DOVER- James Walter “Jim” Raymo, 80, a resident of Holland Road, died following a period of declining health on Sunday, January 3, at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, NH.
Mr. Raymo was the second child of Richard and Dorothy Day Raymo and was born on April 26, 1940, in Wilmington. He grew up on Beaver Street and attended Wilmington schools, graduating from Wilmington High School in 1959. While in high school he excelled in sports and played the baritone horn for the high school band. His musical ability earned him much recognition, including all-state and New England honors. Also, while in high school he met the love of his life, Mary Lou Holland. They were married July 9, 1960, at the East Dover Baptist Church. Their marriage lasted 60 years, until his death.
During his early years he worked for Stanley Carner in Wilmington, where he learned to love the land and animals. Later he worked for the New England Box Company in Wilmington, and for Richard Holland as part of the Dover road crew. He also worked at Mount Snow cutting trails and building lifts when the ski area was being developed. He was a former member and officer of the East Dover Fire Department.
After marrying, he and his wife built a house in Dover, where he resided until his death. He also continued his love of the land and farm animals, working at his wife’s family farm days while working swing shifts at Case Brothers paper mill in Brattleboro. He continued working in the mill through several ownerships, including Boise Cascade, Specialty Paperboard, and FiberMark. He retired in the mid-1990s after 30 years of service, due to health issues brought on by Crohn’s disease. After retiring he began raising registered Holsteins and continued working the farm and fields until this past summer.
Mr. Raymo was an avid outdoorsman who had the love of outdoors instilled in him at an early age by his father and his mentors, Pete Riendeau and William “Bill” Pool. He enjoyed ice fishing, hunting, and deer camp with his father and the crew on Stratton Hill in Newfane. Mr. Raymo could be found in the woods every fall scouting for deer. He had more than his fair share of deer stories and trophies. He leaves behind countless deer racks and his lifelong friend and hunting companion Mark Sprague.
He was well-known for his easygoing manner, affable personality, and positive attitude. When asked how he was doing, he would invariably reply “top shelf!” to all who inquired. He loved to talk with old friends and new acquaintances, and never hesitated to tell stories about hunting or life in earlier years. He shared his local knowledge as a source of history for “The Mill,” a book about the New England Box Company.
He loved to dance, especially with his wife. Many friends and neighbors enjoyed watching them dance, especially at the Dover Town Hall. They also shared a love of travel, and in later years traveled around the United States and across Europe.
He had a passion for sports, including the Yankees, the UConn women’s basketball team, and local high school sports. He was an avid supporter of Wilmington and later Twin Valley teams. He would often be seen sitting on the top row of the bleachers for basketball games or “on the hill” for soccer matches, and always looked forward to the dinner specials at the booster booth. He also enjoyed watching his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren excel in sports, following them from grade school through college and rarely missing a game. His one regret in sports was never seeing a Wilmington or Twin Valley boys’ basketball state championship win, as that title has eluded the valley.
Mr. Raymo is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Raymo; his daughters Victoria and husband Randy Capitani, of Dover, Michelle and husband Larry Mann, of Wilmington, and Janet Sherman and partner Richard Sprague, of Searsburg; grandchildren Jimmy Sprague and wife Sarah, William Capitani, and Wesley Capitani; and great-grandchildren Taylor Sprague and Brayden Sprague. He is also survived by sister Isabelle “Bunny” Rice and husband Steve, of Portland ME; brother Bart Raymo and wife Jane, of Wilmington; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Richard and Michael.
Mr. Raymo’s family would like to thank his caregivers, including Jane Raymo, Trudy Moore, Tina Thurber, and the staff of Care in Vermont, Fresenius Kidney Care Yankee Family dialysis center, and Bayada Health Care. Specials thanks go to the staff and volunteer drivers of the MOOver, including his favorite driver Anson, for safe passage to and from his dialysis treatments.
To honor Mr. Raymo’s memory contributions may be sent to the Twin Valley Middle High School Booster Club, 4299 VT Route 100, Whitingham, VT 05361, or in support of the Old School Community Center to the Old School Enrichment Council, PO Box 204, Wilmington, VT 05356.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. To send the family condolences visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.