Raymond J. DeBettencourt


Raymond J. DeBettencourt, 97, of Oak Bluffs, died on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Oak Bluffs. 

Raymond was born on Jan. 23, 1927, in the Highlands of Oak Bluffs to Alfred Francis DeBettencourt and Mary King DeBettencourt. Raymond once said he could remember when New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs was a dirt road. Raymond graduated from the Oak Bluffs High School in 1945, and was drafted into the U.S. Army in the same year. After his honorable discharge in early 1947, Raymond returned to civilian life, working as a police officer for the town of Oak Bluffs, utilizing his guard patrolman experience in Germany. 

While he was a police officer, he met the love of his life, Margaret. The couple were married on Jan. 6, 1951. Within a few years, Raymond began his career at the telephone company. In his 31-year career in the union, he went from climbing poles with the telephone company “line gang” on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to the central offices on Nantucket, then Martha’s Vineyard, and finally Hyannis, before retiring in 1984. After retirement, Raymond and Margaret became snowbirds, enjoying their houses in Florida, Mashpee, and their old homestead on State Road in Vineyard Haven. 

Raymond possessed an unassuming nature, despite his tremendous skill set. He could coin a phrase, had a well-known green thumb, and enjoyed working with his hands his whole life. Quick with a smile, Raymond had a wonderful ability to find the positive in almost everyone. Raymond was a pleasure to be around, and his family will miss him dearly.

Raymond was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 52 years, Margaret Durkin DeBettencourt; and by his sister, Elinor. Ray is survived by his son, Raymond J. DeBettencourt Jr.. and his grandson, Sean P. DeBettencourt, who were both there to comfort him as he passed, and is survived by his son, Mark DeBettencourt of Cape Cod.

Services will be private.