Resident reflects on sharing name with famous Hollywood starlet


By Almeda Girod

Resident Writer

After two months of dating Pete Reynolds, Debbie Raub commented to her mother “If I marry this guy, I’ll be Debbie Reynolds.” She married Pete in 1971 and says, “That is when this quiet little introvert became a not-so-quiet extrovert. Now I was a movie star!”

Debbie grew up in Silver Spring with one younger brother and was in the first graduating class (300 students) of Springbrook High School, which is only five minutes from Riderwood. She attended a business school in DC with her parents hoping that she would be a secretary on Capitol Hill. However, Debbie chose to spend 40 years as a loan officer for a mortgage company. She adds, “It is ironic since I hated math and am not very good at it.”

Her job involved dealing with the public and their personal business, which could be stressful. Debbie says that when she needed to call a purchaser for information that her name was a good icebreaker. There often would be a chuckle and the comment “how is Eddie?” Others would ask “Do you sing?” She adds “If I had a quarter for every time I have been asked that question, I would almost have enough money to pay my monthly fee at Riderwood.”

Through the years Debbie did a lot of traveling, visiting 32 countries and 45 states and developed an interest in gardening as a stress reliever. Debbie retired from the mortgage industry in June 2005, and in addition to caring for her mother and walking, volunteered at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. She started a gardening business with as many as 15 clients. One of her clients was her former boss, who was named Linda Evans (another star). She adds that folks liked having their garden cared for by a “movie star.”

When she developed symptoms of arthritis, Debbie decided to make the five-minute move to Village Square in December 2017. She had been a widow for 25 years, had no children, and knew that Riderwood would be a good home. She plays Mexican train, exercises, and is a member of the Riderwood Garden Club.

Debbie claims “Now I have a whole new crop of people who can laugh at my name and ask how is Eddie?” So what is it like to have a famous name? Debbie suggests that when you see her walking in the Riderwood hallways that you greet her and ask that question.

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