Dr. Hugh Rafferty

Dr. Hugh Peter Rafferty

Monday, February 4th, 1929 - Sunday, October 27th, 2019
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Dr. Hugh Peter Rafferty, age 90, of Milwaukee, formerly of Kenosha and Hartford, died October 27, 2019 following a brief illness. He was closely preceded in death by his wife of nearly 64 years, Mary Doyle Rafferty, who passed away October 12. While losing Hugh and Mary barely two weeks apart has been difficult, family members are comforted by the thought of them reunited, playing Scrabble while watching British dramas, Andy Griffith reruns and, of course, sports.

A Kenosha native, Hugh was born February 4, 1929 to Frank and Helen (O'Hare) Rafferty. He was a graduate of St. James Catholic School, Kenosha, and St. Catherine's High School, Racine. He attended St. Norbert College and received his medical degree from Marquette University. He was united in marriage to Mary Doyle on December 10, 1955 in La Crosse.

Following military service as a U.S. Navy physician in Japan and Okinawa, Hugh completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Providence Hospital, Detroit, and began a practice in Kenosha in 1961. After practicing alone for 12 years, he was joined by Dr. Ray Witt and then Dr. Steve Azuma.

Hugh delivered well over 5,000 babies during his career. Asked often about the experience of birthing so many babies, he would say that the last delivery was just as thrilling to him as the first.

Hugh was a past member of the county and state medical societies and the Milwaukee Gynecological Society and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In Kenosha, he was a past president of the county medical society, past president of the medical staff at St. Catherine's Hospital, and past president of the Kenosha Marquette Club. He was a member of St. Mark Catholic Church for more than 30 years.

In what he termed his mini-retirement, Hugh moved to Washington County and assisted for a time in the obstetrics and gynecology department of Hartford-Parkview Clinic, now Aurora. He and Mary relished the pace of small-town life and the regular sightings of deer and other wildlife at close range near their home in Hartford. The couple moved to a retirement community in Milwaukee in 2015.

In retirement Hugh indulged his enthusiasm for golf and pursued a lifelong interest in history. Trips to Ireland heightened his appreciation of his Irish Catholic heritage, and he amassed an extensive library of Irish music, literature and film. He took special satisfaction in a volunteer role as a reading tutor for young students.

Hugh’s kindness, gentle spirit and dry wit were appreciated by his family, friends, patients, colleagues and all who met him. Whether you were a restaurant server, store clerk, dental hygienist or car technician, Hugh was likely to ask where you went to high school and how your team was doing. He genuinely hoped your team was doing well.

Along with his wife, Mary, Hugh was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Helen (Emil) Olson, Ruth (Buzzy) Snyder, Amy Chiappetta and Rosemary Rafferty; and brothers William (Audrey), J. Patrick, Owen and Thomas Rafferty. Hugh is survived by a son, Hugh Patrick (Tina) Rafferty, Kenosha; and daughters Brigid Rafferty, Chicago; Ellen (Bob) Renick, Franklin; Elizabeth Rafferty, Milwaukee; and Sheila (Paul) Beck, Wauwatosa. Hugh is also survived by his grandchildren Joe (Yvonne), Andy (Danielle) and John Renick; Christopher and Erin Mary Hughes; Madeline and Owen Rafferty; Ian and Lauren Beck; and great-grandchildren Penelope, Ainsley and Cole Renick. Hugh is further survived by his little sister, Rita (the late Fred) Bistrick and sister-in-law Audrey Rafferty, both of Kenosha, and many nieces and nephews.

Hugh’s family is grateful for the kindness and care of Dr. Abiy Gesese, Dr. Soryal Soryal, and RNs Jen and Heather of Aurora West Allis Memorial Hospital ICU.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019, at Proko Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at St. Mark Catholic Church, Kenosha. Please meet directly at church. Interment will be held privately in St. James Cemetery, Kenosha.

Memorial donations, if desired, could go to the Jesuit Partnership ( or the St. Ben’s Community Meal Program, a Capuchin ministry (

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street (262) 654-3533
Visit & Sign Hugh’s Online Memorial Book At:
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, November 1st, 2019 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, November 1st, 2019 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
    5111-60th Street
    KENOSHA, WI 53144
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 | 10:00am
    Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 10:00am
    St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
    7117-14th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53143
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    *Please meet directly at church*
    Father Jerry Hessel


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Private Condolence
Hugs Hillary & Jeff sent flowers to the family of Dr. Hugh Peter Rafferty.
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Kären Keel

Posted at 06:21pm
Just one of so many to have been blessed knowing and being in the company of your parents. Your father always greeted me with a smile and inquiry as to how things were going for me. He loved the poetry book and video of Ireland which I found on a memorable hunt. Mary and I enjoyed many of those hunts together. I was honored to be so loved by them. Always, forever in my heart.

gene Smith

Posted at 11:49am
Gene and Carolyn Smith
Condolences to the Rafferty family,
Hugh and Mary were treasured neighbors in Hartford Square II as we shared the backyard wildlife visitors, the activities of our grandchildren, or the joys or sorrows of the latest Brewer game. We had the pleasure of knowing these kind and caring people for only a few years of the "mini-retirement" but wonderful memories remain in our hearts of the blessings Hugh and Mary were to us.

Lill Hauschild

Posted at 09:51am
Condolences to the Rafferty family. It is with such sorrow that we say goodbye to early family friends, Dr. Rafferty and dr. Hauschild both started out in Kenosha in 1961 - lots of good memories. Lill Hauschild

Hugs Hillary & Jeff

Posted at 06:28pm
The wonderful and prolific Rafferty clan will always be in hearts and daily prayers of gratitude.
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Margaret Loehrer Snyder

Posted at 05:15pm
Dear Rafferty Family, Please accept my sincere condolences in the passing of your father. I've known your parents for the last few years after meeting them at Clement Manor. My father, Gary Loehrer, introduced me to them. My late husband, Mike Snyder, was their nephew. They were very beloved by the Snyder family. I will always remember their geniune kindness, your father's wit and humor, your mother's graciousness. We shared visits, meals together and phone calls. God bless all of you during this difficult time. Your parents will be missed by many. Margie Snyder

Colleen Gorrilla Posted at 05:11pm

Dear Renick Family, we are so sorry to hear of the loss of both Rafferty grandparents in such a short time. They must have had a "pact" ...... after all their years of marriage being together was pretty important. I find it interesting that Dr. Rafferty and Dr. Gorrilla were both obstetricians and both delivered more than 5,000 babies! Maybe there is a special corner for people of their skills in Heaven! God bless your family! Larry, Colleen, Michael, Christopher and Elizabeth Gorrilla

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