Aug. 26, 1922-Nov. 23, 2018
Wilma Rafferty, 96, returned to God’s loving arms on Nov. 23, 2018, at Ennoble Manor in Dubuque, Iowa, surrounded by her family, friends, and caregivers.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 JFK Road. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Gardens Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa. Friends may call from 10-11:15 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.
Wilma was the sixth of seven children, born Aug. 26, 1922, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Robert M. and Bessie Phillips. She attended Capital City Commercial College in Des Moines, and John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where she graduated with a double major in business and Biblical Greek. She also met her life partner Carl Rafferty. They were married Nov. 25, 1948, and moved to Columbus where they both worked at a local religious radio station. They had four children and a full life. Together, they traveled in the USA as well as England and Germany. After Carl’s death in 1999, Wilma moved to Dubuque to live with her daughter’s family, and added extended visits to California and Ireland to her itinerary. Wilma spent her life caring for her family. Outside the home, she worked as a bookkeeper. During WWII she saved her brother Walter’s job while he was in the Navy. She taught her son, Bill, to ride a bike and catch a ball, she sewed doll clothes and sweet dresses for three generations of little girls, she provided unconditional love every day. Even as a young mother of four, she found time to volunteer in leadership and service positions at church, school, and ARC. As her health weakened and she moved into skilled care, she again showed her children what grace and acceptance look like. She was in her quiet way a true woman of valor. She will be remembered with love by her four children, Phyllis (Rafferty) Garfield, William Rafferty, Carolyn Rafferty, and Claudia Rafferty, as well as son-in-law Alan Garfield and daughter-in-law Karen Sloth Rafferty. Her grandchildren Anna, Eliot, Eric, Meg, Carly, Peter, and Jenee, all were blessed to know her well, and will always hold her memory as a light in their lives. Her great-grandchildren, William, Jensen, Elena, and Jonathan, also received the gift of her strong and loving presence.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be directed in her memory to People In Need, Hope Partnership Nepal, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, or the University of Dubuque Scholarship Fund. The family extend their heartfelt thanks to the loving and compassionate care of the nurses and caregivers at Ennoble Skilled Nursing & Rehab.