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Official Obituary of

Edward L. Raynard

August 22, 1939 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Edward Raynard Obituary

Edward L. Raynard passed away peacefully at his home in Middleton, MA on February 27, 2024. Ed was the devoted husband and best friend of Shirley (Paul) Raynard. Ed was born in Lynn, MA on August 22, 1939, the son of Ralph E. and Laura N. (DeFilippo) Raynard.

Ed Raynard led a purpose-driven life. A humble, accomplished gentleman both personally and professionally, he looked for the best in others and made a difference in the lives of so many.

Ed is survived by two sons, Robert (wife Nicole) Raynard of San Francisco, CA and William D. (wife Tricia) Raynard of Middleton, MA both of whom he is tremendously proud of. He will be sorely missed by grandchildren he adored: Austin S., Diya M., Isabelle L., and Liza M. Raynard. He was preceded in death by brothers Ralph E. (wife Teresa) Raynard, Richard C. Raynard, and his brother-in-law Bill (wife Judy) Paul.

Ed will be long remembered for his kindness, strength, and generosity by his many nieces and nephews including: Mark, Pamela, Stephanie, and Greg Raynard and Debbie (Paul) Eveland (husband Ray), Dawna (Paul) Blum (husband Leny), and Dana Paul (wife Eileen). Ed loved them and all of their children.

A lifelong Middleton resident, Eddie attended Howe-Manning Elementary School and Holten High School in Danvers, MA (Class of 1957). Ed was proud to serve his country. After his active duty in the US Army at Fort Dix, NJ, and Fort Knox, KY, Armored Division, Ed continued in the Army Reserve for six years.

Ed married Shirley on Feb. 4, 1961 while both attending American University in Washington, DC. He earned a B.A. in Sociology and a Master of Social Work from Boston University. The two worked their way through college, running family farm stands on Maple and Boston Streets in Middleton.

Ed utilized his education and experience to improve the lives of families and children. Starting in 1963 at the Lynn Welfare Department, he advanced through roles in child welfare, becoming a key figure in Massachusetts. He served as the Statewide Regional Director for Children’s Group Care, then as the first Regional Director for both the Massachusetts Office for Children and the Department of Social Services.

Ed's unwavering commitment to child advocacy led him to pioneer programs like the Massachusetts Adoption Resources Exchange and the collaborative "Wednesday's Child Program" on WBZ-TV with Jack Williams. These initiatives have made a significant and enduring contribution to a myriad of local, state, and private organizations. His resolute yet unassuming advocacy has touched the lives of numerous families and children throughout the Commonwealth.

In recognition of his innovative and dedicated service, Ed was honored with the National Social Worker of the Year Award from the NASW in the 1980s, a tribute to his influential and meaningful career.

Despite retiring, Ed returned to service and created a Vocational Education Program at the Essex County Correctional Department. He also treasured his time teaching Social Work at Merrimack College, where he motivated students to carry forward a commitment to creating lasting change.

A grateful Middleton community mourns the passing of Ed Raynard remembering his many years of service and involvement. Together with his wife, he helped create the “Neighbors in Need” program in 1974 to assist families struggling through the holiday season. That program is now in its 40th year. Ed was always interested in expanding educational opportunities, serving on the Middleton and Masconomet Regional School Committees. Having been a Boy Scout in his youth, Ed served on the Troop #19 Committee. His civic involvement extended to politics, where since 1962, he was an active member of the Democratic Town Committee. Ed’s community impact also included his participation in the local United Fund and Heart Associations. He and his wife attended John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration in 1962. 

A genealogy buff and true local historian, Ed was a charter member of the Middleton Historical Society and wrote columns about Middleton’s history for the Tri-Town Transcript. Together with Shirley, he wrote the book on Middleton’s history that generated over $10,000 for programming at the Historical Society. They served as Co-Chairs on the Building Committee for the Renovation and Expansion of the Flint Public Library which mobilized a whole community in the successful effort.

Caring for families and children extended beyond Ed’s professional life, deeply rooted in his role as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. Every summer since 1992, Ed created memories as he zipped around Little Neck, Ipswich in his orange 1973 VW Thing. He doled out endless amounts of ice cream to his own family and everyone else’s. Ed’s heartfelt warmth and infectious smile earned him the title of several generations’ “Uncle Eddie” or “Grampy.” 

Ed’s family is proud to sing of his accomplishments because he never would. Ed Raynard is proof that one thoughtful, soft-hearted, determined, gracious, sympathetic, altruistic, humorously quirky, world-class listener, peace-loving man can be a powerful force for positive change.

Family and Friends are welcome to the Visitation Hours Thursday, March 7, 2024, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Funeral Service on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 10 AM at Mackey Funeral Home , 128 S Main St - Rt. 114, Middleton, MA 01949 followed by Committal at Oakdale Cemetery on Maple St, Middleton, MA 01949


IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, DONATIONS MAY BE MADE IN ED RAYNARD’S MEMORY TO:

FRIENDS OF FLINT LIBRARY/ NEIGHBORS IN NEED PROGRAM AT 1 SOUTH MAIN ST, MIDDLETON, MA 01949

 

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 7, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Middleton, Mass
128 S Main St - Rt. 114
Middleton, MA 01949

Funeral Service
Friday
March 8, 2024

10:00 AM
Middleton, Mass
128 S Main St - Rt. 114
Middleton, MA 01949

Committal
Friday
March 8, 2024

11:00 AM
Oakdale Cemetery
Maple St
Middleton, MA 01949

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