1921 - 2014
William Bill Richard Rafferty, Sr., 93, of Kenosha, Wis., passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Brookside Care Center.
Born in Kenosha on Feb. 21, 1921, he was the son of the late Frank W. and Helen H. (OHare) Rafferty.
He attended St. James Catholic grade school and graduated from Kenosha High School in 1939. He attended LaSalle Institute and Marquette University, receiving his B.S. degree in 1948 and an M.B.A in 1961.
He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard on Feb. 2, 1942, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Coxswain on Oct. 11, 1945. He began his enlistment in Grand Rapids, Mich., and saw active duty during WWII in the Philippines and New Guinea.
On Nov. 20, 1943, he married Audrey Johnson, the love of his life, at St. James Rectory, Kenosha. Bill and Audrey have been married for over 70 years.
Bill was a member of the St. Mark Catholic Church, and a former member of the Elks Clubs of Kenosha, Wis., and Sarasota, Fla., the American Legion of Kenosha, the Meadows Country Club of Sarasota, the Towne Club of Kenosha, and the 35 Club and Mens Dinner Club of Kenosha. Bill was a past President of the St. Mark Holy Name Society and a former member of the St. Mark Parish Credit Union Board of Directors.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Audrey, his five children, Maryanne Rafferty of Plantation, Fla., Jane (Patrick) Thiele of Stillwater, Minn., William (Therese) Rafferty, Jr. of Chenequa, Wis., Patricia (Curtis) Travis of Eau Claire, Wis., and Kevin (Laurie) Rafferty of Kenosha; 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and one on the way; one brother, Dr. Hugh P. (Mary) Rafferty of Hartland, Wis.; and one sister, Rita Bistrick of Kenosha; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by four sisters, Helen Olson, Amy Chiappetta, Rosemary Rafferty and Ruth Snyder; and three brothers, Owen, Thomas and J. Patrick Rafferty.
Bill worked at Racine Steel Castings for 34 years retiring in 1988 as Senior Vice President. He and Audrey spent 28 winters at their home at The Meadows in Sarasota, Fla., before moving back to Wisconsin.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to United Hospital (Kenosha Medical Center), Brookside Care Center and to Dr. Rodrigo Mata for all their compassion and care.
A visitation will be held on Friday, April 11, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at St. Marks Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday at the Church at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at St. James Cemetery. The family requests that any memorials go to St. Marks Parish in his name.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit Bills Online Memorial Book at:
Proko Funeral Home
5111 60th St. Kenosha, WI 53144
Published online at KenoshaNews.com on Apr. 7, 2014