Alumni Association co-founder and President Bobbie Raymond Passes away - Memorial service is Wed. June 12

Alumni Association co-founder and President Bobbie Raymond Passes away - Memorial service is Wed. June 12

Note:  The memorial and celebration of Bobbie Raymond's life and impact on our community took place on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, at 10 a.m. at the OAK PARK ARTS CENTER, 200 N. Oak Park Ave. Many members of the community were present to join share this opportunity to honor and remember someone who has made such important and varied contributions to Oak Park and beyond.

We are very sad to share the news of the passing of OPRFHS Alumni Association founder and board president ROBERTA (BOBBIE) RAYMOND LARSON (Bobbie) on Tuesday, May 5 after a brief illness. Bobbie was a co-founder of the Alumni Association in 2002 and helped initiate the Summer Enrichment Grant Program. To date this program has granted more than $450,000 to over 500 OPRFHS students, helping them experience summer academic and cultural arts programs that may have been financially out of reach.

As most know, Bobbie was the leading figure of Oak Park’s fair housing efforts, helping Oak Park maintain racial desegregation through the Oak Park Housing Center, which she founded to help fight the white flight and racist real estate practices of that era. Bobbie continued to head the Oak Park Housing Center until the 1980s. Her contributions to Oak Park went far beyond this important era however and the list of her involvements is too lengthy to fully detail, but include leadership roles with the Oak Park Art League, Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, and Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.

Members of the Alumni Association board in 2002

Above all, she was a tireless advocate for Oak Park and River Forest High School, never hesitating to call administrators, teachers, and district leaders on issues she believed were important to maintaining the school’s high standards. Her work with the Alumni Association’s Summer Enrichment Grant program demonstrated her belief that all students deserved equal access to activities that can enhance their high school experience and provide them with lifelong impact. It is no exaggeration to say that generations of high school alumni have benefitted from the tireless advocacy of Bobbie Raymond.


TOP photo with several SEG students receiving an award from the Community Foundation.
LOWER photo in 2002 with Board members of the Alumni Association shortly after its founding. 

(LINK to the Wednesday Journal announcement. LINK to a notice in the New York Times.)