African activist Raymond Almeida dies at 66

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raymond 'Ray' Almeida Africa Development Activist

Raymond "Ray" Almeida, 66, who worked for more than 30 years on development issues in the Cape Verde islands off western Africa and throughout the African continent, died Jan. 30 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston of complications after heart bypass surgery.

Mr. Almeida had been involved in Cape Verde development since 1975, when he helped found Tchuba -- the American Committee for Cape Verde, an organization that worked to support the newly independent island nation.

Mr. Almeida had most recently served from 2007 to 2009 as the congressional liaison for the U.S. African Development Foundation, a federal agency that provides direct support to community organizations and enterprises in Africa.

From 1996 to 2006, he was a senior international policy analyst at Bread for the World, a Christian anti-hunger organization. He helped craft the Africa: Seeds of Hope Act in 1998, which launched programs for development of agriculture and rural communities in Africa.

Mr. Almeida lived in Cape Verde from 1985 to 1991 and was the managing partner of a scuba-diving and seafood-export business. He returned to the District to work in the early 1990s as a staffer for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and later as a senior program adviser for "The Cape Verdean Connection," the centerpiece of the 1995 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Raymond Anthony Almeida was born in New Bedford, Mass., a hub of the Cape Verdean American community and to which three of Mr. Almeida's grandparents, native Cape Verdeans, immigrated during the late 1800s.

He graduated in 1965 from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. He received a master's degree in education from Harvard University in 1970. He was a fellow in the department of urban studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.

Mr. Almeida was the editor in 1978 of "Cape Verdeans in America: Our Story," a book about the history of immigration to New England by residents of Cape Verde.

He moved to Washington in 1981 to work for the embassy of Cape Verde. In 2005, he was awarded Cape Verde's highest recognition for his work on behalf of the country.

His marriage to Pamela Mason ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Arlinda Halliburton Almeida of the District; two children from his first marriage, Adrienne Ambra Almeida of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Mason Ramos Almeida of New York; his mother, Emily Ambra Ramos Almeida of New Bedford; and two sisters.

-- Emma Brown

Jacqueline K. Mather Business Owner, Receptionist

Jacqueline K. Mather, 81, an artist who owned a gallery and most recently had been a receptionist for a Long and Foster real estate office in Lorton, died Jan. 28 at Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge. She had esophageal cancer.

Until November 2009, Mrs. Mather, a Lorton resident, had worked part time for Long and Foster for more than 10 years.

She spent her early career as a commercial artist for a Baltimore department store before studying fine arts in New York and then in Bangkok.

In the 1970s, she owned and operated The Art Patch gallery in Springfield. In the 1980s, she owned and operated VIP Travel Agency in Rosslyn.

Jacqueline Keyes was a Baltimore native and a 1948 graduate of what is now the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Her marriage to Linwood B. Mather ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children, C. Victoria "Vicky" Mather of Lorton, James "Rusty" Mather of Colorado Springs and Jocelyn Hayes of Spotsylvania; two sisters, Janice Teeple and MaryLou Ross, both of Baltimore; and three grandsons.

-- Adam Bernstein

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