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1959 Richard 2024

Richard Rafferty

September 21, 1959 — June 28, 2024

Richard Brooks Rafferty passed away at home unexpectedly on June 28 from heart failure. He was preceded in death by father, Robert Rafferty, and will be sadly missed by mother, Margaret (née Brooks) Rafferty; sister, Susan Rafferty; brother-in-law, Kevin Mencke; niece, Brooks Mencke; nephew, Reed Mencke; and faithful feline companion, Cassidy.

He was born in Okinawa, Japan on September 21, 1959, and grew up living in several communities in Japan and Virginia as a resilient Air Force brat. When living in Japan, his nickname from the family was "Ricky Typhoon" describing his boundless energy as a child. He enjoyed drawing and playing sports, especially baseball and basketball. He was a big history buff sharing his knowledge when visiting the many Revolutionary and Civil War historical sites near Washington, D.C.

Rick graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 1978, served a brief stint in the U.S. Army, and took courses at Century College. Most of all, he enjoyed working in retail where he could help others. 

While Rick was not defined by his severe and persistent mental illness, it greatly shaped the course of his life. Despite challenges, he never complained but, instead, chose to find joy in life and see goodness in others. He loved music, especially '70s rock, and would unexpectedly start singing at the funniest moments. His eyes twinkled mischievously, telling jokes or whenever he found something amusing. 

He enjoyed the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in Stillwater and the supportive community at Oak Ridge Place. Special thanks to the patient friends and caregivers who made him feel included and loved.

Rick will be buried at St. Michael's Cemetery with a family service. A celebration of life is being planned for a later date. Memorials preferred to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-MN).


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