OBIT: Raya Stern, 87, Watertown Library Trustee for More Than 3 Decades

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Raya Stern

Former Watertown resident and longtime Watertown Library Trustee Raya Stern died on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at the age of 87.

Born in Germany, she and her family fled to the United States in 1938. Stern earned degrees in mathematics and moved to Watertown in 1963, where she lived there for almost six decades.

Stern served on the Board of Library Trustees for the Watertown Free Public Library for 32 years, and the trustees room at the library was named in her honor. She was also was a President and dedicated member of Watertown’s League of Women Voters of Massachusetts chapter.

She as a devoted mother of Dea and her husband, Rob of Bristol, RI; as well as a cherished grandmother to four. She was predeceased by her dear brother, J. Michael Stern.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the National Cancer Institute, Director, National Cancer Institute, Building 31, Room 11A-16, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023 Merrifield, VA 22116-7023. For service details, Shiva information and online condolences, please visit

See the entire obituary by clicking here.

4 thoughts on “OBIT: Raya Stern, 87, Watertown Library Trustee for More Than 3 Decades

  1. I was honored to work with Raya for 27 of her 32 years on the library board. She cared deeply for the library and its’ staff and patrons. She was instrumental in the process that resulted in the renovation and addition to the library building in 2006. In that process and in her work as a trustee she provided valuable insight and feedback as well as financial support. I will always treasure our friendship. She will be missed by many.

  2. Raya was so generous to WFPL staff. She gave us holiday gifts every year and reminded us in many ways how she valued our work and her Watertown community.

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