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Donald F. ‘Red’ Raftis

Donald F. "Red" Raftis, 86, Jerseyville, died at 2:15 p.m., Saturday, April 23, 2005, at Jerseyville Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

He was born April 1 0, 1919, on the family farm east of Jerseyville in Fidelity Township, the son of the late Thomas & Martha (Hewitt) Raftis. He married Pearl Margaret "Pat" Frech Aug. 12, 1940, in Hannibal, Mo. She preceded him in death June 3, 2001.

He is survived by one daughter, Martha (Merle) Megginson, Jacksonville; four sons, Dick (Janice) Raftis, Gurnee, David Raftis, Medora, Tom (Sue) Raftis, Macomb, and Jim (Amy) Raftis, Springfield; 12 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and a very special cousin, Norman Jones, Jerseyville.

He was preceded in death by his twin sister, Doris Jones.

He attended Jersey Township High School, where he was a standout athlete, and until his death never missed a Panther football game. "Red" was a member of the Panther "Chain Gang" for 60 years, and was recently honored by the school district for his dedication.

He was a lifelong resident of Fidelity Township, he served on the township board for six terms, and was a lifelong farmer, who loved to work the soil, and watch the crops grow. He served on the Board of Directors for the Jersey County Farm Bureau, and never missed an opportunity to promote the importance of agriculture.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at the Crawford Funeral Home, Jerseyville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 27, 2005, at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Jerseyville, with Father D. Patrick Gibbons officiating. Burial will be in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Jerseyville.

Memorials may be made to the Panther Athletic Club or to the Blessing Hospice in Greene County, in appreciation for the loving care they gave to his wife, during her illness.

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