Raimonde inducted into Hall of Honor

A MARTINS FERRY physician, who delivered thousands of babies, provided medical treatment for all ages and sometimes made house calls will be inducted April 6 into the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor.

That HofH inductee is Dr. Romeo A. Raimonde, who also was in a bomb squadron during World War II.

Raimonde not only served his patients for 45 years and was an officer in various medical groups, but he also had a lighter side. In his younger days, he played a mandolin and entertained in the Martins Ferry Hospital minstrels in the early 1950s.

He is one of three HofH inductees in the medical field. The others are May Louise Hinton Wykle, Ph.D., first African-American graduate of the Ruth Brant School of Nursing and first African-American dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, and the late Dr. C.B. Messerly.

Other honorees are Patrolman Peter A. Reddy, a Martins Ferry policeman killed in the line of duty; Jack Canfield, originator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series; and Calvin and Betty J. Pokas, journalists with Calvin being in the OVAC Hall of Fame, two state Halls of Fame and the Bellaire Wall of Fame and Betty is in the Barnesville Area Education Foundation HofF.

The April 6 ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. in the Martins Ferry High School cafetorium. The Citizens Bank has been the sponsor for the HofH since it began several years ago after the HofH committee was organized by Les Douglas, who was mayor at that time.

Raimonde, who was valedictorian and president of the Class of 1941 at Yorkville High School, studied accounting at The Ohio State University from 1941-43 before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. A member of the Headquarters Co. 884th Bomb Squad, 383rd Bomb Group, which flew in B-29s, he was in the Air Corps until 1946.

He attended OSU’s College of Medicine from 1946-51 and then did his internship at City Hospital, Akron.

Raimonde isn’t the only member of his family to be in the health field. He had nine brothers and sisters, and their father was a laborer for the Wheeling Steel Corp., and their mother was a housewife. Two of his siblings became veterinarians, two were teachers, one became a pharmacist and another was a nurse.

He has four children, Rebecca, Rodney, Michael and Beth Anne.

The 90-year-old physician was involved in various medical activities while in general practice in Martins Ferry from 1952-97.

He was president of the Martins Ferry Hospital Staff for two terms and president of the Belmont County Medical Society in addition to being on the boards of directors for Martins Ferry Hospital and the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley. He was a member of the Wheeling Hospital Medical Staff with obstetric privileges.

A charter member of the Ohio Academy of General Practice, Raimonde was a 50-year member of the Ohio State Medical Association and American Medical Association.

He was plant physician for the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. at the Yorkville and Martins Ferry plants for 26 years.

In addition to serving as team physician for Martins Ferry High School without charge while Fred Thomas was football coach, he distributed both the Salk vaccine injection and oral Sabin vaccine for the eradication of polio at free clinics in the city.

Raimonde also made house calls to those unable to go to his office, sometimes during the night. He was available to care for emergency room patients who did not have a family physician and helped to instruct the emergency squad when patients were transported to the emergency room.

The individual who nominated him for the HofH noted in part, “The list could go on to talk about his desire for rightness, patience and compassion especially with children and people who just needed to talk. It is felt by many that he not only has been a great doctor but a good friend.”

Raimonde and his wife, Donna, reside in Martins Ferry.

The HofH was initiated to honor individuals whose actions or accomplishments have affected, aided or brought fame to Martins Ferry. To be eligible for the honor, the persons must have been born, lived or worked in Martins Ferry.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.