Audrey Rafferty passed away peacefully at home on October 7, 2020, at the age of 97.
She was born Grace Audrey Johnson on August 3, 1923, in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Harold and Ethel (Ackerholm) Johnson.
She married William (Bill) Rafferty in 1943 and they were married for 70 years until his passing in 2014. Together they raised five wonderful children; Maryanne Rafferty of Kenosha, Jane (Patrick) Thiele of Stillwater, MN, William “Bill” (Therese) Rafferty, Jr. of Oconomowoc, Patricia (Curt) Travis of Eau Claire, and Kevin (Laurie) Rafferty of Kenosha. At various times, Bill and Audrey had second homes in Twin Lakes, Lake Geneva, and Sarasota, FL.
Audrey was educated in Kenosha local schools and graduated from the Kenosha College of Commerce. She also attended the Ray-Vogue Fine Arts School in Chicago and the New York School of Interior Design. After taking courses in real estate at Parkside, she dabbled in real estate as the owner of several income properties. She held various sales jobs including Welcome Wagon and Minnesota Woolen Co., and also worked at MacWhyte Wire and Rope Company, Kenosha Family Services and the KYF.
During WWII, Audrey worked as a “Rosie the Riveter” at the Nash Plant assembling aircraft engines.
Audrey was a member of the Kenosha Junior Woman’s Club, the Catholic Junior League, and St Mark’s Church. She was an accomplished seamstress, enjoyed braiding rugs, and especially loved knitting cardigans and afghans for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also had a business making and selling crocheted hats to Marshall Fields and other local stores.
Audrey is survived by her 5 children, 17 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, and is also survived by her sister-in-law Rita Bistrick and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Harold, and infant sister Delores.
The family would like to thank Seasons Hospice and Audrey’s caregiver Agiimaa.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a private burial only at St James Cemetery. Memorials can be sent to Safe Harbor Humane Society at 7811 60th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
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