Elgie's Story

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TAHLEQUAH – Elgie Victor Raymond passed peacefully on Aug. 28, 2015, with his wife, Margaret (Peake) Raymond, at his side in their home of 15 years in Tahlequah. Elgie was 87 at the time of his death. He was born June 5, 1928, at the Raymond Ranch on the Keypaha River near Milboro, S.D. He was the ninth child, nicknamed “Scoop,” of Enoch and Mary (Frazier) Raymond. He was baptized on Nov. 11, 1928, at the Government Boarding School in the Diocese of South Dakota. Elgie was orphaned at an early age when his father passed when he was seven and his mother passed when he was nine. Elgie was reared by his sister, Velma (Raymond) Beauvais, and also lived at the Rosebud boarding school. The Raymond family are members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Elgie spent almost his lifetime in educational pursuit from attending elementary school at Milboro, S.D.; Rosebud Indian Boarding School in Mission, S.D.; Provo High School on the Provo Military Base; to graduating from the Todd County High School in Mission, S.D., in 1947. He told a story about how he worked on a road crew building roads when he 16 and 17 and decided that manual labor was not his life choice. So at the age of 18 he began study at the University of Kansas, living at Haskell Indian School and working as a dormitory attendant. He finished a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a MSW degree at the University of Kansas before he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served at Fort Sam Houston as a medic instructor, attaining an honorable discharge. He was an active member of the American Legion Post in Colombe, S.D. On Nov. 24, 1954, he married Cliona Waller in Houston, Texas. The couple was married for 20 years and parented two sons: Reid Scott Raymond and Victor Jason Raymond. Elgie worked as a research associate at Bowling Green State University and taught at University of Toledo. He continued a career in sociology and social work, entering a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota. Elgie established the first American Indian degree program in the nation at the University of Minnesota before he served as an associate professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma. Elgie said he loved being a student more than anything and had more than 300 credit hours before he finally quit going to school. He was a strong advocate for American Indians in the 1970s when social change was rapidly coming to American Indian tribes across the country. He was one of three founders of the National Indian Education Association and consulted with Senator Ted Kennedy’s successful effort to pass the Indian Education Act in 1972. He is recognized as consultant to the notably three founders of the Sinte Gleska University, Mission, S.D., one of the first American Indian Colleges, and also consulted with the Rough Rock Indian School in Chinle, Ariz., and the Sisseton-Wahpetan Tribal College in Sisseton, S.D. Elgie loved “behind-the-scenes” work and as such was not often acknowledged for his many successful accomplishments observing others take credit. He would pass it off lightly saying, “A good idea has many authors, while a bad idea has none.” He is survived by his wife, Margaret (Peake) Raymond, of 38 years; his brother, Robert Raymond of Billings, Mont.; a sister, Geraldine (Raymond) Lira of Oakland, Calif.; son, Reid Scott, and daughter-in-law, Heidi Drobnick; and grandsons, Fred, Lance, James, and William; son, Victor, and daughter-in-law, Lynn Litterer; step-son, Gary Drew Stopp, and daughter-in-law, Anna Knight; and grandchildren, Mike, Jake, and Amanda; and deceased step-daughter, Lisa; and grandson, Gerald Johnson; and many nieces and nephews among other relatives in South Dakota, Oklahoma, California, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, and Wisconsin. He is preceded in death by his parents; eight siblings; and an infant son, Geoffry. The memorial wake will be held on Aug. 31, from 4 to 7 p.m., and services on Sept. 1, at 11 a.m. at the Reed-Culver Funeral Home, with a meal following. On Memorial Day 2016, his ashes will be interred at the Ascension Chapel Cemetery on family land in Tripp County, South Dakota.
Published on  September 1, 2015
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