine with the U.S. Public Health
Indian Service as a physician on the huge Navajo Indian Reservation in
Arizona and New Mexico. Here he was involved in emergency medicine, general
practice, pediatrics, and even obstetrics when on call. Much of his time
was spent caring for children, as no pediatrician was available in their
8 doctor hospital in the desert.
He then returned to Memphis where he completed his pediatric residency.
He entered private practice in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, an area which had
been home to wife Pat. After ten years he decided that it was time to
return to his roots in East Tennessee. In 1975 he began solo practice
of pediatrics in Maryville. There were no pediatric groups in our city
at this time, and in 1980 he recruited Drs. Marmon and Thurston to form
the Maryville Pediatric Group.
The growth of the group was monumental and now resides in three offices
in downtown Maryville, on Pellissippi Parkway, and in Vonore, Tennessee.
In time the Group became officially affiliated with East Tennessee Children’s
Hospital and enjoys their direct support.
Through the years, Dr. Raper has enjoyed a wide variety of interests including
farming, writing, playing classical guitar, and involvement for over forty
years in endurance sports. This interest has been shared by his family
with many members being marathoners, ironmen, and triathletes. Dr. Raper
has completed 135 full marathons in 40 years, as well as numerous 100
mile events and 24 hours races. His main brag, he says, is that all four
daughters have qualified for the Boston Marathon and have beaten him.
His professional life has included a strong interest in encouraging fitness
and quality of life in the children and families of those he serves. Proper
eating habits coupled with a reasonable modicum of exercise can go a long
way in providing both physical and emotional benefits.
He has been in pediatric practice now for over 52 years and plans to continue
as health permits. The enjoyment of maintaining a fine edge of professional
acumen and the opportunity to have contact with our youth are driving
forces in his life.
Dr. Raper and wife Pat have four daughters and eight grandchildren and
are members of the First Methodist Church in Maryville.