Bettyann Ronis-Raeburn


Bettyann Ronis-Raeburn, of Silver Spring, died in May at age 89. Her given name was Elizabeth Ann Raeburn and she was born in 1930 in Shanghai, China, to English parents.

When the Japanese invaded Shanghai during World War II, the Raeburns were interned in detention camps and endured meager food rations and scant medical services. When the camps were liberated in 1945, she moved to Geneva, Switzerland, and found work at the United Nations as a conference interpreter for English, French and German.

It was in Geneva where she met Norman Ronis, then a student at the University of Geneva Medical School. Norman brought Ronis-Raeburn with him to New York City, where they married in 1953.

After Norman joined the Navy Medical Corps, they lived briefly in many places before they settled into the new planned community of Reston in 1967 and raised their sons, Peter and Iain.

While in Reston, Ronis-Raeburn’s eye for contemporary and modern design fueled her talents as an interior designer. In 1980, Ronis-Raeburn and Norman moved briefly to Annapolis and then to Chevy Chase.

An ardent and curious traveler, Ronis-Raeburn travelled to nearly 50 countries and visited every continent, including Antarctica. In 1986 she flew on the Concorde, travelling across the Atlantic at 1,600 mph.

Following Norman’s passing in 1984, Ronis-Raeburn converted to Judaism and made aliyah, but moved back to Chevy Chase and Silver Spring. In 2016, following an onset of dementia, Ronis-Raeburn resided at Brookeville Assisted Living in Silver Spring.

Ronis-Raeburn is survived by her brother, Peter Duncan Raeburn; children, Peter Duncan Ronis and Iain Joseph Ronis; and grandchildren, Ben Ronis, Emily Ronis, Ryan Cronin and Rachel Cronin. She was predeceased by her grandson Sam Ronis. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Funeral Care.

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