John Wallis Raymond passed away at the age of 78 on October 5, 2019 at the Williamsburg Regional Medical Center after a short and unexpected illness. He was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, combat veteran, and local attorney.
John was born on December 5, 1940 in Fort McClellan, Alabama, to Colonel Allen D. Raymond, Jr. (U.S. Army) and Clara Leonard Raymond, the seventh of their eight children. As an Army dependent, John moved frequently during his childhood, including two assignments in West Germany after World War II, before his father retired and his family settled in St. Petersburg, Florida. John graduated from Bishop Berry High School in 1958 and briefly attended St. Petersburg Community College.
John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1959 and went on to attend the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he met his future wife, Grace McNamara. He then attended the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, graduating in 1964. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and one day later married the love of his life, Grace.
John and Grace embarked on a 21-year Air Force career while at the same building a loving family. They moved ten times, and raised four boys. Trained as a navigator, John flew thousands of hours in numerous aircraft, including C-141 transports, RB-57F high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, and AC-130 Spectre gunships in combat missions over Southeast Asia. While not flying, John earned a masters degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, served as an Air Force civil engineer, taught Air Force ROTC at the Virginia Military Institute, and served on the faculty of the Air Command and Staff College. John was a Master Navigator and his military awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Meritorious Service Medals, ten Air Medals, and four Air Force Commendation Medals, as well as numerous other unit and campaign awards.
John retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1985 and he and his family moved to Williamsburg, where he attended the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Upon graduation in 1988, he completed a master of law in taxation at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law and began to practice law in Williamsburg in 1989. In 1990, he opened his own law practice specializing in bankruptcy law. He was joined in his law practice in 2009 by his son, Daniel. At the time of his death, John was a practicing attorney, who was devoted to representing his clients.
John was passionate about Army football and Duke basketball and enjoyed working on projects around the house and spending time in his garden, but he was truly happiest when he was with his family. He enjoyed traveling, playing games with his children and grandchildren, and attending any kind of family gathering. John was a founding parishioner of St. Olaf’s Catholic Church in Norge, where he served as an usher for more than 30 years.
John was preceded in death by his parents and eldest son, Jack. He is survived by his wife Grace, his three sons, Rick, Joe, and Daniel, and eight grandchildren.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Olaf’s Catholic Church on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:00 am. John will be buried in the U.S. Military Academy cemetery in West Point, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
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