Mary Raymond

Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Raymond

What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us. - Helen Keller Mary Elizabeth “Beth" Raymond (Conrad) May 20, 1955 – October 19, 2022 It is with great sadness that we announce that Beth has lost her courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her family. She was a loving wife, sister, aunt, friend and colleague, and gifted teacher and administrator. If Beth's life was a tent, the centre pole supporting her structure would be her family. Born in Dartmouth to parents Carl and Helen Conrad (Ramsay) on May 20, 1955, she was the only girl and the youngest child. Having lost her mother at the age of seven, and with four older brothers, Beth learned very early to be strong, independent, resourceful, and to value deeply her family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Pius Raymond, and her brothers Paul (Joan) and Laurie (Connie), and numerous cherished nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews. In addition to her parents, Beth was predeceased by her brothers Karl (Sharon) and Mike (Linda "Floyd"), and her beloved yellow lab, Teddy B. Knowing that she was going to be a teacher, she attended the University of Alberta to study education of students with disabilities. She later went on to complete a Master of Education at St. Mary's University in Halifax. From 1977 to 1979, she held positions with the Yellowknife District School Board working with students with multiple language and intellectual challenges. Returning to Halifax in 1980, she became an inspiring teacher, and rose to the administrative level as Vice-Principal at St. Agnes Junior High School and later as Principal at George P. Vanier Junior High School, near her home. Beth always saw the potential in each child, and always had time to talk with and care about each one. Her concern for the students did not end at the classroom door. She was President of the Yellowknife Volleyball Association, Co-chair of the First Yellowknife Special Olympic Games, Northwest Territorial Representative to the Canadian Special Olympic Team, Member of the Organizing Committee for the National Volleyball Championships, Supervisor for multiple St. Pat's High School musicals, and Coach of the Saint Mary's University Cheerleading Squad. She established the King's College Tutors for Kids Project, which provided after-school support for grade school students in academics, and opportunities to interact with university students. She further launched the School Breakfast Program, enlisting community volunteers, private retail partnerships, and organizing student work teams. Throughout her career, Beth strove to challenge the schools to provide better programs, her colleagues to become better teachers, and herself, to provide better leadership. Her dedication and professionalism earned her the support and respect of her colleagues. Beth retired in 2010. Not content to relax, she became an active executive of the Retired Teachers Organization -- offering seminars, writing articles for several publications, organizing and assisting with many events and activities, and as the representative at provincial meetings. In 2018, Beth was offered the opportunity to lead a Nova Scotia-based school in China as Principal. She accepted the challenge and drawing upon her experience, training, determination, and natural leadership skills, she was extraordinarily successful in negotiating the monumental challenges. On her journey back to China in 2020, she contracted COVID, and unbeknownst to her, had developed cancer. Struggling with ill health, she completed the school year and returned to her cherished home in Dartmouth in July of 2021, to begin her toughest journey. Beth had a strong faith. In October of 2020, battling COVID, alone in a hospital in China, she wrote, "... faith and prayers for patience lead me on my path through these troubled times." Her faith gave her strength and determination in the difficult times of her life. Undergoing repeated treatments, she remained resolute that she would defeat the cancer, and if she did not, accepting that it was part of God's plan. In her last days, her thoughts were on how to make her passing less painful for her family. Her faith gave her strength, and at the end, gave her peace. Beth, you will be missed, and loved always. Special thanks to the oncology team at the QEII, and to a very special nurse, also named Beth. To Barbara Stewart and Kimberly Duke we offer our thanks for your care and dedication. To Fr. Paul Morris and to David Maginley we express our appreciation for ministering to Beth in her last hours. To an exceptional team at Hospice Halifax we extend our gratitude for the care and attention that Beth received on the final leg of her earthly journey. You were truly all a blessing … thank you all so, so much!! Cremation has taken place under the care and compassion of T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, Halifax. A service will take place at Port Wallis United Church, 263 Waverley Rd, Dartmouth on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 11:00 am, with a reception to follow in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made in Beth’s memory to Hospice Halifax, Ovarian Cancer Canada, QEII Hospital Foundation, or a charity of your choice.

Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Port Wallis United Church
263 Waverley Rd
Dartmouth , Nova Scotia, Canada
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