Dr. Raymond Albert Pla
Raymond A. Pla, D.D.S. of Washington, DC and Fort Myers, FL, loving husband, father, grandfather, and sibling passed away on April 28, 2017 in Fort Myers, FL after a brief illness. Dr. Pla was a prominent and popular dentist in Washington, DC. As the Founder
of the Livingston Road Dental Center located in Washington, DC's Ward 8, he maintained an active practice for over 40 years serving an economically challenged population, treating patients (regardless of their ability to pay) with skill and compassion,
and always staying on the cutting edge of his profession by attending workshops on new ways of practicing his craft. He is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Stella Sookdeo Pla of
23 years, by his four sons: Raymond A. Pla, Jr., M.D. (Carla) of Alexandria, VA; Richard Samad (Lori) of Alberta, Canada; R. Christopher Gomes of Accra, Ghana; and R. Alexander Gomes of Mississauga, Canada; sisters: Jacqueline Pla Finnie (Willie Joe) of
Overland Park, KS; and Judith Pla Poitier of Key West, FL; brothers Stephen Pla, Jr.; and David Pla both from Key West, FL; seven granddaughters and one grandson, nieces and nephews and a host of family members and friends from throughout the U.S.
and Canada. Dr. Pla was predeceased by his parents Stephen E. Pla, Sr. and Marjorie Bain Pla and by his daughter Shasha Gomes.
Dr. Pla was born in Key West Florida, graduated from Fisk University and taught mathematics for four years (first in Key West, then in Washington, DC) before graduating from Howard University School of Dentistry. He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha
fraternity and a life member of the Fisk University Alumni Club. A long-time resident of
Fort Washington, Maryland, with his wife, Stella, he was a very active theater-goer, and hosted many parties in which his culinary skills show-cased his "cubiche" background,
found expression in that secret recipe for black beans handed down from grandfather, Amado Pla aka "Pappy," who was considered one of the original "Conks" continuing a tradition of pride in their Cuban roots. Dr. Pla will be remembered for his generosity to friends and family; for being an exceptional dentist, and for his love of sports especially basketball and tennis. He was passionate about education, instilling these values first in
Raymond Jr. and Richard, making sure that they both completed professional degrees, one in medicine and the other in law. Every child who came into his dental office had to explain the topics in mathematics that he or she was studying and receive suggestions
on how to obtain better scholastic outcomes. Every grandchild had to carefully explain his or her academic curriculum with details about individual subjects. All the nieces and nephews knew that "Uncle Bubba" wanted to know what the ultimate academic plan
was. His special relationship with Alex was centered around "projects" and he always had a list for him whenever he visited from Canada. When Christopher was home from overseas State Department assignments, there was the mandatory trip to buy shoes, to a spanish-speaking Cuban, south Florida barber shop, and discussions of world politics.
The move to Florida, first as a "snow bird" was to escape the harsh winters of the Northeast. Later, Dr. Pla and his devoted wife Stella Sookdeo Pla became Florida residents. Dr. Pla will be sorely missed for his wit, engaging conversations, his caring spirit, and his unyielding love for his family and friends. Raymond Jr. says, "My dad will always be alive because his spirit will continue to be a constant presence inside those of us who knew and dearly loved him." That includes the one he playfully called “Candy,” (You know who you are, Mr. Bajan Man, and know how the depth of your
friendship brought out tears of joy when you drove from Maryland to Miami to see him twice during his recent illness). Dr. Raymond Albert Pla, Sr. was a truly remarkable human being who graced us with his presence, brought us joy, and now abides with the angels smiling down on us, guiding us, and staying forever in our hearts.