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Mary Rafferty

Mary Agnes Rafferty (Doyle)

Wednesday, April 19th, 1933 - Saturday, October 12th, 2019
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Mary Rafferty, age 86, of Milwaukee, formerly of Kenosha and Hartford, WI, died peacefully surrounded by family on October 12, 2019 following a brief illness.

She was born in Sparta, WI, April 19, 1933, to the late Joseph and Coletta Doyle. Mary was educated in Sparta schools and graduated from Marquette University’s College of Journalism. At Marquette she met her future husband, Dr. Hugh Rafferty, whom she married in LaCrosse in 1955. They lived in Kenosha for more than 30 years before moving to Hartford in 2008 and to a retirement community in Milwaukee in 2015.

An avid reader, Mary enjoyed her book club and the satisfaction of solving crosswords and other word puzzles on a daily basis. She was a formidable foe on the Scrabble board yet never gloated over her many triple-word scores. Long before e-mail, she was in the habit of keeping in touch with old school classmates and other friends through handwritten letters, a practice that continued throughout her life. When she met a new friend at an inn in Ireland, the two began a
16-year exchange of letters across the Atlantic.

Mary followed all Wisconsin sports teams, especially the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers, but her heart belonged to the University of Notre Dame. Her passion for the Irish was an inheritance from her father, a student at the university during the time of legendary coach Knute Rockne. She remembered being taught as a young child the names of the fabled Four Horsemen of Notre Dame football. Tennis was a passion she shared with her children and husband.

In addition to her husband, Mary is survived by daughters Brigid Rafferty, Chicago; Ellen (Bob) Renick, Franklin; Elizabeth Rafferty, Milwaukee; and Sheila (Paul) Beck, Wauwatosa, and a son, Hugh Patrick (Tina) Rafferty, Kenosha. Mary is also survived by her 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. Mary is further survived by sisters Eileen (the late Jack) Knothe, LaCrosse; Jeanne (the late Bob) Salmon, Peabody, MA; and a brother, J. Patrick (Carlyn) Doyle, McComb, MS. She is also survived by sisters-in-law Audrey Rafferty and Rita Bistrick, both of Kenosha, and many nieces and nephews.

Mary’s family is grateful for the kindness and care of Dr. Soryal Soryal, the staff of Vitas Hospice and Clement Manor Clare Suites.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 19th, at St. Mark Catholic Church, 7117 14th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53143, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy or Literacy Services of Wisconsin would be appreciated.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit & Sign Mary’s Online Memorial Book at:
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 19th, 2019 | 9:00am - 10:30am
    Saturday, October 19th, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
    St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
    7117-14th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53143
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, October 19th, 2019 | 10:30am
    Saturday, October 19th, 2019 10:30am
    St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
    7117-14th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53143
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father Jerry Hessel and Father Gregory Spitz


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Private Condolence
Hillary DeVere Jeff Williamson and The Salmons have sent flowers to the family of Mary Agnes Rafferty (Doyle).
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Hillary DeVere Jeff Williamson

Posted at 03:05pm
Your family will forever be in our prayers
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Hillary DeVere Jeff Williamson purchased the Large Basket Garden and planted a memorial tree for the family of Mary Rafferty. Send Flowers


Louise Thompson

Posted at 09:51pm
When I came to Kenosha in the 70's it wasn't long before I met Mary at St. Marks. As our paths crossed more and more there we became good friends. The friendship continued even after we moved to Tennessee in 2001. She never forgot a birthday as her cards proved! Her friendship will always be in my heart.
Photo below just strayed out of a box a month ago as I was sorting memorabilia from my life. It was taken on her 60th birthday when about 20 of us gathered together in Kenosha to celebrate her life and friendship

Julie Ruhle

Posted at 01:16pm
She was such a gentle sole. Mary was one of my earth angels and her husband, Dr. Rafferty saved my life. Mary and I were in the St. Mark's Renew together and my Mom and Mary were on the church council together. Many years ago, I had a trying medical condition and Mary helped me through it. If it wasn't for Dr. Rafferty and Mary I wouldn't be here today. May God bless Mary. I am thankful for everything Mary and Dr. has done. Love, Julie Ruhle

The Salmons

Posted at 11:41am
Aunt Mary will remain in our hearts forever...
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The Salmons purchased flowers for the family of Mary Rafferty. Send Flowers


Bill Rafferty

Posted at 09:52am
Such a nice lady. She'll be missed. Sorry I can't make the funeral!
Bill Rafferty, Jr.

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