Angela Mary Raish, 101 years young, died peacefully at Goodwin House Alexandria on June 3, 2022, surrounded by loving friends and her granddaughter Christina Raish.
She is survived by her son John (Flora), granddaughters Christina and Maria, and son, Stephen. She is predeceased by her husband, Leonard (Bob), her brother Frank Lastrico and sister Mary Sympson.
Angela was born May 9, 1921, in Ashton, Iowa, to Italian immigrants Joseph Lastrico and Ida Tossini Lastrico. The family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when Angela was a teen. There, her faith and values were formed by the Franciscan and Dominican nuns and she considered entering the nunnery but instead took typing and shorthand tests, passed with flying colors and entered the Civil Service. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1942 as a “government girl” landing a job at the US Navy Department. Here she met the love of her life, Bob Raish. They married on February 8, 1947, and were soon loving parents to their sons John and Stephen.
Angela accompanied Bob to London and Paris as his career as a Navy Captain soared. In 1969, returning to Washington, D.C., Angela began her work with the Republican national party, first serving the Inaugural Committee for President Richard M. Nixon. In the years following, Angela worked for Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, for Senator Bob Dole in his role as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, in the White House in President Gerald Ford’s administration, and for Rogers Morton when he was Chairman of Ford’s Campaign Committee.
In 1978, Angela started her service to Senator Pete V. Domenici (New Mexico). She retired in 1998 but for years continued to “go to the office” once a week to work on the Senator’s “love letters” to his constituents. In her many roles serving Senator Pete and the people of New Mexico Angela defied description. Her retirement was marked by Senate Resolution 272, passed unanimously, recognizing her distinguished service.
Senator Pete said it best when he wrote, “ We have just adopted a resolution paying our respects, without any doubt in my mind, to one of the most wonderful women who has worked in the Senate. She served this Senator well, but in doing that, she also helped literally hundreds of people who none of us are even aware of.”
Friends and family remember Angela as a devoted friend and confidant, dispensing wisdom and kindness over a cup of tea. Everyone who knew her has an “Angela” story or memory. What we will remember most: her sense of style; her love of music and her Italian roots, her indomitable spirit and zest for life; her beautifully appointed home; her love for her friends’ children; the kindness, without judgment, shown to family and friends; her laugh; and her beautifully crafted thank you notes typed on her IBM Selectric typewriter.
Visitation will be held on June 29 from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home on 1500 West Braddock Road Alexandria, VA 22302. Funeral Mass will be held on June 30 at 11:00 am at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 1427 W Braddock Rd, Alexandria, VA 22302. Interment will be on a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Please consider a memorial contribution to: The Angela Lastrico Raish Scholarship c/o Abruzzo Molise Heritage Society of Washington, DC Donations – The Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society (abruzzomoliseheritagesociety.org)
Or to the Alexandria Symphony Sympatico Program in her memory. Donate | Alexandria Symphony (alexsym.org)