Nita Mae Walker Raybourn
October 14, 1925 – August 16, 2015
Nita Mae Walker Raybourn, age 89, of Exton, PA, formerly of Newark, DE and Clovis, NM, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, August 16, 2015.
Born in Temple, Texas on October 14, 1925, Nita was the oldest daughter of the late Otto Burke Walker and Inez Montgomery Walker. She was older sister to the late Cecelia Laverne Walker. The family lived in Clovis, New Mexico where O.B. worked as an engineer on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail line.
A proud Wildcat at Clovis High School, Nita competed on the Debate Team and graduated with honors. She attended one semester at the University of New Mexico, but like so many of the “Greatest Generation”, World War II led her down a different path than she had planned. The love of her life, Jesse Raybourn, enlisted at age 17 and she left the university to become an Army Wife; a career at which she excelled for decades to come.
Nita raised a growing family all over the world, often alone while Jesse served in three wars, and gave birth to children in New Mexico, Japan and Germany. She proudly served as President of the Officers Wives Club and developed a lifelong passion for genealogy.
Nita and her family settled in Newark, Delaware in 1966 and so began another era of her life. She co-founded a women’s investment club, provided leadership for the local Daughters of the American Revolution, enjoyed bridge and became a familiar face among the 50 yard-line season ticket holders at the University of Delaware Blue Hens football games, as well as a well-loved patron of the Newark Free Library. She was a long-time member of the Newark United Methodist Church and the Newark Country Club, and loved music and dancing above all.
Despite her many interests and achievements, Nita’s proudest accomplishment was her close-knit family, including her husband of 70 years, the late Lt. Col. Jesse Stanton Raybourn; son, Michael Raybourn; daughter Susan Raybourn Klein (Irving); daughter, Laura Raybourn (William Kownurko), grandchildren, Ben (Barb), Adam, Alix, and Noelle, great-grandchildren, Vanessa, Sarina, Addi, and Jilli, niece, Claudia and nephews Randy and Bobby. As each child, grandchild and great-grandchild was born, Nita could be found rocking the baby, singing softly and providing kind and gentle steadfast love.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am Monday, August 24, 2015, at the West Chester United Methodist Church, High and Barnard Streets, West Chester, PA where visitation will begin at 9:30 am. A private interment will be held at the Delaware Veterans Cemetery where she will join her husband.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nita M. Raybourn’s name to the Alzheimer’s Enrichment Fund at Exton Senior Living, 600 N. Pottstown Pike, Exton, PA 19341, or to the Friends of the Newark Free Library, 750 Library Avenue, Newark DE 19711.