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Raymond L'Heureux

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Raymond A. L'Heureux BENNINGTON Ray, one of eleven children born to Alfred and Rita (Bonneau) L'Heureux, was born in Pawtucket, R.I. He was educated in parochial and public schools, graduating Pawtucket West High School in 1949. In 1950, at the beginning of the Korea War, he joined the U.S Navy. Following radio operations school in Norfolk, Va. he served on a number of ships that included destroyers and a battleship. Following his honorable discharge in 1954 he married Theresa Bolduc in Laconia, N.H. That same year he entered the N.H. Technical Institute graduating in 1956 with an associates degree in machine and tool design. In 1956 he became a student at Keene State College majoring in social studies, math and science, graduating in 1960. In the 1960/61 school year he taught at Winchendon, Mass. Jr./Sr. High School. During the summer of 1961 he became interested in working with severely handicapped and signed a contract to become principal/teacher of a school in Wolfeboro, N.H. The South Wolfeboro school was the first such school in New Hampshire devoted to serve students who at that time could not be integrated in regular public school programs. In 1963 Kingswood High School was built in Wolfeboro. Ray, working with the school board and other administrators cooperating, began mainstreaming many South Wolfeboro children. His new responsibility included Director Special Education/Teacher. In 1964 he received a Master of Education degree from Plymouth State University. In 1966 the New Hampshire State Department of Education awarded Ray a fellowship to continue studying new phases of special education in Rhode Island, where he earned a masters degree. In 1967 Ray became Coordinator Special Education Bennington School District. Red Brick School in Shaftsbury, the former home of special needs children, was closed and programs were located in public school buildings. Ray worked with administrators and the superintendent in making the transition a smooth operation. In 1968, the New York State Department offered Ray an opportunity to work in the department's Federal Aid Unit. Until 1974 his responsibilities included funding public school programs under Public Law 94-142 and non-public school programs under public law 89-313. In 1980 he was promoted to the department monitoring division where he served until his retirement in 1991. During his years with the New York State Department, Ray taught for 14 years in the evening graduate programs of Castleton State College, College of St. Rose, Russell Sage and the College of St. Joseph. He was an active volunteer with Hospice, as well as hospital and nursing homes for patients who had no family or friends. From 1995 to the present, he was a Court Diversion review board member. Ray was a 4th Degree Life member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Bennington Lions Club. In 1997, his wife Theresa passed away following a long illness. On September 18, 1999 he married Joan Betit (Parker). In addition to Joan he leaves his sons, Steve of Great Falls, Montana, and Wayne of Chicago, Illinois. Friends may call at the MAHAR AND SON FUNERAL HOME in Bennington on Friday, February 3, 2012 from 5 until 7 p.m. Funeral services and interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bennington Project Independence or the Second Chance Animal Shelter through the Mahar and Son Funeral Home , 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201.

Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 3, 2012
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