This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

William J. Rafferty, 71, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away from Frontotemporal Degeneration and complications from Covid-19 on July 11th, 2020. He was born on October 22, 1948, in Malden, MA to Thomas and Alice Rafferty.

Bill was a loving and devoted family man who had a warm smile, a kind heart, and an infectious laugh. He was the husband and best friend of Barbara Rafferty for 49 years. He was the father of Sharon Rafferty, Michael Rafferty and his wife Allyson, the grandfather of Emersyn Rafferty, the brother of Thomas Rafferty and his wife Maria, and Robert Rafferty, the brother-in-law of James Magarian and his wife Ann, the uncle of Tom Rafferty, Kevin Rafferty, Dennis Magarian and his wife Erica Ann, and Laura Magarian, and the great uncle of Aaron and Brayden Magarian.

Bill was a graduate of UMASS Lowell and spent 6 years in the Army National Guard. He had a 33 year-long career as a Combat Systems Engineer at Newport, RI’s US Naval Undersea Warfare Center. He was dedicated to his work and country but always made time for his family, coaching youth softball and soccer, taking family vacations, playing board games and just enjoying a good movie. He was a kid at heart who, like his father and brother, was a Boston sports fan and an avid golfer. He enjoyed his yearly golf trips to Myrtle Beach with his brother Tom and close friends. In his retirement, he enjoyed the winter months in Florida with Barbara before being diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration in 2007.

The family would like to thank everyone for their support and for his care at Brookdale Sakonnet Bay Senior Living.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at 10:00 AM at St. Barnabas Church 1697 E Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Due to the current situation with the coronavirus, the service will also be live streamed at:

http://bit.ly/BillRaffertyFuneral

Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery at 11:45 AM in Middletown, Rhode Island.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration.


Help power What’s Up Newp’s coverage of COVID-19, the election, and your community

If you value our locally owned and independent newsroom, we invite you to become a What’s Up Newp Supporter. Need promotion? Advertise your business to our 110,000+ monthly readers. Locally owned, independent news matters and we appreciate your readership and support.