La Plata re­mem­bers ‘Liz’ Raymond for ser­vice

Trail­blaz­ing coun­cil­woman served for 16 years

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

The Town Of La Plata has rec­og­nized many great lead­ers, but the legacy of former Ward 3 coun­cil­woman El­iz­a­beth Ann “Liz” Raymond is truly em­bed­ded in the com­mu­nity. In light of her re­cent death, the town re­mem­bers that she had a heart to serve her fel­low cit­i­zens.

El­iz­a­beth died May 18 at Sage­point Se­nior Liv­ing fa­cil­ity in La Plata at age 89. Ac­cord­ing to her son, Michael O. Raymond, El­iz­a­beth had Alzheimer’s dis­ease

and spent 16 years at the as­sisted liv­ing home.

“She is a re­mark­able woman and a cham­pion for women’s rights,” said Michael, owner of Raymond’s Fu­neral Ser­vice in La Plata. “My mother and Louise Win­kler were the first two women ever to serve on the town coun­cil. They were big ad­vo­cates for women’s rights. They told the men in this thing, you are go­ing to listen to what women want. The time of the old days is pass­ing and they will hear the women’s sides of the is­sue.”

Raymond was born in La Plata on Aug. 4, 1927. She was the vale­dic­to­rian of her 1945 grad­u­at­ing class from Sa­cred Heart Catholic School and a lifelong mem­ber of Sa­cred Heart Catholic Church.

She re­tired as an ad­min­is­tra­tive sec­re­tary with the Prince Ge­orge’s County Men­tal Health De­part­ment af­ter 28 years of ser­vice. She was also the owner and op­er­a­tor of Raymond Dance School for 40 years, a former re­gent of the Daugh­ters of the Amer­i­can Revo­lu­tion and a do­cent with the Dr. Sa­muel Mudd House in Wal­dorf. She also owned Raymond Mon­u­ments with her hus­band, Daniel Raymond, for 30 years.

“My par­ents were like the cou­ple in the movie ‘The Note­book,’ mar­ried right af­ter World War II,” Michael said. “They had their values, great faith, great work ethic and a great need to give back to their com­mu­nity and their town. They in­stilled that to us three boys and I will for­ever be thank­ful.”

El­iz­a­beth Raymond was elected in 1985 to serve as the Ward 3 coun­cil­woman on the La Plata Town Coun­cil. She was elected to four con­sec­u­tive four-year terms, serv­ing for 16 years, from 1985-2001.

“In 16 years, she never missed a meet­ing and never failed to vote. She was quite proud of that. A lot of peo­ple would ab­stain from vot­ing when it came to touchy sub­jects, but she told me the peo­ple voted her in there to vote yay or nay so she never missed vot­ing. I was proud of her for that,” Michael said.

Michael’s wife Kristina Raymond de­scribed Liz as “a fun-lov­ing woman whom ev­ery­one wanted to be around.”

“She was a feisty red­head who worked hard ev­ery day for her fam­ily and her com­mu­nity. She was also a dance co­or­di­na­tor for Port To­bacco Play­ers and for Charles County’s 300th birth­day [cel­e­bra­tion],” Kristina said.

Raymond will be buried on Fri­day, May 26, at the St. Ig­natius Chapel Point Catholic Church Cemetery in Port To­bacco. She is sur­vived by her three sons: Michael O. Raymond, Stephen H. Raymond and David N. Raymond, as well as six grand­chil­dren: Michael O. Raymond, Jr., Lind­sey L. Raymond, Kelli A. Raymond, Tyler S. Raymond, Molly Re­becca Raymond and An­drew Raymond. Her hus­band of 50 years was Daniel Raymond.

Dur­ing a work ses­sion on Tues­day, the town coun­cil rec­og­nized the con­tri­bu­tions that coun­cil­woman Raymond made dur­ing her terms in of­fice, which Mayor Jea­nine James be­lieves has helped to shape La Plata into the thriv­ing com­mu­nity it is to­day. The town coun­cil plans to pre­sent the procla­ma­tion to honor Raymond at the fu­neral.

“She has paved the way for me and I am so grate­ful for what she’s done for this com­mu­nity,” James said. “She was on the coun­cil dur­ing a time when women were told women are to be si­lent and sup­port your spouse, but for her to be one of those go-get­ters on the coun­cil — that is huge to have that here in Charles County.”

“I loved Liz,” said Coun­cil­woman Paddy Mudd. “She was the most vi­va­cious, ac­tive woman in the world. She was my next door neigh­bor and life long friend. Ev­ery­body took dance lessons form Liz and Dani which she taught at their stu­dio at their house and at Arch­bishop Neale School.”

Ac­cord­ing to fam­ily, friends and col­leagues, El­iz­a­beth was a mem­o­rable woman who gave back to her com­mu­nity through­out her life, faith­ful to her church and to the town she loved dearly.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

El­iz­a­beth Ann “Liz” Raymond, 89, of La Plata, died May 18 at Sage­point Se­nior Care in La Plata. She was a La Plata Town Coun­cil­woman for Ward 3, serv­ing 1985-2001.

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