Published in The Washington Post on Apr. 25, 2020
(1923 - 2020)
Raymond Anthony Agricola (age 96) died on Saturday,
April 18, 2020, at MedStar Medical Center in Olney,
Maryland. The immediate cause of death was sepsis due
A native Washingtonian, he grew up in southwest. He was
the younger son of immigrant parents, born July 10, 1923,
at 484 N Street SW. He was a devout Catholic who first attended church and school at St.
Dominic Catholic Church in SW Washington. He later graduated from St. John's College
High School in 1941.
During WWII, he was commissioned as Lt. (jg) US Naval Aviator in March 1943, serving in
the Pacific theater, stationed on Guam where he received several decorations. Through his
training he qualified as a dive-bombing pilot and gunnery instructor receiving this
certification from baseball great Ted Williams. However, when reminiscing about his time in
the Navy, one of Raymond's proudest accomplishments was learning how to swim. He was
honorably discharged from active duty in July 1946 and continued his military service in a
Following his military service, he joined Pan American World Airways while still on Guam.
Later he transferred back home to the Washington, DC sales office where he served in
various positions for the next 34 years. He was honored to represent Pan Am on two special
flights. He accompanied scientists Joseph C. Hafele and Richard E. Keating in an
around-the-world 60-hour flight to test Einstein's theory of relativity proving that a person
would age slower in space compared to someone on earth. He also escorted the first group
of travel agents from several airlines to tour China after the Nixon administration opened the
doors to normalizing relations between the two countries. He retired as US Government and
Military Sales Manager in 1988. He also worked for another 10 years as a Montgomery
County school bus driver.
Raymond met his first wife, the former Ernestine O. Russell, during his time in Guam. After
they married, they purchased a home in Garrett Park, MD, where they raised their three
children until her untimely death in 1963. He married for the second time to Catherine M.
Trevithick, a widow, and moved their blended family of nine children to Silver Spring. After
that marriage ended in divorce he returned to his original home in Garrett Park. Raymond
married again in 1998, to his current wife, Jane F. Walker of Derwood, MD, where they lived.
They enjoyed traveling and getting together with his group of "Donout Guys" and other
friends. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who is survived by daughter
Regina Agricola Grieb (husband Michael A. Grieb), of Garrett Park, MD; son Stephen A.
Agricola, of Gaithersburg, MD and son Brian A. Agricola (wife Marybeth Forster) of
Lynnwood, WA. He is also survived by his grandchildren Matthew A. Grieb (wife Natalie M.
Grieb), Emma J. Agricola, Anthony R. Agricola, his nieces, Lesley P. Mack (husband Tom
Mack) and Joanne Foellmer, in addition to the children and grandchildren from his current
wife's first marriage.
Raymond will be remembered as a life-long sports fan, especially of the Washington
Senators (now Nationals) and Redskins. He was an avid bridge player who loved classical
music and films. He also acquired a vast collection of comic books, especially those from
the golden age of comics. Among Ray's many nicknames, "Foxy Grandpa" came from one
of his favorite comic book characters. His favorite saying was "I've always been lucky." This
positice sentiment carried him throughout his life, which is enshrined on a plaque on a bench
in front of his former home in Garrett Park.
Raymond will be greatly missed by all those who enjoyed his quirky sense of humor, his
devoted love to family and friends, as well as his insatiable love of chocolate.
Burial services at Arlington National Cemetery and a celebration of Raymond's life will be
held in the future.
In lieu of flowers, anyone who would like to make a contribution in his honor, can send a
donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor at Jeanne Jugan Residence, 4200 Harewood Rd.,
NE, Washington, DC 20017-1511.
Please sign family guestbook at www.DeVolfuneralhome.com