RAFFERTY - Pearl Marie Age 97, April 6, 2012, in Los Angeles, CA, formerly of Buffalo, NY. Pearl was born on a farm in Blair, Ontario, Canada, and later, she and her husband, the late Jerome Charles, co-owned the Derby Hotel in Crystal Beach. She is survived by her son, The Honorable John T. Rafferty (Ret.), of Los Angeles, two daughters Lisa Rafferty Lichtenstein of Lake Arrowhead, CA and Julianne Burns West of Simcoe, Ontario, three grandchildren Brendan Burns of Vancouver, Lisa Burns and Tara Rodrigues, both of Toronto, as well as five great-grandchildren Declan and Tamsyn Burns of Vancouver and Katherine, Andrew and Isabel Rodrigues of Toronto. Following the collapse of her marriage and the family business, she migrated to Buffalo. The sole supporter of her two younger children, she transitioned to the Food and Beverage Industry. She began her new career as a waitress at the posh Buffalo Athletic Club. It was there that she was recruited by the FBI to serve as a confidential informant. That fact could not be revealed until her death. Later, in an age in which women were generally not entrusted with top managerial positions in that field, she climbed to the position of manager of several of Buffalo's finest hotels. At the Charter House, she supervised one of the weddings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. His weddings garnered extraordinary public interest and intense media coverage. Her other clients there included New York Senator Jacob Javits, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jayne Mansfield. She also managed the Camelot Motor Inn, which, at that time, hosted the summer training camp of the Buffalo Bills. There, she was responsible for the meals of all the athletes and staff. She conversed daily with O.J. Simpson and Jack Kemp. She also secured housing for Kemp and his young family in the same complex where she and her children resided. At East Aurora's Roycroft Inn, her clients included New York Senator Robert Kennedy and his sisters. Upon retirement, she followed two of her children to Los Angeles. Following a mild stroke, she became a resident of St. John of God Home. Her Funeral and Interment took place on April 11 at Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles.
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Published in the Buffalo News on Apr. 29, 2012