A Chestertown Legend, Vince Raimond, Dead at 92


Vincent Martin Raimond, who died on August 12, enjoyed a wonderful life fulfilled by a successful engineering career, a great family, world travel and involvement in the arts.

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Portrait of Vince Raimond by Prairie Prince

Born in Boston Mass to Pietro Raimondi and Giussepina Barrasso in 1922, he grew up in The Bronx, New York with his adoptive mother, Romilda Avitabile Delfini. His first career was working for the sailboat design company Sparkman & Stephens. After his service in W.W. II as a cadet in the Army Air Force, he attended the University of Alaska on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1952. At the end of his stay in Alaska, after having started his own construction company there and accomplishing several building projects, he returned to New York City and his old job with Sparkman & Stephens Naval Architects. This led to participation in a special sub-contract at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, to establish a towing tank to test model vehicles.

It was there that he met Clifford Nuttall and they, along with Bill Wilson, formed a partnership to create a research and development company which specialized in designing off-road vehicles. They established the company in Kent County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a place chosen for its charm and beauty, yet not far from the major urban and military centers of the East Coast.

During the heyday (1954-1966) of Wilson, Nuttall, Raimond Engineering, Inc.(WNRE), Vincent traveled to exotic places for testing these vehicles: Greenland and the polar regions, Thailand and south-east Asia, Costa Rica, Panama and other Central American countries and all around the States. The U. S. Department of Defense was their main client. In 1958, Vincent established, and was president of, a second company, Ambulitter Corporation, which still exists today. It was formed to manufacture the off road vehicles whose designs they held with proprietary patents. These vehicles were built for Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Imperial Oil of Canada, Gulf Oil, and the U.S. Army Transportation Corp, among others.

At the demise of WNRE, Inc. in the mid-‘60’s, Vincent turned to another profession, forming a real estate brokerage with an emphasis on property investment and management. He also began collecting 18th Century houses and other examples of vernacular architecture, moving them onto his estate and creating a dwelling and out-buildings from these treasures (which were destined to be bull-dozed or burned.) Also, during this time, his life-long love and appreciation for the arts found an outlet as he became the Executive Director of Kent County Arts Council just as Maryland and the rest of the nation were beginning to see the arts as an economic engine as well as a necessity to enrich the quality of life, with support to local arts agencies throughout the state. In addition to encouraging individuals and groups to participate in the arts, he founded a long-lived and successful community theatre organization, A.C.T.

Vincent has a large family whose members participate in the arts and construction projects that are ever present; from his first marriage to Josephine Free Raimond, he has Laurence, Jennifer Roberts, and Martin. From his second marriage to Leslie Prince Raimond, he has Morgan, Francesca and Daniel. There are grandchildren: Heath, Vincent, Austin, Evan, Allyson, Camila, Italia “Tia” and Holiday and great grandchildren, Shane and Kaylee.

A celebration of his life will be held at Toad Hall later this fall.


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