James "Jim" William Raymond Obit

JAMES "JIM" WILLIAM RAYMOND, 93, of Duluth, passed away on Jan. 10, 2024 at Elysian Senior Living. He was born in Deerwood on Sept. 22, 1930 to Louie and Isabel Raymond. After graduating from Crosby-Ironton High School, he got a job on the Thomas Wilson sailing the Great Lakes and served in the Naval Reserves. He married the love of his life, Caroline Elmer, on June 9, 1951 in Deerwood.   He began stock car racing at Proctor Fairgrounds - #11, from 1953 to 1961 where he won his fair share of victories. They started Arrowhead Tree Service in 1953 and this became the source of many funny and amazing stories and pets that most families could never image having in their homes. In 1965, getting tired of climbing trees, he invented a bucket truck to aid in the job, which developed into Reach-All Mfg. & Engineering. Reach-All quickly grew to employing over 100 local men and women and had dealerships all over the USA, overseas and major D.O.T. and airline contracts.  During all these activities, he kept his passion for deer hunting in Colorado, Wyoming, Canada and duck hunting at Hole in the Bog up north. They sold the business in 1986 and became snowbirds, traveling between courses. Golf then became his main interest. He amazingly had five hole-in-one—that’s proof you don’t have to be too good of a golfer!  Building and making birdhouses and tables, helping friends, neighbors and strangers was his passion... especially cutting down trees for anyone who would ask and which he was still doing at 88 years old!  Joy, hope and trust in Jesus flowed out of his everyday life. His stories, jokes and caring nature touched and entertained many of us - and he never met a stranger who he did not quickly make into a friend. He could have written a book of all his real-life stories and loved to tell them! He was a member of Faith Baptist Church Sarasota, FL, Skyline Rotary, Bethel Board, Lake Avenue Loafers, Ridgeview Country Club, Bent Tree Country Club and Proctor Racing Assoc. He was preceded in death by a granddaughter,  sister, Mary Lou Mirau and brother, Joe Raymond. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Caroline; brother and sister-in-law, Louis and Mille Raymond; sons and daughter-in-laws, Bill and Jody and Tim and Rene and daughter and son-in-law Debra and Karl  Johnson; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held later this summer.