Robert Raymond, Naperville lumber seller
Article from:Chicago Sun-Times Article date:November 23, 2004Author:Dan Rozek More results for:robert raymond naperville
Robert Raymond helped fuel Naperville's growth from small town to booming suburb by selling the wood that helped build many of the homes that began springing up there in the 1950s and 1960s.
But Mr. Raymond also did his part to help preserve open land in the region, serving on the DuPage County Board for 28 years during a time when thousands of acres were set aside as forest preserves.
Mr. Raymond, who for years owned Raymond Lumber Co., died Saturday at Edward Hospital in Naperville. He was 91.
"He was a wonderful helper to a lot of people building their houses," recalled Naperville Mayor George Pradel, who knew Mr. Raymond for years. "He lent credit to people if they needed it. He helped people get started."
Born in 1913, Mr. Raymond grew up in Chicago, graduating from Leo High School. He later graduated from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa.
He moved to Naperville in 1941. After originally working as a sales representative, he started his own lumber yard.
Mr. Raymond was active with civic organizations including the Naperville Rotary Club and the Naperville United Way, which he helped start in 1951. An avid horseman, he also was a charter member of a riding group, the Naperville Saddle Club. For years, the group was a fixture -- riding at the end -- of local parades, Pradel said.
"He was a real nice person, gentle and kind," Pradel remembered. "He's an icon."
In 1997, a local street was named Raymond Drive to recognize his long-running efforts that helped ensure local streets were kept in good repair.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Mae; three daughters, Dolores Marusha, Marilynn Vannucci and Barbara Jansz; two sons, James and Robert Jr.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home in Naperville. Funeral mass is noon Wednesday at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville. Burial will follow at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery.