Lorraine Rafferty, formerly of Niles

Published 8:35am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 11, 1936 — April 4, 2014

Lorraine Rafferty, 77, of Kewadin, Mich., found peace and passed away after a yearlong illness on April 4, 2014. She was born in Detroit, Mich. on April 11, 1936, to Walter and Stella (Pawlak) Podbielski.

Lorraine graduated from Hamtramck High School in 1953, where she earned her letter in swimming and was a drum majorette for the marching band. She then attended Eastern Michigan University and majored in education.

In college, Lorraine met the love of her life, Earl Rafferty, whom she married in 1956. While raising three boys, Lorraine owned and operated an insurance agency, The Lorraine Agency, in Niles, Mich. for many years.

In her free time, she enjoyed painting with watercolors and traveling. Lorraine and Earl traveled together all over the world and extensively across the U.S. She was highly skilled at many forms of needlework and was a terrific cook. She was a lover of nature, music, art, animals and Polish food.

Lorraine served as the President of the Ladies Reading Club, and was a member of the Gardening Club in Niles. She was also a member of the Elk Rapids Gardening Club and Sweet Adeline’s.

Lorraine is survived by her husband of 57 years, Earl, sons Kevin Rafferty, Brian (Andrea) Rafferty, and Shawn (Vicki) Rafferty, grandchildren Tim, Steve, Emma, Rhett, Max, Jack, and Anna, lifetime friends Nancy Ashton and Claire Brugman, friend Ed Carlson Jr., and brother-in-law Fred (Barbara) Rafferty. She was preceded in death by her parents, and sister Wanda Podbielski.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Covell Funeral Home in Elk Rapids, Mich.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014, at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Elk Rapids, Mich. Memorial Contributions may be directed to Hospice of Michigan. Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Elk Rapids.

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