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Allen Raymond Remembered: For His Monuments, Look Around

First Selectman Jim Marpe praises the late Allen Raymond, 91, who held a slew of posts, helped with a lot of projects and was known as "Mr. Westport."

Allen Raymond (Patch file photo)
Allen Raymond (Patch file photo)
The passing away of Allen Raymond on Thursday at the age of 91 prompted First Selectman Jim Marpe to issue this statement in remembrance and gratitude for Raymond's many services to Westport:

With the passing of Allen Raymond, Westport has lost an exceptional member of our community.   A vibrant, intelligent, giant of a man, Allen was a close, personal friend of mine but more importantly, Allen was Mr. Westport.  His name will always be remembered alongside the great contributors to our Town.

From his early days as a youngster, when he spent his summers in Westport, Allen knew Westport inside and out.   For almost seventy years, his involvement and generous commitment to Westport was unquestioned and steadfast. 

In a column posted just last year, Dan Woog asked the candidates running for selectman which Westport citizen they admired most and three of the four candidates responded with “Allen Raymond.”   “He’s served on more boards, advised more town leaders, brokered more good and smart deals, and contributed more to every facet of life — educational, recreational, spiritual — than anyone since the Bedfords.”

In addition to being moderator of the Representative Town Meeting, Allen had, at various times, chaired the  Board of Education, Republican Town Committee, Earthplace and the Norwalk Symphony.  He served as president of the Westport Historical Society,  Westport Library, the Westport/Weston Family Y, and for over 50 years he has been president of the Compo Cove Park Association.  For the past decade he has been the official Town Historian.

He was instrumental in the town’s purchase of Longshore.  When United Illuminating Company wanted to build a nuclear plant on an island a mile off the coast of Westport, Allen helped lead the opposition to the plan and the town preserved the natural beauty of Cockenoe Island.  In 1967 Life Magazine heralded Westport’s acquisition of Cockenoe as one of the most significant conservation victories in the nation.  

He was president of the new Westport Public Library during its planning and construction on Jesup Green in 1986.  Of course, the Westport/WestonY would not be where it is today without Allen’s involvement.  It was more than appropriate that the road leading to the new Mahackeno Y was renamed Allen Raymond Way in January, 2012. 

I feel blessed to have known such a pioneer and to count him as a friend and mentor.  The Town of Westport has been blessed to have had Allen Raymond as one of its leading citizens.

David Park May 01, 2014 at 05:36 PM
So sorry to hear of Allen Raymond's passing. He did so much service for Westport and was well versed in the history of Cockenoe Island.
Liz Mitchell Worthington May 02, 2014 at 09:08 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this. Allen Raymond was one of the great civic leaders in Westport. He loved the town and was a warm and caring person. I feel honored to have known him - even if it was for a short time.

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