Creole Heritage Center receives scholarship donation to honor Lemée, Raggio


The Louisiana Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University has received a donation from an anonymous donor to establish a scholarship in memory of Dr. Raymond A. Lemée of Vernon, Texas, and Mavis Cade Raggio of Lake Charles.

Lemée’s ancestors were among the first settlers of Louisiana and helped found Natchitoches. He moved to Texas when he was 10 years old and earned his undergraduate degree at SMU and completed medical training at Baylor Medical College.

Lemée was called into active duty in the U.S. Army in 1940. During World War II, he was attached to the surgeon’s section of 8th Army Headquarters and was assigned to an administrative post with the Philippine guerillas. After the liberation of the Philippines, Lemée was base surgeon for U.S. troops on the island of Mindoro. Following the war, he remained in the Army Reserves for more than a decade.

Upon returning home, Lemée became a general practitioner in Vernon, Texas, developing a special interest in heart disease and the use of telescopes in medicine.

Raggio was an alumna of Northwestern State University where she was a member of Delta Zeta sorority and the Purple Jackets. She was an active member of the Junior League of Lake Charles, serving on the committee which established the Lake Charles Symphony in 1956. Raggio was president of the Junior League in 1960-61 and chaired the committee which established the Imperial Calcasieu Historical Museum.

She had a passion for historical preservation and was past president of the Southwest Louisiana Historical Association. Raggio served as board member of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance and Downtown Preservation Authority. She served as an historic preservation consultant during the restoration of the Calcasieu Parish Court House (Court Room A), the 1911 Lake Charles City Hall and Central School.

In 1988, she was recipient of the Chamber/Southwest Civic Service Award. The next year she was presented with the Louisiana Preservation Alliance Preservation Award. In 2005, Raggio received the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Excellence in Community Service Award and the Women in American History Project Award.

For more information on the scholarship, contact the Creole Heritage Center at (318) 357-6685.