Former Durango resident Raymond Pedro Jacquez died Monday, May 7, 2012, in Laurel, Md. He was 83.
Mr. Jacquez was born to Thomas Jacquez and Lillian Pilon on Sept. 28, 1928, in Blanco, N.M. He grew up on his father’s sheep ranch outside Durango.
After graduating from Durango High School in 1943, he joined Army Intelligence. He attained the rank of sergeant and in 1953 was transferred to Fort Devens, Mass., where he met his future wife, Shirley Soucie. The couple were married in Athol, Mass., on May 23, 1953.
After a two-year assignment in Alaska and a promotion to warrant officer, he was assigned to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. Mr. Jacquez’s career included four years at the 12th Field Station in Chitose, Japan, and leading a team working with the Turkish General Staff before he returned to NSA to complete the final years of his military service. He retired after 22 years in 1969.
Mr. Jacquez earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
His military honors include the Joint Service Commendation Medal from the Department of Defense, the Army Commendation Medal Second Oak-Leaf Cluster and a Certificate of Recognition from the Secretary of Defense.
Mr. Jacquez followed his military service with a second career as a parole and probation officer in Maryland, serving 20 years before retiring in 1988 and receiving the Governor‘s Recognition of Distinguished Service.
Mr. Jacquez joined American Legion Post 60 in Laurel, Md., in 1965 and became a “much-respected fixture” at the local, state and national levels over the next 40 years, his family said. Mr. Jacquez served 23 years as post adjutant, was commander of the Color Guard for 10 years and was on the scholarship committee until 2008. In recognition of his service, he was awarded a lifetime membership at the post, was named Veteran of the Year for 2005 and received the Legion Distinguished Service Award from Post 60 for 1961 to 1981.
Mr. Jacquez served on the Department of Maryland Executive Committee for 18 years, was chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee for 14 years and initiated the Legion license tag program and ran it for 23 years. He was judge advocate for the Southern Maryland District for 16 years, chairman of the state Constitution and By-Laws Committee and served as announcer for the state convention parade for six years.
On the national level, he served as sergeant-at-arms from 2002 to 2003 and on the Constitution and By-Laws Committee for 14 years.
In his spare time he enjoyed reading, traveling, spending time with his grandchildren and relaxing in his swimming pool, his family said.
Mr. Jacquez is survived by his wife of 58 years, Shirley Jacquez, of Laurel; son, Alan Jacquez, of Ellicott City, Md.; daughter, Carole Zack, of Woodstock, Ga.; mother, Lillian Pilon, of Laurel; sisters Ruth Carrell of Centennial and Esther Smith of Concord, Calif.; and five grandchildren.