Salem- Louis Joseph Raymond (“Pastor Lou” to many) died Saturday morning, in his home. He was born May 22, 1923, in Salem, Ohio, a son of the late Louis J. and Blanche (Grice) Raymond.
Lou attended Salem public schools and as a high school student won city, county and district speech honors each year. He was in the class of 1941 and served as vice-president. He was a Buckeye Boys State delegate. A 1947 graduate of Denison University, Lou served rural churches as a student pastor and was ordained in 1951 to the ministry of the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), serving Christian, Federated and Presbyterian churches in North Jackson, Salem, Hanoverton, Canfield, Youngstown, Hubbard, and Carrollton. He earned master’s degrees from both Duquesne (Pittsburgh) and Loyola (New Orleans) Universities and an honorary doctorate from St. Clements’ Seminary in Maine.
Lou has been broadly recognized for his spirit and dedication to community volunteerism, especially for his work in blood donor recruitment for the American Red Cross Blood Services of Northern Ohio. He later was employed by the Red Cross bringing his years of recruiting donors to 35. Some would remember Lou’s travels through the community via car using a loudspeaker to remind them “It’s blood bank day in Salem!” Lou introduced Type Specific Blood Collections now practiced nationally and organized high school recruitment seminars, encouraging over 400,000 students to be blood donors. His work with the Red Cross gifted thousands with life and hope.
Lou was honored on the city, county, and state levels, by many organizations both civic and religious. He was named Outstanding Citizen of Salem, recognized with the Paul Harris Honor by the Rotary Club, and by the Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association for 25 years of his work to organize Memorial Day activities, announce the annual parade, and at times, speak for the ceremonies.
Lou was an original volunteer for the Banquet in Salem and the Board Chairperson for public relations and recruitment of sponsors for the weekly meal. Many in the Salem and surrounding areas knew him as officiant for weddings, funerals, and worship services. Of late, he was an associate member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, happily supporting the members and his wife, the pastor.
Lou believed what is essential for the fulness of life is to make a difference in the community in which one lives, and he did so joyfully, enthusiastically, and faithfully through many organizations and forms of service all throughout his life, in many and varied ways.
Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Aimee (Amanda) Raymond; daughter Catherine (Cathy) Hale of Salem, son David and wife Lynn of South Carolina and daughter, Lisa Smith of Los Angeles; four grandchildren: Katie Hale, Beth Hale, Corey Raymond and Chad Raymond, and three great-grandchildren: Aidan Lucci, Anthony Lucci and Layla Cross; nieces, nephews, and friends.
Besides his parents, Lou was preceded in death by his brothers Edward and Donald, and sister Mary Lou Cowan.
The family thanks all who reached out and contributed to Lou’s care: Community Hospice, caregivers Theresa Chittock and Amanda McFarland, Pastor Bill Wilkins, and members of the Holy Trinity Church Family.
A Celebration of Life Service for Lou will be held Wednesday, September 8th at 5:30 pm, with Pastor Bill Wilkins officiating and preceded by one hour of visitation (4:30 to 5:30 pm). The family invites and encourages all to join them for a picnic supper in the church Fellowship Hall after the service where visiting and further celebration of Lou can happen. There will be a private family committal on Thursday in Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (current funds).
If unable to attend, you may show your support by joining our complimentary “Hugs from Home” where your message will be attached to a balloon to remind the family of your love and support at www.starkmemorial.com/hugs-from-home.
To view Lou’s obituary visit www.starkmemorial.com.
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