If you’re reading this, John Rafferty is as dead as a doornail. Cancer didn’t get him, it died with him.
John had big plans to write his own obituary, but never got past those first two lines. He was too busy spending his days with his beloved partner Pam, catching up on Y&R and Game of Thrones, tending to his plants, and keeping up with politics and the Jays.
He spoke of the Big Lebowski and Clint Eastwood characters as inspiration for a life well-lived. He planned to curate an instructional guide of quotes and tenets, but ultimately decided on one: “just relax.”
His political highs (landslide win!) and lows (hitting the bear!) have been well-documented in the wake of his death, but for those who loved him, his public life was just a small part of who he was.
He was a funny, intelligent, cheeky guy. He was tall with a head of controversial hair.
He cared about the little guy. He worked to make change. He persevered. He planted butterfly gardens.
He travelled the world. He loved dogs. He had wonderful taste in theatre and appalling taste in movies.
He loved classical music and was a master of dad jokes. He recommended naps, although, he seldom took them himself.
An accomplished, well-travelled man with a lifetime of great experiences, John remained humble.
He valued other people’s stories, no matter their political stripe. He lived well, if not quite long enough.
John Thomas Rafferty was born to Tom and Elizabeth (nee Wiber) Rafferty in Wingham, Ont. on July 3, 1953.
Older brother, Tim, beat John to the end by a day, passing on June 29. Both brothers are mourned by their bestie girlies, sisters Mary (Gerry) and Crystabel (Lawrence).
John was a wonderful father to his children (with Donna), Zara (Dane), Elizabeth (Justin), Liam (Ingrid), bonus Dad (with Pam) to Jennifer (Ryan) and Jacob (Kate), and proud grandfather to Jack, Jimmy, and the yet-to-be-born Little Bean.
John is survived by a cast of characters who were near and dear to his heart, especially Russ and Susan, Jim and Cathy, Glenn, Howie, Richard, Ed and Uncle Normie.
He died at home on June 30th with Pam by his side in their special place on Pardee Road in Neebing, Ont.
A group of close friends and family gathered on July 3 to celebrate what would have been his 66th birthday.
On July 13, John will be interred in the Rafferty family plot at Mount Hope Cemetery in Kitchener, Ont.
To honour John’s memory and legacy the John Rafferty Memorial Fund has been set up with the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Funds will continue his work of bringing social justice to the community.
The Dude abides.