Arnold T. Raaymakers passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Dec. 2, 2019, after a short illness complicated by Alzheimer’s.
Arnie was born on March 3, 1930, to Anna Maria Welsink Raaymakers and John Raaymakers and he was raised in Lynden.
Arnie attended the Greenwood Elementary School of Lynden (grades 1-4), Assumption Catholic in Bellingham (grades 5-8), Lynden High School (class of 1948), and Seattle University and San Jose State University, where he received his engineering degree in 1953.
Arnie then joined the U.S. Army and while stationed in El Paso Texas, he met Margarita, his first wife. They married in 1955 and moved to San Jose. They had four children and later divorced, but remained on friendly terms.
After his service in the Army, he worked as a surveyor for the City of Sunnyvale and then from 1957 to 1991 was a survey party chief for Caltrans. Arnie helped survey dozens of the highways, roads and bridges in Northern California.
In 1976 Arnie married Lynn and they settled in Livermore. In 1991 they retired back to Lynden where Arnie and Lynn enjoyed the friendly, slow pace of the small town, incredible sunrises and sunsets over the pasture and the view of the Nooksack River and Mount Baker. They traveled, mostly to visit children and other family, a few trips to Europe and during football season they attended Notre Dame football games all over the United States. After Lynn passed in April 2017, Arnie moved to San Jose to be closer to his family.
Arnie was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus and served as the Grand Knight of the Fr. Schweizer Council #12420 in Lynden. He enjoyed traveling and reading, and was an avid Notre Dame football fan.
Arnie was predeceased by his parents, Anna and John Raaymakers, and his brother Ted.
He is survived by his children, Barbara (Marshall), Stevan (Veronica), John (Hoan) and Mike (Jill); his grandchildren, Matthew, Alejandro and Andres; his former wife, Margarita; his stepchildren, Billy, John (MaryAnne), Troy, Teresa and Corina (Steve) and their families; a nephew, Ted (Linda) and two nieces, Margaret and Cheryl (Scott) and their families; also family in the Netherlands.
Donations can be made to the Knights of Columbus or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Arnie was buried at Greenwood Cemetery of Lynden, a short distance from the farm where he grew up. A Memorial Mass and luncheon will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, in St. Joseph Catholic Church of Lynden.
Arrangements are by Jerns Funeral Home of Bellingham.