Everybody loves Raymond!
He's been a fixture in the Tavistock community for decades where he was born and raised on a nearby farm.
For a good part of his life, Raymond was a farmer and could think of doing nothing else. "I was born on a farm and when I grew up I continued to keep the family farm going," he recalls. "We had a dairy farm so we had to milk cows and do all the chores you would expect to do on a farm."
Raymond met his wife through church and remembers their first date. "I asked her to go for a drive with me one Sunday afternoon. That was in 1954. A couple years later we were married and then raised five children: four daughters and one son."
As time passed, agriculture changed and Raymond's children had other aspirations so, after decades of farming at age 57, Raymond and his wife sold the farm ending a chapter of his life. But he still surrounds himself with reminders of his first love - agriculture. He has a framed photo of his farm on the wall of his room and there are several shelves full of die cast model tractors and other farm equipment. He even has an old tractor that he frequently rides on sunny days out in the country where he looks at farms and remembers a simpler time. Residents have enjoyed rides on his tractor too. It's his way of sharing his passion.
In the meantime, he and his wife had bought a large house in Tavistock where she opened a bed and breakfast that she ran for seven years.
But retirement was not an option for Raymond when he sold the farm. He became a delivery truck driver and an expedited driver that allowed him to travel into the United States. For 12 years he drove and enjoyed the freedom of the open road. But the job also brought stress and he eventually gave up the road. He still wanted to keep active so he got a job as a shuttle driver for a local car dealership and did that until he needed to have hip surgery. After that, the house was becoming too much for the couple to handle. At the urging of their children, they began to look for retirement home options and because they wanted to stay local where they had lived for so many years, they decided on The Maples. Ironically, they moved into a room that had once been occupied by Raymond's former boss. In October 2016, they moved in and began a new chapter in their lives.
Raymond lost his wife last December. He fills his days keeping busy. In addition to his tractor, Raymond also has a pick up truck that he likes to take for a spin now and then. At 85 years young, he may be retired but he is not idle.
"I'm so glad I am here. I am well taken care of and I have not one regret coming here."