Mary RaymondJune 17, 1918 ~ April 9, 2018 (age 99)
Mary Waslyshyn Raymond, a long-time resident of Harper’s Ferry, died peacefully in her sleep at Somerford Assisted Living in Frederick, MD, on April 9. She was 99, just two months shy of her 100th birthday.
Mary Waslyshyn was born on June 17, 1918, in Philadelphia. She was the oldest of four children, including brothers John, Nick and Steve who all preceded her in death. Her parents, Anna and Onufry Wasylyshyn, were both Ukrainian immigrants, and for them life was not easy. The family moved often in search of better opportunities and Mary attended schools in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York. It was while working in New York City that she met her future husband, Walter H. T. Raymond (Bud), a reporter with Fairchild Publications. They were married in 1939 at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in New York City. During World War II, Bud was drafted into the Army and Mary was living with their infant son, David, in New Jersey. Following the war, the family grew to include another son, Walter, and a daughter, Marusia (Mary). During this time the family lived in several locations in New Jersey before settling in Denville on a 25-acre farm known as Whippoorhill. Although it afforded privacy and a bucolic lifestyle, Whippoorhill was also very isolated within a watershed forest, a half-mile from the nearest neighbor. Once again Mary was forced to adapt, which she did with gusto.
Although Bud commuted daily to his job in New York city, life for Mary and the family was rural, and included tending a working farm with a variety of animals, mostly sheep, a large vegetable garden and an orchard. During the summer the farm became the focus of extended family gatherings that included many nieces and nephews who were delighted to spend time in the country. She was recognized as an accomplished chef, making the most of the garden’s bounty. Renowned for her baking, especially apple pies. She unfortunately kept secret her famed recipe for pie crust.
Over time the menswear business changed, and Bud decided to strike out in a new direction, taking a job with Menswear Retailers of America in Washington, D.C. Mary adapted easily to her new home on Capitol Hill. She had an uncanny ability to connect with people and show an interest in who they were and how they were doing. She quickly made many friends and those who knew her were impressed with her kindness and generosity. However, it was during this time, that life forever changed: her younger son, Walter, was shot as an innocent bystander during a robbery in New York City. For the rest of his life, Walter was confined to a wheel-chair. Mary and Bud again moved, this time to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where Walter was able to have his own space in their home. After Bud’s death, Mary & Walter moved to Middletown, Maryland where they shared a home with daughter Marusia’s family. Throughout, Mary showed her generosity of spirit and for years was Walter’s confidant, defender and care-giver until his death in 2012.
Mary was fiercely devoted to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Although they were scattered across many states, she loved to have them visit and call her with updates on what they were doing. She is survived by her son David and her daughter Marusia Zearfoss. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Geoffrey, Karyn, Sabrina and David, as well as six great grandchildren, Noah, William, Adam, Jackson, Amelia and Seamus.
Interment will be private, and a celebration of her life will take place Saturday, April 28, 2018 11:00 a.m.The Church of the Transfiguration 6909 Maryland Avenue Braddock Heights, MD
. In honor of their dedicated and loving care, memorial donations can be made to Carroll Hospice (CarrollHospice.org/make-a-gift).