Obituary: Rawle Deland

Rawle Deland, age 90, died at his home at 75 Pembroke Road in Darien on Dec. 3, after suffering complications from a stroke.

Born on May 15, 1923, he was the son of Janet Deland and Thorndike Deland, Sr. of Scarsdale, N.Y.

Thorndike Deland, Sr. was the founder of the first executive search firm in the U.S., Thorndike Deland Associates. Rawle Deland graduated from the Repton School, Rye Country Day School, The Hotchkiss School and Yale University, class of 1945. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He earned a Purple Heart and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic action in the battle of Okinawa.

After completion of military service, he earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Business School and commenced his career in executive search at Thorndike Deland Associates, specializing in the retail sector. In 1997, the Staples store on Richards Avenue in Norwalk was dedicated to Rawle Deland for his longtime friendship to Staples and its founder.

He married Theodora Cogswell, of Scarsdale, N.Y. in February, 1947. They moved to Darien in 1950 and raised their family of four children. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on Feb. 1, 2013.

Mr. Deland served on the vestry of St. Luke’s Church, Darien and was a member of that church from 1950 to the date of his death. An avid tennis player and paddle tennis player, he was a member of the Tokeneke Club and the Wee Burn Club.

Mr. Deland retired from Thorndike Deland Associates in 1990 and commenced a second career with the Service Core of Retired Executives and Person-to-Person. He also became a Stephen minister.

He lived a long and loving life among his family, friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his brother, Thorndike Deland, Jr. Family came first for Rawle. His greatest joy was having fun with all members of his family. He is survived by his wife, Theodora Cogswell Deland, of Darien; his four children and their spouses, Rawle Deland Jr. and his wife Jane, of New York City, Alexander T. Deland and his wife Susan, of Pelham, N.Y., Jonathan T. Deland and his wife Emme of New York City, Theodora Deland Walton and her husband William, of Jacksonville, Fla.; his eight grandchildren, Devie Deland Perry and her husband John Whitney, Rawle J. Deland and his wife, Lucy, Kate Deland, Francesca Walton, William Walton IV, Alonzo Walton, Alexander T. Deland, Jr., and Diane Deland; and his two great grandchildren, Jack Perry and Edward Rawle Perry.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. Luke’s Church at 1864 Post Road, in Darien on December 21 at 11 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the St. Luke’s Church.

— by The Darien Times