Raymond DeJesus, of Portsmouth, RI peacefully passed away on November 11, 2022 at the VA Hospital in Providence. Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico on December 20, 1944, he was the youngest of six children born to Nicolas and Guillermina DeJesus (Diaz). Raymond grew up in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, where he met his wife, Eneida DeJesus (Panela). They were married on November 1, 1970 and had three children.
A Vietnam Veteran, Raymond enlisted in the United States Navy on February 26, 1965 and served 21 years. During this time, he served on the USS Vesole DD878; USS Garcia DE1040; Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada; USS Rathburne FF1057; USS Brice Canyon AD33; USS Valdez FF1096; Naval Education Training Command, Naval Station, Newport, RI; and the USS Nitro AE23. He retired on May 31, 1986. During his active duty service, Raymond played on the Naval Racquetball Team where he competed in numerous tournaments.
After retirement, Raymond took a job at the Playoﬀ (later renamed as the Newport Athletic Club) where he was the club racquetball pro. Raymond played in various tournaments around New England. He gave racquetball lessons to anyone who was willing to the learn the game. Raymond passed on his love of racquetball to his son, Robert, who finished as a Bronze Medalist at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg Canada.
After leaving the Newport Athletic Club, Raymond was the manager of the Newport Marriott Fitness Center. Finally, Raymond was employed at Salve Regina University as a Security Oﬃcer until his retirement.
To know Raymond, is to love him. And all who knew him, loved his humor and quick wit. Raymond loved to dance, so much so, he danced with his daughters in numerous recitals at Steppin’ Out Dance Studio. Raymond also had a passion for singing. He grew up singing “doo-whop” music with his sisters Carmen and Norma, his brother Victor and his cousin and best friend Manuel Cruz, and Manuel’s wife, Inez. Together, family gatherings were always full of singing in three-part harmony all of their favorite Motown Classics.
Raymond was well known around town and frequented his favorite restaurants such as Newport Creamery, Ching Tao, Subway, and his favorite, Foodworks. But nothing could ever compete with his favorite Puerto Rican dish…..rice and beans.
Raymond is survived by his wife of 52 years, Eneida, his children Robert (Rebecca) DeJesus, of Flower Mound, TX, Denise Miller (Daniel) of Tiverton, RI and Melissa Carvalho (Adam) of Swansea, MA. Seven grandchildren Jordan, Adyson, Nicholas, Olivia, Cameron, Owen and Quinn. 19 nieces and nephews, 26 great-nieces and nephews, and 10 great, great-nieces and nephews. Raymond was preceded in death by his father and mother, his siblings, Gloria, Cheo (Jose), Carmen, Norma and Victor.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday November 16 from 4:00-7:00pm in the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Rd, Portsmouth.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00am on Thursday, November 17 in St. Barnabas Church, 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth. Burial with Military Honors will follow at RI Veterans Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to VNS Home and Hospice, 1184 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871.