Carolyn M. Raymond, 86, volunteer leader and Colonial Dame

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Carolyn M. Raymond, 86, of Newtown Square, a longtime civic leader and volunteer who traced her lineage to colonial times, died Saturday, July 1, of an infection at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Carolyn M. Raymond

Starting in the mid-1970s and ending a week before her death when she attended her last board meeting, Mrs. Raymond was a hard-working force in the world of volunteer community activities.

She was a lifelong member of the Junior League of Philadelphia, and chaired the league’s garden club from 1993 to 1995.

She served on the board of trustees of Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr for more than 30 years, ending in the early 2000s. From 1981 to 1990, she was board president. During that period, Mrs. Raymond managed a capital campaign that raised millions of dollars to renovate the existing 16,000-square-foot library and to add a wing providing 900 more square feet. The wing opened in 1985.

“The library was really a passion of hers,” said her son, Doug. “We [children] spent a lot of time there doing our homework while she was at meetings.”

She served on the women’s board of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 1975 to 2001, and was a trustee of the Library Company of Philadelphia and of the Friends of Rosemont College library board.

Mrs. Raymond also served on the vestry of the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, where she was a parishioner for the past 50 years. In the 1990s, she was the rector’s warden at Christ Church Ithan in Villanova.

From 1988 to 1991, Mrs. Raymond was president of the Bryn Mawr Civic Association. She was a founding member of the Lower Merion Preservation Trust and the Lower Merion Conservancy.

She was a member of the Shipley School Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1994, chairing the property committee that oversaw the construction of the West Middle School, which opened in 1993.

In 1989, Mrs. Raymond received the Founders’ Bank Quality of Life Award in recognition of her many contributions to the community.

Mrs. Raymond was descended from Edward Fuller, a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620. He died in 1621 during the colonists’ first winter in Plymouth, Mass., but his son, Samuel Fuller, who also arrived on the Mayflower, survived and continued the family line.

A long-time member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Mrs. Raymond served as registrar for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chapter from 2003 to 2009 and associate state registrar from 2010 to 2013. She received the Colonial Dames’ National Roll of Honor Award for her work on behalf of the society.

Mrs. Raymond also was a trustee of the McLean Contributionship, attending her last board meeting a week before she died. The foundation, established in 1951 as the Bulletin Contributionship, provides grants to support the environment, health care and education in the Philadelphia area.

Born in Port Huron, Mich., Mrs. Raymond graduated from Springfield High School in Delaware County and the Presbyterian [Hospital] School of Nursing. She finished her higher education at Rosemont College, graduating magna cum laude in 1979.

In the early 1950s, Mrs. Raymond worked as a nurse at what is now Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. In 1953, she married F. Douglas Raymond, a Main Line rheumatologist. The couple had four children, whom they reared in Bryn Mawr. In the 1970s, after her children were grown, Mrs. Raymond returned to nursing as a volunteer for the Young Great Society’s Free Clinic in Mantua.

The couple moved to Newtown Square in 2003 and to Dunwoody Village in 2012. Her husband died in 2014. She never really recovered from his loss, her family said.

Her son, Doug, described his mother as very organized, focused, and nice to everybody.

“I don’t think I ever heard her say a bad word about anyone,” he said. “She was always very much on the positive side of it. Today, we live in a culture that is critical and snarky, and she was never like that at all. She was very gracious, and empathetic, and always had an ear for people.”

Besides her son, she is survived by children Ruth, David, and Elizabeth Dougherty; seven grandchildren; a sister; and nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Church of the Redeemer, 230 Pennswood Rd., Bryn Mawr. Burial is in the churchyard.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, 200 Commerce Drive, Aston, Pa. 19014, or the Providence Animal Center, 555 Sandy Bank Road, Media, Pa. 19063.

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