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Elizabeth Raymer

1930 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth Raymer Obituary
Elizabeth (Liz) Raymer


Liz Raymer died of natural causes on November 2, 2017, while recovering from hip surgery. She is survived by her beloved wife, Dr. Ragna (Ronnie) Boynton, and by the many members of their lively, extended family.
Liz was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Kathleen and Charles Money, and became a naturalized US citizen in 1963. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from UCLA in the 1960s, and initially worked as an administrator for Head Start. She also served LA County as a probation officer for teenage children, counseled people with HIV and AIDS in the early days before medical treatments were available, and worked as a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor from the 1970s through the early 2000s.
Liz was married to Maxwell Raymer (1922-2010) for 18 years, with whom she had three daughters, Alexa, Julia, and Robyn. In 1990 she met Ronnie, and became a second mother to Ronnie's children and step-children as well: Benjamin, Christian, Kirsten, Lorelle, and Ursula; David, Jon, Sally and Sarah. Liz and Ronnie married in 2008, and together they have 25 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Liz especially delighted being involved in the lives of the younger generations, and was invariably supportive of each child's unique interests.
Whether in her personal or professional life, Liz was an adventuresome, engaged and irrepressible person. She traveled alone to India, where she studied Siddha Yoga, and in later years became a Buddhist, attending multiple retreats at the Kagyu Sukha Choling Center in Ashland, Oregon. For over 30 years she was part of a group begun by Richard Olney, which emphasized self-acceptance and self-awareness. She was a life-long liberal Democrat and political activist who never hesitated to speak her mind, and she continued to travel widely in later life despite health challenges.
In her 60s, Liz joined the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra (BCCO) and became one of its most active and influential members. She served for many years on the board of directors, and together with Ronnie, hosted fundraising recitals, benefits, board retreats, and countless rehearsals in their home. She was most proud to have been a member of the search group that brought current Music Director Ming Luke to BCCO. She was also an active member of Berkeley's Ashby Village, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping older adults to age well in their own homes. During the last years of her life, she participated in an Ashby Village low-vision group, and led an "Over Eighties" group.
Liz Raymer was an indomitable spirit. Even as her joints failed her and she was beset by macular degeneration, she lived her life to its fullest, an inspiration to all who knew her. A memorial service for Liz was held on Nov. 25 at Freight & Salvage coffeehouse, in Berkeley. Donations may be made in Liz's name to BCCO, Ashby Village, or Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 10, 2017
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