Anna Marie Rafferty


ANNA MARIE RAFFERTY ( nee Furlong) , of Voorhees , N.J., on September 3, 2019 ,  passed away quietly with her family at her side. Always Loved by her late husband John Joseph Rafferty. Devoted Mother of John Rafferty (Kimberly) of Voorhees, Ann Marie (Howard) Frazier , of North Carolina, Maureen (Terry) Mosher of Maine, Mary Elizabeth Clark of Minnesota , the late Kathleen Robbins (the late Robert), and the late Eileen Lebherz (the late Joseph). Beloved grandmother to her 15 Granchildren , Also survived by her 17 Great Grandchildrn. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her viewing on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 27 Kresson-Gibbsboro Road, 08026. Viewing will begin at 10:00 AM and continue till 11:00 AM. Mass of the Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 AM. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Route 70 , Cherry Hill N.J. the family has requested in Anna Marie's Memory to St. John of God Community Services, 1145 Delsea Drive, Westville, N.J. 08093.


A Note from Anna Marie's Family,

Anna Marie Furlong- Rafferty was born on December 13, 1928 in South Philadelphia. She was the only child of Walter and Helen Loughlin-Furlong. Anna, as her mother called her, graduated from Hallahan Catholic High School in Philadelphia. 

She was always a beach lover and enjoyed spending summer vacations at the beach combing for unique shells and playing in the surf.One of the other activities that  brought her joy was horsback riding in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. From some of the stories she shared, she was a bit mischievous. 

After her grauation from High School she joined the US Navy Reserves as a "Wave" working at the site in Philadelphia that was right next to the Schuykill Expressway. She was one of the first women granted permission to join the USN. Her children are espcially proud of her service to our country and the recognition she has received as a Veteran. 

On October 11, 1952 she married John J. Rafferty at St. Richards Church in Philadelphia. During the course of their marriage they had 6 children. her husband was a federal agent which required him to be transferred frequently. As a result of his career they moved 8 times in 12 years which resulted in her being quite proficient at packing up one house and making a home for her family in their new location. 

As children we are shielded from the trials and tribulations facing our parents. With her husband being a federal agent there were many times she was left alone to raise 6 children, 4 of them were adolescent girls at the same time. When you get all the kids together there is bound to be some friction and, at times, and some hostile exchanges.  When we had stretched her to the limit and exhaustd her coping skills her trusty standby was "You just wait until your dad gets home". Now that we all have children of or own, we don't know how she did it. ' We could never have done what she did and remain intact" 

While she and her husband were raising their 6 children, they took on another initiative. They became very active with the Irish Brothes who came to the paish of Christ the King in Haddonfield, N.J. to develope a school for children with special needs. Every week our family met brothers and Fr. damian where we were taught how to help the children with special  needs. Ann and her husband worked to generate funds which resulted in the building of the current location of St. John of God Community Services in Westville, N.J. 

Ann was a kind, thoughtful, empathetic and generous peson as long as you never attacked her children. If you did , she would become the Irish Banshee . While raising 6 kids she still had time to remain active in the school PTA's, transporting us to scouts, Figure skating lessons and other extracurricular activities any of us were involved in. 

As her children grew, went to college, married and moved away she was finally able to enjoy the things she loved. She belonged to several Bowling Leagues and would bowl 2-3 times a week. She became an avid quilter and belonged to several guilds. When her eldst daughter was in her 50"s she wanted to learn about quilting. She was so excited that one of her children had an interest in somthing that she enjoyed doing. Lssons were going great until once again her patience was tested and she said, "you need to go someplace and take a lesson".

Ann crocheted and knitted her entire life. During the evenings we would see her knitting sweaters for her children or crocheting afgans. Once all of us were grown and starting families of our own, we believe the empty nest syndrome took a foot hold in her life.She was so use to being busy juggling the needs of her family and now she had all this free time .Her solution was to keep busy and to continue contributing to meet the needs of others.

She attended Camden County Vocational School in her mid 50's and became a Licensed Practical Nurse. She worked at Kennedy Health Systems in Stratford for several years then transferred to the OB-GYN office and remained there until her retirement. She volunteered for the Voorhees EMS Squad with her daughter , Kate, as well as became a member of the Kirkwood Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary where her son and daughter where fire fighters. 

Ann Joined several groups that net worked with organizations that accepted donations of hats,for newborn babies and hats/socks for our soldiers who were deployed overseas. As a member of the Red Hat Society she proudly dressed in her purple and rd and wore outlandish hats. While a member of the Gibbsboro Senior Club she continued to form lasting friendchips and give back to others. 

Ann was fortunate to be a grandmother of 15 and great grandmother of 17. The Best part of this was watching mom when we were all together and she would be calling one of the grandchildren or great grandchildren running though the list of names until she hit the right one. 

Mom's life at times was filled with challenges , however, she continued to be a giving and nurturing woman. She always remembered those less fortunate than her. She accepted people who had no family left and took them under her wing remembering birthdays, holidays and include them to diminish their feelings of isolation and loneliness.


IS BREA' LIOM TU' MAM ( Irish- I Love You Mom)