MARIE RACINE
1934 - 2020
BORN
1934
DIED
2020

MARIE MARCELLE BUTEAU RACINE  
On July 23, 2020, Marie Marcelle Buteau Racine, 86, a long-time District resident, passed away in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her children, Mikaele Racine and Karl Racine, and sister France Buteau. Born in Les Cayes, Haiti on May 31, 1934, Dr. Racine and her husband, Etzer Racine, immigrated to the United States in 1963. She earned a master's and PhD in French and Linguistics from Howard University and Georgetown University, respectively, and embarked on an extraordinary 45-year career teaching generations of students at the University of the District of Columbia."Maye," as she was known by family and friends, was deeply involved in numerous organizations promoting education, women's rights, and justice in Haiti, Latin America, and the U.S.A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020, 2 p.m., at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 3211 Sacred Heart Way, Washington, DC 20010. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Lambi Fund (LambiFund.org) in Dr. Racine's name.
Published by The Washington Post on Aug. 6, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Aug
14
Celebration of Life
2:00p.m.
Shrine of the Sacred Heart
3211 Sacred Heart Way, Washington, DC
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



71 Entries
I am sincerely sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Please accept on behalf of the Dohnji’s family our profound condolences and may our prayers help comfort you and your entire family to overcome this challenging moment.
Dohnji J Dinga
Friend
December 22, 2020
My deepest sympathy on the loss of your Mother Dr. Racine. My prayers go out to Karl and his family. And thank you for sharing your Mother's homegoing service.
michael curry
Coworker
September 2, 2020
What a gift to ever been in the presence of Dr. Racine - a lovely, erudite, very interesting and special person. She will be missed, but happy memories will
always remain for her many devoted students, friends, and family who continue to be dedicated to important work and causes.
Nancy Start
Friend
August 31, 2020
Deepest Condolences from Idriys J. Abdullah and Family. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Idriys J. Abdullah
August 18, 2020
Dr. Marie Racine shall be remembered in so many ways and for so many things. Being an outstanding educator, colleague, mentor and friend are but a few of the things I will remember. Marie is missed. My sincerest sympathy and prayers to her family.
WILLIE GARRETT
Coworker
August 17, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Karl Racine and the entire Buteau Racine family. May she rest in peace.
John Capozzi
Friend
August 16, 2020
Maye was an inspiration for us all. We will miss her dearly but will always cherish her memories.
Marie Alice Craft
Family
August 16, 2020
Dr. Marie M. B. Racine’s memory will live up into eternity. I bestow immense gratitude and blessing to the Racine family with heart filled admiration for extending your mother’s extraordinary life and legacy.
Debbie Steiner
Acquaintance
August 15, 2020
Our dearest friend and colleague, in your retirement years, you were a great teacher and companion for lunches, museums, and festivals. Thank you for sharing your passion for and erudition in Haitian Creole. You made our lives so much better. Nou p ap janm bliye ou.
Jame and Regine Murray
Friend
August 15, 2020
A very gentle soul had left us and her footprints will be forever there to guide the younger generations . She is at peace and probably embarked on a new mission. Our condolences to the family . May god bless you all. Monique and Rico Theodore.
Monique Theodore
Friend
August 14, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Buteau-Racine Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. In memories we find comfort , in time we find peace.
Louis Souffrant
Family
August 14, 2020
My condolences to our AG & the Racine family -- and mèsi anpil for inviting all of us to share in the celebration of Dr. Racine's wonderful & inspiring life story.
Joel Cohn
August 14, 2020
Dr. Marie Racine fulfilled her steadfast mission on Earth admirably with courage, dignity, humility, perseverance, and resilience. May God bless her genuine and kind soul in the eternal life! I present my heartfelt condolences to the Buteau-Racine family.
Mireille Bernardin
Friend
August 14, 2020
Tante Maye was a wonderful and talented woman who was indeed a giant on so many levels. But I most appreciated her warmth and genuine love that she expressed to me by opening up her home to me when I was a college student visiting from NJ. She extended the same warmth to my wife and sons whenever we visited the D.C. area. She will be dearly missed! Much love from Ralph, Lyvie, Avery and Justin.
Ralph and Racine
Family
August 14, 2020
My Deepest sympathy to the Buteau and Racine Family.May God bless you during this difficult time.
Marie-Alice Paul
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
What an amazing woman with an inspiring life story! I am privileged to have known her. My love and condolences to the Racines and the Champions.
Catherine Hendrix
Family
August 14, 2020
Heartfelt condolences to Karl Racine and his family! Madame Racine was a pillar to the Haitian community and always was there to help and support her community. She was always kind to my parents Jacques and Suzy Lemaire, as well as a dear friend to my Aunt Renee’ Morisseau-Leroy. She will be missed! Much love to all! Pascale Lemaire
Pascale Lemaire
Friend
August 14, 2020
My next-door neighbor for many years, Marie welcomed friends, students and travelers from around the world to her home. She was a pleasure to know.
Carolyn Terry
Neighbor
August 14, 2020
My Condolences to Karl Racine and family. It was a beautiful celebration of a remarkable woman. Heaven is smiling now that an Angel has come home. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Alicia Washington
August 14, 2020
Tante Maye was and amazing Aunt which was loved by every member of my family and they were all able to spend and enjoy one on one time with her. She will be missed.
Rachelle Wish
Family
August 14, 2020
To Makaele, Karl and the whole Racine family by blood and choice. Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your cherished Mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and dearest friend. You are in our prayers and hearts. The world mourns with you. Madame Racine was a remarkable woman. Fear not, her legacy and spirit will live on. Generations to come will continue to benefit from her generosity, kindness, knowledge, talents, and love. May she rest in peace and may you soon find comfort in your memories of your beloved Maye. We were honored to join her moving tribute online. The Thomas, Linda, and Keith Holman Family
Thomas, Linda, Keith Holman
Friend
August 14, 2020
Marie will be with us forever. What a beautiful service and such a fitting tribute to an unforgettable person!
With love, Helene and Victor Krauthamer
Helene Krauthamer
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Your mother was a wonderful colleague at Howard University, the supreme model of a concerned teacher and mentor, a generous and committed friend. I feel fortunate to have known her. My condolences to you.
Maria Roof
Friend
August 14, 2020
Maye thank you for everything that you stood for. Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire family.
Patrick Laurent
August 14, 2020
Professor Racine was a scholar and leader who will be remembered for her keen intelligence and good humor. As a former colleague, I know she left her mark on UDC and will be remembered for her legacy there.
Patricia D. Maida
Coworker
August 14, 2020
My condolences to Karl and the Racine family. What a lovely and inspiring woman, who contributed so much to the community and as an educator touched so many people's lives for the good.
Pamela Gomez
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
Although we will miss Marie, her legacy has deep tentacles and will live on through all of the lives she has touched. Her work will continue moving forward through the strength of her kind and loving spirit. Jim & I genuinely love Marie and were touched by her light. She was a loving connector for all of us. Our deepest sympathy to her entire family. The service & video are a beautiful tribute to a life well lived.Mary & Jim Salander
Mary & Jim Salander
Friend
August 14, 2020
I worked with Dr. Racine at UDC. I attended her virtual funeral and wanted you to know I loved her dearly and wanted to share in the celebration of all she was/is to so many of us. The video was magnificent, and the service touching. Her passing won't stop the love, which I send to the Racine family and her other friends and colleagues. Rest in love, Dr. Racine, and I will honor her memory with a donation to the fund and by replicating her kindness and generosity with others. My deepest condolences.
DENISE SLAUGHTER
Coworker
August 14, 2020
What a wonderful person we’ve lost! My condolences to France, Mika, Karl and the grandchildren.
Max Etheart
Friend
August 14, 2020
What a gift to the people of Haiti and the world and to each and every one of us. We will remember her empathy, her solidarity, her activism, her spirit, her work the rest of our lives.
Anne Hastings
Friend
August 14, 2020
What a wealth of experiences, generosity and cheerfulness. Thank you for sharing this wonderful video which brought Marie-Marcelle back to us. Mesi Bondye, merci Bon Dieu pour Marie-Marcelle. Thank you, God, for Marie-Marcelle. With my deepest condolences to her family.
Francoise Pfaff
Friend
August 14, 2020
Beloved Marie, Thank you so much for all you mean to so many of us. You are dearly missed. May you rest in peace and power with eternal love.
Juliette Bethea
Friend
August 14, 2020
A lovely and inspirational woman. Such a grand tribute to her family and all communities she graced. RIP
Stephanie Cooperstein
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
Dr. Marie Racine was a trailblazer for the young generation. May her life of service continue to inspire us to give back more to our communities. Condolences to the family, especially Mikaele, Karl, and Rosemay, we will keep you in our prayers.
Jean-Pierre and Fritzie Leroy
Friend
August 14, 2020
Dr. Marie Racine was an extraordinary educator and life coach. She was never to busy to mentor
students on sound life choices, not just her students but all who sought her counsel. My sincere
condolences to the family for the loss of Dr. Marie.
Carroll Green
Student
August 14, 2020
Although I never met Marie, her passion for equality and empowerment are seen daily through the work of her son, AG Racine. Let her light continue to shine in him and all whom she touched.
Aisha Flucker
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
Sending love and light to the Racine family
Bernita Carmichael
Friend
August 14, 2020
As you celebrate the life of Dr Marie Marcelle Buteau Racine, may the wonderful memories of a life well lived comfort and sustain your hearts. Her numerous contributions to the world will live on in the lives and work of her son, her daughter, grandchildren, students and the host of others whose lives she touched and made better.

With deep sympathy,

Janice Parker Watson
Manor Park, Washington, DC
Janice Parker Watson
Coworker
August 14, 2020
I am so honored to have met and spent time with such an incredible woman. Dr. Racine was a shining light and the world is a bit darker without her. Thankfully, Dr. Racine left wonderful family and friends to carry on. God bless and rest in peace, Dr. Marie M.B. Racine.
Val Scott
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
Mye, tu as été une inspiratrice. You were my inspiration when I decided to study French literature. you were loved by everyone in our family, specially by my Dad, Schérer Adrien and my mom, Marie. May your est in Peace and we will remember to continue to fights for peace, social justice and a better world, just as you would have liked. Condolences to karlo, Karl-Félix, Mika, France and all your loved ones.
Marie Helene Adrien
Family
August 14, 2020
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Amparo Nunez
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Dr. Marie Racine was an extraordinary woman, mother and educator. She contributed much to improve many lives. Her bright, beautiful eyes will shine in the hearts of her family and friends. MaryAnn Miller
MaryAnn Miller
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
Rest In Peace Maye. You will always be remembered. We love you very much.
Francois & Jessie Adrien
Family
August 14, 2020
Dear Mikaelle, Karl and family. We are so sorry for the loss of your mother. We pray that the memories of your dear mother will sustain you through these difficult times! May she RIP and may God bless all those she loved and cherished. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Marie “Madge” & Buddy Tucker
Marie Michel-Tucker
Friend
August 14, 2020
My condolences to Attorney General Karl Racine and the entire family. Let Mama's soul rest in perfect peace.
Bobby Gboyor
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Professor Racine was a teaching colleague at UDC. While I taught in the law school, she was a present, senior faculty member in the University who was super kind and embracing of younger faculty. I engaged with her on many occasions and I looked for it. I will miss her terribly but am so appreciative of the time we shared. I valued her passion and love for the students and the institution. She was someone to behold and humble. She was an absolute delight. Forever in my heart, Professor Alice Thomas
Alice Thomas
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Maye has been a devoted Lady in the cause of Haitians and human life in general. For that, Thank you so much.
Patrick Laurent
Family
August 14, 2020
With our deepest sympathy we offer our condolences. The Olivier family.
Lionel Olivier
Family
August 14, 2020
Dr. Racine’s life, legacy, and memory is a blessing to us all.
James and Kathleen Pittman
Friend
August 14, 2020
Condolences to Marie's family.
Megan Leighton
Friend
August 14, 2020
Marie Marcelle and her sister France were greatly appreciated by my late aunt Marcelle ELIACIN. As a child in my hometown Les Cayes, and later as an adult, I always kept fond memories of Marie Marcelle and France. So I ask all the family, especially her children and her sister France to accept my warmest sympathies. Rest in peace Maye.
WILLIAM ELIACIN
Friend
August 14, 2020
Mami Maye has been around my entire life. It’s difficult to speak about her in the past tense. When we spoke, you couldn’t help but listen. What she wrote, you couldn’t help read. The life she led, you cannot help but emulate. Mami Maye I miss you dearly. Rest in power.

Bernard Andre
Bernard André
Family
August 14, 2020
My deepest condolences to the family for your loss.
David A Jackson
August 14, 2020

Dear Karl, Mika, France & Family:
Please accept my deepest condolences
for the lost of your dearest Maye.
Although I am not with you physically.
my heart goes all out to all of you.
Que son âme repose en paix.
Poupoule
Paulette SAINT-LOT
Friend
August 14, 2020
Although Maye has left this earth, she will always be in our heart and mind.
Guy Delatour
Friend
August 14, 2020
Marie Marcelle was such a caring and nurturing person. I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to interact with her. I will miss her!

Condolences to the family!
Evelyne Izeogu
Coworker
August 14, 2020
Dear Marie – on this formal day of saying our goodbye, I have been reflecting on the imprint you have made on me over the last 40 years with great admiration and appreciation.

We meet in 1978 when I was a sophomore in high school as a friend of Karl’s. As my friendship with him grew so did my understanding of how extraordinary you are.

When we meet, I was living with my father as my parents were divorced. Soon thereafter, my father who had been in DC in a political post, determined he needed to return to Dallas, where we had come from two years prior, for professional opportunities. I advocated fiercely to stay in DC as I loved my life and couldn’t consider another big change. He agreed under a range of conditions most of which were related to my grades and staying out of trouble. This meant that I was a 16-year-old living on my own, navigating adult responsibilities far before I was ready.

This was the first time I understood your unconditional generosity of spirit. As I frequented your house multiple times a week, there was never a time that we engaged over the next two years when you didn’t ask me what I was eating, always tried to feed me, if I was doing my homework, what my grades were and about my general wellbeing. The feeling I always had was that you had my back. An adult, a mother, a care taker was looking out for me in real time all the time. This made me feel grounded, protected, loved by someone other than a relative. It expanded my own understanding of who my family is.

As I began to explore myself, academic interests and professional pursuits your steadfast commitment to social justice was a steady hand shaping my own path in the world. Our conversations about Haiti, Aristide, liberation theology, economic development, and self-sacrifice for others helped me learn who I wanted to be. You have been made a permanent mark on who I am. I was recently writing my company’s manifesto and I felt your inspiration guiding me. I struggled for weeks to get clear about all I wanted to say in this manifesto as it became a proxy for who I am and what I value in the world. So, clarity was paramount. I will share one part as it reflects much of our shared believe system and how you helped me get there. For you:

Social and Ecological Justice – although equal access to opportunity is our collective birth right independent of gender, race, age, religion, identity or country of origin, it is often not freely available nor provided. Social and ecological justice must be demanded and defended, everywhere all the time, as we believe justice for some is justice for none.

I will miss you dearly.

Love Tanner


Tanner Methvin
Friend
August 14, 2020
Condolences to her children, sister and the whole family from Mme Raymond Dussek and family
Josette Dussek
Family
August 14, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to the Racine family members and friends. Marie was a remarkable colleague and friend, and an extraordinary person. May the warm and beautiful memories of her stay with us forever. Rest in peace!
Silva Meybatyan
August 14, 2020
Women of greatness always remind us that we all can live our lives sublime and in departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time! To my friend, UDC Colleague, and sister, take your rest and be blessed in the presence of God!
Dr. Elsie Williams
Coworker
August 14, 2020
My wife, LaTonya, and i never had the honor of meeting Maye but got to know of her from her doting son OAG Karl Racine. He waxed effusively about her everytime i heard him speak...and for good reason...Dr. Maye deserved props in her own right! Suffice it to say she and her husband instilled in Karl the qualities and characteristics that will take him to even greater heights than he has currently obtained.

May The Master give the Racine family an uncommon peace at this very special time...and the strength to continue The Good Fight in Life just as Momma Maye would want it. Rest in Paradise now. Well done good and faithful servant. Well done.
Henry jones
Friend
August 14, 2020
David & Jacalyn Champion
Family
August 13, 2020
Mrs. Racine was kind, welcoming and wise soul. We will miss her smile and presence at family gatherings.
David and Jacalyn Champion
Family
August 13, 2020
Sending my sincere condolences to the entire family. I got to know Dr. Racine over the course of many years when I was working/teaching at UDC. She was a kind and fascinating woman. She will be greatly missed.
Ruth Marin
Coworker
August 13, 2020
From the Dussek family we will miss our cousin dearly. May she rest in peace
Nancy Dussek
Family
August 13, 2020
My fondest memory of Tante Maye is this person from the states who would walk from Delmas to Vaudreuil (La Plaine) where we lived and spend time with us. She would suck on mangoes until it disappeared, same with chicken wings :) On a more serious note, she has welcomed and guided my daughter since a young age to ensure she "meubler son esprit". Education and women empowerment were very important to her and she made sure to transpire that in younger generations. When I started my jewelry hobby, she was the 1st to buy my pieces which she has featured as her Facebook profile to encourage me. Another fond memory is the amount of books spread all over her house up to her bed, yes she slept with her books nearby as they were dear to her heart
Rosemay Dyer
Family
August 13, 2020
I always loved talking to Tante Maye because I always left with a lot more information than when I started the conversation. I loved Tante Maye's love for history, the family and the constant thirst for education. She will be missed.
Regine Bowen
Family
August 12, 2020
Gerald Alain P Chen-Young
Family
August 12, 2020
ONÈ RESPÈ, HONOR AND RESPECT, MARIE MARCELLE BUTEAU RACINE
by Beverly Bell

Marie magnificently lived out the verse by the prophet Micah: "Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with thy God." She was kind, generous, selfless, committed, integrity-filled, impassioned, indefatigable, humble, and spiritually evolved.

It has been my honor and joy to have known Marie since 1984, when we met at a demonstration in Washington against the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier. On global levels, I knew her as champion of human rights, women's rights, democracy, and economic equity. In her own town, I knew her as co-founder of the University of the District of Columbia, which opened in 1977. Marie dedicated herself to co-creating and co-leading the only public institution of higher learning in the capital so that African Americans could have equal access to education. I knew her as director of the linguistics department, professor, and dean of students at UDC; summertime teacher to peasant children in Haiti; assistant to President Aristide during the coup d'état of his first, hopeful term; board member and volunteer with so many non-profits; and co-author of the lovely and important book Like the Dew that Waters the Grass: Words of Haitian Women.

I knew Marie as someone deeply troubled by the injustices of the world. Among other things, this caused her and her beloved husband to flee into exile with their family in 1966, because they couldn't bear to raise their two young children under the moral depravity of the François Duvalier regime. It also caused her to work endlessly on behalf of a rights-guaranteed and humane homeland and world. I knew Marie as the mother and heroine of DC's Attorney General, Karl Racine, who – guided by her moral compass - is shaking up Trumpland. I knew her as "pa ka pa la," cannot not be there, someone who always showed up to help and support, or simply to lend the strength and solidarity of her presence.

I knew Marie as lover of peoples and cultures, connoisseur and collector of Haitian and other African diaspora art, exquisite orator and singer, divine dancer whose body moved with the fluidity of water.

We shared deep friendship, love, and respect; passion for a transmuted world; travels all around the US as well as to Haiti, Mexico, and Cuba; joint board participation of Washington Office on Haiti, Lambi Fund, FONKOZE, and Center for Economic Justice; collaboration in President Aristide’s office (again, during the first term); elation, rage, and devastation as Haiti, its people, and dreams for its transformation rose and fell; adoration of Rev. Antoine Adrien, liberation theology leader and spiritual rock of the popular movement, who was also her uncle and my greatest mentor; and so much more. What a privilege to have been united with Marie in existence and experiences. I learned much from her, was endlessly inspired by her, and am grateful for her life which brightened this shadowed planet.

It is my hope that Marie flew her beautiful self away to a place where exist the principles, the love, and the justice that she worked so hard for on this planet.

Chapo ba, Marie cheri, fanm vanyan, sè m. A low bow, dear Marie, warrior woman, my sister.
Beverly Bell
Friend
August 12, 2020
Maye was an amazing person and a great sister in law. I will always remember her. God Bless you and Family.
Simone
Family
August 11, 2020
I met Dr. Racine through CLR James at FCC./UDC as a student. She was a wonderful human being. Condolences to the family.
Verona Iriarte
Teacher
August 11, 2020
Showing 1 - 71 of 71 results