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Raimond, Patrick

PATRICK RAIMOND
UNITED STATES ARMY
YAPHANK



Patrick Raimond was born on July 4, 1918, at Medford, New York, the fourth child of immigrant parents, Catherine and Charles Raimond. His father, a Russian peasant, did not read or write, although he spoke seven languages; hence the surname which obviously was not the original family identifier.

When Pat was a year old, the family moved to a house on the Upper Lake in Yaphank on the future site of the Lakeview Inn. He attended the octagon shaped, one room school on Main Street through four grades, and finished at the new Yaphank Elementary School. After graduation, he attended Patchogue High School where, at that time, most of the students from outlying rural areas continued their education. Through his junior year, Pat did not participate in many school activities, as he had to work and assist at home. In his senior year, he earned letters in football, baseball and wresting and was named top athlete of 1936. That year he won the Suffolk County wrestling championship in his weight class.

Following high school, because of circumstances during the Great Depression, he was unable to go to college, but he worked at a number of jobs until 1940. That was the year the "Draft" took effect in our country, and Pat was one of the early draftees. On March 18th, 1941 he left the Patchogue Railroad Station on his way to the induction center at Jamaica, New York. On his arrival, he was sworn into the U.S. Army, and the next day he was sent to Camp Upton, Yaphank! From there, a few days later, he was shipped to Camp Lee, Virginia. He was trained at the 223rd General Hospital and remained in Virginia for two years, during which time the U.S. entered the war and the one year draft turned into four years plus.

During that time, the 45th General Hospital was organized with a cadre of doctors from the Medical College of Richmond, Virginia, and Pat was transferred into that group. In March, 1943 they shipped out of Fort Dix, New Jersey to French Morocco in North Africa. They set up a hospital in Rabat at the College of Oranges, and a year later moved to Bagnoli, near Naples, Italy. During those years, Pat advanced steadily until he was a Tech Sergeant in charge of transportation for the hospital.

When the war ended in Europe, discharges were given according to the points a soldier had accumulated. Points were based on how long the soldier had served, if he was married and how many children he had. Since Pat had married his fiancé, Patricia Neger, on November 11th, 1941 and they had their first child the following year, Pat had accumulated enough points for an early release. He was offered a commission if he would sign on for another year. He decided against it and returned home on June 26th, 1945 in order to be with his family. Pat was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in connection with military operations in North Africa and Italy from March 29, 1943 to May 8, 1945. The citation stated "Technical Sergeant Raimond's outstanding organizational ability, knowledge of vehicles and devotion to duty resulted in the vehicles under his care being maintained in such excellent condition that no vehicle had to be salvaged during the entire period."

Upon returning to civilian life, Pat applied to the Brookhaven Town Police Department and immediately received employment, working out of the Port Jefferson Precinct. After a year, he applied to the Brookhaven National Laboratory which had been established at the site of Camp Upton, and he was taken on as a fire fighter and in security. In his spare time, he built a small home on two acres given to him by his in-laws which was located on the west side of Middle Island Road, one half mile north of Main Street.

He managed to study for the New York State Real Estate Broker's exam and received his license in 1949. This was the culmination of a dream he had since 1938. At that time he was found fishing through the ice on Lake Panamoka by the manager of the development company which had purchased the area. The man asked him if he could use his picture on their advertising brochure, and Pat consented with the provision that they would sponsor him in obtaining a Real Estate Salesman's License. With the war intervening, he was unable to do much about selling real estate, but the time now seemed right to do something about that dream.

Pat continued working at Brookhaven National Lab on the night shift, while studying for his General Insurance Agents license to go with the Real Estate License he had achieved. In those early days, his "office" was a desk in the living room and his "secretary" was his wife. By 1952 he was no longer able to get any sleep during the day, so he took the plunge, resigned after six years at BNL and went into business full time as the "Pat Raimond Agency". They sold houses to many people who became life long friends, and later in his career, Pat did appraisals for the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and individuals.

One of his proudest achievements in the Real Estate business, was salvaging the property which becameYaphank Estates. Heyward and Harriet Shannon lived in the large two story house which is now known as the Hawkins-Dooley House. They owned a sizable tract of land on both sides of Yaphank-Middle Island Road. Through the years, as they needed money, the Shannons sold off small parcels along the road front, which ran back to the lake. With the help of another broker, they had a road constructed at the Northwest end of the acreage, which was named "Shannon Boulevard", and building lots were sold on both sides of the road. They continued to sell lots fronting on the east side of Middle Island Road until they were left with a large parcel of land and about forty feet of road frontage! It was at that time that Mr. Shannon, who knew Pat since he delivered the newspaper as a young boy, asked for his help.

The first obstacle of needing an additional ten feet of property to develop an access road was overcome when Pat and his wife bought the lot back from the man who owned it. There were many months of working with people who would wait for their money until the property could be sold, but finally "Raimond Street" and Yaphank Estates were opened. Over the years, many lovely homes were erected, and many of the original purchasers still live there. In 1964, the lot the Raimonds purchased at the northeast corner of Raimond Street and Middle Island Road became the combined home and office of the Pat Raimond Agency. The Raimonds operated their agency in Yaphank for 25 years, and in December of 1974 retired to Port Richey, Florida where they still reside.

Unlike many retirees, the Raimonds are fortunate to have their family living nearby. Their first daughter, Kathleen Raimond Wolf, graduated from Port Jefferson High School, NYSU at New Paltz, and is an elected member of the Pasco County School Board. Joyce Raimond Rios-Wagner graduated from Longwood High School, and the Pasco-Hernando Community College, is a Registered Nurse and a licensed Charter Boat Captain. Valerie Raimond Faulkner is a graduate of Longwood High School and works with her husband and son in Faulkner Electric, Inc. The Raimonds have eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

Written by,
Mrs. Pat Raimond
December, 2000

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