Raymonde Kelly

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4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, July 8, 2022
Charles J. O'Shea - Wantagh
603 Wantagh Avenue
Wantagh, New York, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

9:30 am
Saturday, July 9, 2022
St. Martha's Church
546 Greengrove Ave
Uniondale, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

St. Charles Cemetery
2015 Wellwood Avenue
Farmingdale, New York, United States


Raymonde Kelly February 20, 1928 – July 2, 2022 Raymonde Kelly was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on the 20th of February 1928. She was the last child of her doting parents, Henry and Louise Kelly. Her home was one of good cheer and good humor, which helped in the forging of her gregarious personality. She developed an early interest in music and received piano lessons whereby she developed a good ear for notes and chords. Her progress in school mirrored that of her music training. After elementary school, she was enrolled in the Lycee des Jeunes Filles where she completed her university preparatory classical education. She was one among the first group of girls in the country to attain a high school diploma with a focus on science and mathematics. Ms. Kelly decided to pursue a degree in nursing after high school graduation in 1946. In this regard she was a trailblazer, belonging to a rare group of young women whose focus on professional attainment rather than marriage guided their thinking and life choices. Professional accomplishment was central to her identity as a woman determined to be a co-head of household rather than a housewife. Thus, she secured her nursing degree first as a self-assigned condition of marriage. Consequently, she married Dr. Beauvoir Edmond at the relatively late age of 29 in contrast to the large majority of women below the age of 30 who married in their late teens or early twenties without a university education.


Both she and her husband left Haiti in 1957 on the invitation of the US government, given the shortage of black medical professionals at the time to cater to the needs of growing communities of color in northern US cities. She secured employment at Provident Hospital in Chicago IL and began her career as a nurse in the US in July 1957. She thrived professionally and personally. She gave birth to 4 sons while maintaining her professional status. After returning briefly to Haiti and having 2 more sons, she returned to the US and continued her nursing career until she retired in 1997, with stints at three NY metropolitan area hospitals. Her life was full of successes and turbulences. She weathered life’s storms stoically, smiling at life’s strange quirks and idiosyncrasies with a sense of unabashed optimism that all would turn out well. Such was her approach to parenting a relatively large brood, with differing personalities and demands of her time and energy. Her approach to child rearing was to shower love upon the child even as she corrected or punished him as necessary for his misdeeds. When life’s turn of events separated her from her children, she soldiered on, convinced that in time she would be reunited with them. She never wavered in her belief that God’s work would bring about the emergence of fine, outstanding citizens after her instrumental role in laying the foundation for her children’s character.


In having lived a full and complicated life, Ms. Kelly emerged as a survivor because of her strong faith and because of her conception of living. Her greatest tribulation, from which she emerged stronger, was to manage herself emotionally after the passing of her son Jean Robert. Determined not to succumb to overwhelming grief, she put herself to work and got involved heavily in church activities. Always optimistic, ever humorous, and devoid of rancor or pettiness, her way was one of love of humanity. She conceived of the ideal human being as one invested in the stewardship of her fellow human’s well-being, in the Franciscan tradition toward which her faith steered her. Whether it be a family member, a street urchin, a homeless person after a hurricane, the poor and hungry, she was always disposed to provide selflessly a helping hand because, as she taught her children, it is our duty to be of help and succor to those in dire life circumstances. She loved her work, she loved her colleagues, she loved her family, and she doted on her children with whom she was reunited in their adulthood, as she had previously foreseen. It was effortless for her to love. A traumatic stroke in 2015 precluded her from continuing to live alone and tend to own needs in the self-reliance mold to which she had acclimated herself over the years. She accepted grudgingly to be looked after at the Cobble Hill Nursing Home in Brooklyn, and over time she came to accept her situation with the same brand of candidian optimism that centered her life. With her gregarious nature and easy manner, she endeared herself to her aides, and they to her, garnering numerous fans among the staff at her last place of residence. After nearly 7 years at the nursing home, she passed away peacefully without distress or suffering at the age of 94.


With her passing, Ms. Kelly leaves: her sons, Beauvoir Edmond, Jr., Clyde Edmond and wife Carmen, nee Romain, Daniel Edmond, John Edmond and wife Maryanne, nee Amistoso, and Paul Edmond; her grandchildren Claire Edmond, Alyssa Edmond, Adrian Edmond, Michael Edmond, Jacob Edmond, Othello Edmond, and Tristan Edmond; her nephews and nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces; scores of other family members, friends, and church colleagues with whom she maintained contact. She remains the rare gem whose sparkling shine in our lives can never be dimmed. Forever in our hearts she shall dwell. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE


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