John Thomas Raymond
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Breaux Bridge - A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 12:00 pm, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, for John Thomas Raymond, 86, who passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.
The family requests that visiting hours be observed at Pellerin Funeral Home in Breaux Bridge from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Sunday; 10:00 am until 8:00 pm on Monday and 8:00 am until 11:30 am Tuesday.
A rosary will be recited at 6:30 pm on Monday.
Rev. Joseph Campion will officiate at the Funeral Mass.
Interment will follow at St. Bernard Mausoleum - No. 2 in Breaux Bridge.
Johnny was a local businessman and civic leader working in the healthcare industry since retiring from the military in 1969 and returning to his hometown of Breaux Bridge. He was a founder and co-owner of St. Agnes Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, which opened in Breaux Bridge in 1984. He was the first administrator of Gary Memorial Hospital and has served as a Breaux Bridge city councilman. More recently, he and a business partner opened Buck & Johnny's restaurant in Breaux Bridge in the former Domingue Motors building which his father had worked in during the 1950's and 1960's.
He began his distinguished military career during World War II, enlisting in the U.S. Navy for one year. He joined the U.S. Army in 1950 and in 1951 was commissioned as an officer. His military career included a tour in the Korean War, during which he served as a platoon leader in the 5th Regimental Combat Team and then as its youngest company commander. His training included paratrooper, jumpmaster, ranger, and mountain climbing schools. While in Korea he joined the newly formed 77th Special Forces Group, which he took to Thailand in 1954 to organize the Thai special forces. He remained in Thailand to reorganize and train the Royal Thai Army Ranger Battalion in special operations. In a 50th anniversary ceremony in 2004 he was recognized as the father the Royal Thai Army's special forces. On returning from Thailand in 1955, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division. He did a tour in Vietnam in 1968 and retired from the U.S. Army in 1969 as a lieutenant colonel.
The numerous medals and awards he received as a result of his military career included the Silver Star, The Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, and the Gold Star. During his service in Korea and Vietnam, he was decorated for bravery and meritorious service by the United States, Republic of Korea and Republic of Vietnam.
In addition to his business interests, Johnny had been active over the years in numerous civic activities, including the Atchafalaya Basin Board and the Louisiana Boxing Commission, and he was instrumental in the formation of the Louisiana Military Hall of Fame & Museum in Abbeville and in the Breaux Bridge Downtown Merchants Association. He was on the Louisiana Nursing Home Association Board of Directors for many years. He was also honored this year to be selected as King Agricole II of the Krewe de St. Martin.
He is survived by his wife, Coatney Sibley Raymond of Breaux Bridge; his son, John R. "Bobby" Raymond and his wife, DeAnna, of Owasso, OK, his daughters, Renee R. Delahoussaye and Carol Raymond both of Breaux Bridge; his grandson, John C. Raymond and his wife, Joy, of Baton Rouge and one great granddaughter, Sadie Laine Raymond; his step sons, Barrett Reid Branch and his wife, Angel, Byron Branch and his wife, Rhonda, all of Breaux Bridge, and Beau Branch and his wife, Wendy, of Broussard, and 5 step grandchildren, Sydney Branch, Barry Branch, Deuce Hardy, Julian Branch and Tylor Guillot.
He is preceded in death by his first wife, Myrtle Meche Raymond; his father, John Robert Raymond; his mother, Regina (Jean) Purel Raymond; and his aunt, Angel (Nan Nan) Purel.
Pallbearers will be Ricky Hayes, Bobby Martin, Sheriff Ronnie Theriot, Representative Mike Huval, Mayor Jack Dale Delhomme and Dr. Warren Degatur.
Honorary pallbearers will be Paul Hardy, Senator Fred Mills, Therese Segura, General Robert LeBlanc, Allan "Sprinky" Durand, Ken Lanzalaco and the Special Forces Chapter 81.
Pellerin Funeral Home of Breaux Bridge, 211 Berard St., Breaux Bridge, Louisiana 70517, (337-332-2199) is in charge of arrangements.
To view on-line obituary, sign guestbook and view video tribute, go to www.pellerinfuneralhome.com
Pellerin Funeral Homes Inc
211 Berard St Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
Published in the The Advertiser on Mar. 23, 2014