Raymond J. DeBettencourt of Oak Bluffs, a beloved family patriarch, died on Thursday, Jan. 25 in Oak Bluffs. He was 97.

He was predeceased by his devoted wife of 52 years, Margaret Durkin DeBettencourt, and his sister Elinor. He is survived by his son Raymond J. DeBettencourt Jr. and grandson Sean P. DeBettencourt — who were both there to comfort him as he died — and also by his son Mark DeBettencourt of Cape Cod.

Raymond was born on Jan. 23, 1927 in the Highlands of Oak Bluffs to the late Alfred Francis DeBettencourt and Mary King DeBettencourt. He once said he could remember when New York avenue in Oak Bluffs was a dirt road.

He graduated from Oak Bluffs High School in 1945 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in the same year.

After his honorable discharge in early 1947, he returned to civilian life, working as a police officer for the town of Oak Bluffs, utilizing his guard patrolman experience in Germany.

While he was a uniformed police officer, he met the love of his life, Margaret. The couple married on Jan. 6, 1951. Within a few years, Raymond began his career at the telephone company. In his 31-year career in the union, he went from climbing poles with the telephone company “line gang” on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, to the central offices on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and, finally, in Hyannis before retiring in 1984.

After retirement, he and Margaret became snowbirds, enjoying their houses in Florida, Mashpee and their old homestead on State Road in Vineyard Haven.

He possessed an unassuming nature despite his tremendous skill set. He could coin a phrase, had a well-known green thumb and enjoyed working with his hands his whole life. Quick with a smile, he had a wonderful ability to find the positive in almost everyone.

Raymond was a pleasure to be around and his family will miss him dearly.

Services will be held privately.