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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Allen A. Raymond, 91

The following obituary was supplied by the Westport Weston Family Y which said Allen Raymond prepared it himself. Slight editing has been made by WestportNow.

Allen A. Raymond, lifelong Westport resident, died May 1 at his home. He was 91.

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Allen A. Raymond: his life was Westport. Contributed photo

Born in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1923 to Marietta Persch and Allen A. Raymond, Sr., Allen spent every summer of his life at his family’s summer cottage on Compo Mill Cove, and it was there that his love affair with Westport began.

Allen graduated from Nichols School in Buffalo in 1941 and from the University of Michigan, where he obtained an engineering degree in 1945. Allen met his late wife, Barbara Butler during his senior year at Michigan.

As he was growing up, Allen’s childhood dream was to “work in New York and live in Westport”—and he achieved that dream in 1949 when he and Barbara bought their first home in Westport.

Allen continued his love affair with Westport, plunging into civic affairs. In later years, he affectionately was known as “Mr. Westport,” and his service to the town and the people of Westport is now legendary.

While a member of First Selectman Herbert Baldwin’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” Allen learned of early plans to turn Longshore Country Club into a housing development. He took the information to Baldwin and worked to keep Longshore a park for all. The rest is history: Longshore remains a crown jewel for all Westporters.

Allen was the youngest president of the Westport YMCA Board of Directors, president for an unprecedented two terms of the Westport Public Library when the new building was under construction in 1986, Moderator of the Green’s Farms Congregational Church, and co-treasurer of the church for four years with his wife. 

He became involved with the fledgling Nature Center (now Earthplace),  personally loaned it “survival money” during its early years. and remained on the board for several years. 

He was Moderator of the Representative Town Meeting from 1957 to 1959, a member of the Board of Education from 1965 through 1968, and for the year 1967-1968, president of that board. He served for more than 60 years as president of the Compo Cove Association. 

A member of the Westport Historical Society, Allen was also Westport’s official municipal historian. Many Westporters enjoyed the Westport Historical tours led by Allen and Barbara, and by Allen alone after Barbara’s death. He is the founder of the Association of Connecticut Municipal Historians.
 
He was also a member of the Friends of Sherwood Island, and served on its Sherwood Island Mill Pond Committee. He was a three-time “past president” of the Norwalk Symphony.

Having worked in publishing all of his career, Allen’s positions included advertising sales manager at McCall’s Magazine and president and publisher of Educational Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Macmillan Inc.

In 1970, he co-founded, with Patricia Broderick, a magazine for elementary school teachers, Teaching K-8 Magazine. About mid-point in the 37-year publication history of that magazine, he sold it to Highlights for Children. 

Allen is survived by his five children: Allen, III (Bernadette Golden) of New London, Deborah Eskra (Mrs. James) of Mystic, Peter (Dorothy) of Loveland, Colo., Cynthia Campbell (Mrs. Robert) of Oxford, and David (Therese Raymond-Cline) of Fairfield,  and by eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his partner, Patricia Broderick of Darien.

There will be a memorial service for Allen on May 17 at 2 p.m. at Green’s Farms Congregational Church, 71 Hillandale Road, Westport.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to The Westport Weston Family Y, the Westport Library, Earthplace, the Westport Historical Society, Green’s Farms Congregational Church, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County or to a charity of your choice.

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Posted 05/01/14 at 08:11 PM  Permalink



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