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James V. Rafferty

December 4, 1953 ~ December 10, 2021 (age 68)


James Vincent Rafferty “Raff, Jimmy, Jim, Joe Raff ” , 68, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, on December 10, 2021 ; surrounded by LOVE and friends, who through the years, had become his family.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, Harold J Rafferty and Dorothy (Dotty) M Rafferty , both from Chicago Il.

He was born in Chicago on December 4, 1953. As an only child, he was the apple of his parent’s eyes. Arriving in this world at 4 lbs, his grit and determination was evident from the start.

Born to an Irish Father and a Swedish mother, he liked to identify with his Swedish heritage more; but his friends would say he had Plenty of Irish in him!

Raised in Glen Ellyn, Il for most of his life; he frequently referred to his life growing up  as “Camelot”. He graduated from Glenbard West High School . He was employed at the Glen Ellyn Park District as a mechanic and then became the all around Go to Guy. Many of his co-workers from the Park District also became his extended family.  He retired after 38 years of service.

He was a talented mechanic and had a knack for problem solving. He was a perfectionist who believed that “haste made waste” and that a job well done took time! He did take the time to help his buddies whenever he could.

Jimmy/Raff/Jim was the ultimate friend. For a private person, he sure loved being with people and going on new adventures. Prior to his health issues, he loved to travel, take road trips (Flagler Beach was one of his favorites) and experience new places, things and people! He over the years had enthusiastically joined his friends in many different hobbies including ATVing, biking, remote control car racing, fishing, demolition derby competitions, yoga photo shoots, camping,  trains, maps, etc. etc.. He Cherished his times hanging out with friends over a beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon was his preference of course, at one of the local watering holes.

He was passionate about trains , aerospace , flight, moon landings and Dale Earnhardt (#3). After Dale passed away Nascar lost one it’s biggest fans. Jim was a collector of the memorabilia associated with these hobbies and an even larger collector of his friends with whom he shared them.

Raff/Jimmy/Jim was an honorary uncle and great uncle to many and was like a brother to quite a few of us. He will be dearly missed by all who loved him.

They say that :
“Good Friends are hard to find,

Harder to leave ,

And impossible to forget” 

You, James Vincent Rafferty, will NEVER be forgotten !

A memorial gathering will be held at 1:30 PM on February 26th  2022 at  Leonard Memorial Funeral Home & Cremations (565 Duane St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 )

With a service at 2 PM


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Gathering
February 26, 2022

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Leonard Memorial Home, IL

Memorial Service
February 26, 2022

2:00 PM
Leonard Memorial Home
565 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

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