Philip Donald Raymond, Jr., 82. of Fayetteville, passed away on Oct. 7, 2023, from complications following surgery.
Don was born in Albany, the son of Philip D. Raymond and Alberta Berry Raymond. The family moved to Fayetteville in 1956, where Don excelled as a three-sport athlete, achieving all-state honors in football, baseball and basketball. When speaking of the basketball team, Don would proudly boast that the team was as successful in the classroom as they were on the hardwood. Don had a tight group of friends that gathered round the Raymond pool table, the Perkins’ backyard pool, the basketball hoop in the Fudges’ barn and the Menotti driveway, where he and David Menotti were frequently found tinkering on vintage cars. These men remained fast friends for over 50 years.
Don spent a year at Columbia University, realized he was not one for city life and transferred to Colgate University, ultimately graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1963. He excelled on the Colgate baseball team and notably had the highest batting average in the nation for small colleges for two years. After graduation, he declined an offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system and began his professional life at General Motors in Flint, MI. After training in the Army National Reserves, Don returned to Syracuse, where he married Marilyn Menotti. Don initially worked for the Syracuse University Research Corporation, working on early computer technology while acquiring a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering from SU.
Don joined Niagara Mohawk where he began a computer operations career and went on to manage the strategic planning group where he was beloved by his colleagues. During his time at Niagara Mohawk, he played a central role in building and permitting Niagara Mohawk’s two nuclear power plants at Nine Mile Point and Lake Ontario. Don and Marilyn returned to Fayetteville where they raised their two sons, Jamie and Daniel. Don was a devoted father. He was a year round presence at school and athletic events, regardless of the distance. During the summer, Jamie, Daniel and he camped at Sabattis Boy Scout camp, and in winter he chased the boys around the ski slopes of Vermont and Wyoming. Summer would also include many a trip to Lipe’s Dairy, where a call for “the usual” would be met by a triple scoop of black raspberry ice cream.
Don and Linda were married on a lovely day in May 1995 in the backyard of their home on Thornwood Lane and enjoyed 28 wonderful years together. Following his retirement from NiMo, he contributed to the industry by being a respected member of the New York State Reliability Council serving as both a member and later as executive secretary for 14 years. It was during these years that Don rekindled his interest in antique cars. He and Linda enjoyed the occasional ”spin” in a dark green 1935 refurbished five window Ford coupe with white wall tires on cream colored wheels. That car would turn heads whenever it was driven!
Don and Linda enjoyed golfing and traveling to visit family, who by this time, were scattered all over the United States. “Beepa” loved being an adoring grandfather to the kids and their dogs. Linda would stand back in admiration as he charmed them all. Don volunteered for Meals on Wheels and the United Church. His family will remember his impish smile, profoundly sage advice and calm, loving demeanor, but they remain comforted by his unconditional love.
Don is survived by his wife, Linda; his sons James and Daniel (Colleen); his stepchildren, Diana Radam (Tom), Thad Reece, and Andrea Britt (Bobby); his grandchildren, Evan, Colin, Nathan, Amelia, Nick and Kyle and by his sister, Janet Myers.
Memorial plans will be announced at a later date for friends and family. Memorial gifts can be made to The United Church of Fayetteville (301 East Genesee, Fayetteville NY 13066) or the Shriners Hospital for Children (donate.lovetotherescue.org).