Remembering Annie Mona Rafuse

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Annie Mona Rafuse, in her 99th year, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at her home in Westbrook, Ontario, with her loving daughter, Trudy, at her side. Annie, known as Mona to friends and colleagues, was simply our “Ma”, who we all loved intensely.

Ma was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Ralph Rafuse, also her daughter Christine (late Frits Sorenson). She is survived by a large and loving family, who will miss her deeply – her daughters Judy (Jim Rini), Carole (Palle Hansen), Trudy (John Bell) and her son Randy (Jenny Gavaghan), her grandchildren Kim, Kelly, Krista, Tammy, Marty, Rob, Tony, Vikki, Amy, Michael, Peggy, Emma and Kevin, as well as 19 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren. She could list the birthdays of each and every one of them from memory.

Mona was born on August 7, 1925, on a small farm in Henderson, Ontario to Sam and Edith (nee Cowper) Gaylord. She described her early years as hard work but full of love and laughter. Mona was the last surviving member of her family, predeceased by Ruby (Gord Horton), Pearl (Hubert Fair), George (Eileen), Garnet (Betty), Dime (Joyce), Gloria (Art Thornton) and Shirley Gaylord. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, who all visited Ma regularly at her home in Westbrook.

Mona worked all of her life, with the last 30+ years in the Linen Department at KGH. She loved her job and kept close contact with many of her colleagues throughout her life. She loved animals, travelling…but really she lived for her family. Ma’s home of 64 years, with its central location on Hwy 2 in Westbrook, was the hub for the entire Rafuse/Gaylord clans. Visitors from Arden and points north could count on Ma to put them up for a night or two, whenever they wanted to visit Kingston. Grandchildren could escape their parents for a few hours or longer. There was always a pot of tea and some cookies and as often as not you would meet a cousin, aunt or other relative that you hadn’t seen for a while when you stopped by for a visit. Ma kept the family connected and she loved every minute of it.

Visitation will take place on Thursday, May 30, 2024 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd., Kingston, ON. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, May 31st at 11:00 am, with a light lunch to follow in the Reception Centre. Interment will be at Henderson Cemetery in Henderson, Ontario. Departure from the funeral home will follow the luncheon.

Donations in Mona’s memory may be made to Henderson Cemetery in Henderson, ON, the Free Methodist Church in Odessa, ON, or a charity of your choice.

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