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Thomas J. Raffa
CLEVELAND –Thomas James Raffa, 86, died unexpectedly on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic.
The son of Basil and Carmella (Rizzo) Raffa, Tom was born on January 11, 1931 in Jamestown, New York. Tom was a graduate of Jamestown High School where he was a member of National Honor Society, Chi Sigma Fraternity, and was voted Best All Around class member his Senior year. He was a member of the basketball, track and football teams. Tom excelled in football and was offered numerous scholarships; he chose to attend Western Reserve because of his interest in dentistry. Tom had a wonderful work ethic and during the summers he caddied at Moonbrook Country Club in Jamestown, New York to supplement his income for college. Tom’s love of golf had its beginnings at Moonbrook.
At Case Western Reserve, Tom was inducted into the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity his junior year and became junior class president. It was during this time at college he became a member of Naval ROTC. Tom was accepted into the Western University School of Dentistry after his junior year. Tom earned his Doctor of Dental Sciences Degree and upon graduation he was stationed at Fort Deposit, Maryland as Commander of the WAVE Clinic. Tom retired as a Lieutenant Commander from the Naval Reserve. Tom returned to Western Reserve University to complete his training in orthodontia.
Tom and Louise Morrison met during his last year of college and were united in marriage on July 7, 1956 and had recently celebrated their sixty-first wedding anniversary. Their marriage was one of mutual respect, admiration and love for each other. The memories that were created are cherished treasures of the heart.
In 1959, the Raffa Family moved to Ashtabula to begin his practice. Later expending his practice to Mentor, Madison, Jefferson and Painesville. Tom practiced dentistry for fifty eight years prior to his retirement.
Tom was an active and vital member of several organizations. He was the President of Case Western Reserve University Dental School Alumni and the Board of Overseers for Case Western Reserve University. He was also a member of Rotary, Society Bank Board of Directors, Board of directors for Farmers Bank, Ashtabula Art Center, and Ashtabula Country Club President and also on the Board of Directors, and Regional Key Bank Board of Directors. Tom was inducted into the Chautauqua County Sports Hall of Fame.
Tom was an avid skier and golfer. In his younger years, he skied at Holiday Valley and Ellicottville, New York and played golf at several golf clubs. Tom was runner-up in the club championship and awarded the member – guest trophy for several years at Ashtabula and Madison Country Clubs. His love of golf led him to several other Country Clubs. He played Tanglewood, Canterbury, Quail Creek, and had recently played at Kirtland Country Club.
Tom is survived his loving wife, Louise Morrison Raffa of Ashtabula; his beloved children, Thomas Morrison “Tim” Raffa , Robert Basil Raffa both of Miami, FL and Alec (Lisa) Raffa also of Ashtabula; precious grandchildren, Alec James ”A.J.” Raffa, Jr., and Alivia Marie Raffa both of Ashtabula, numerous nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Basil and Carmela Raffa.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00AM on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at first Presbyterian Church, 4317 Park Avenue, Ashtabula. Reverend Glen Warner, Pastor Emeritus will officiate. Burial will be in Ridgeview Cemetery.
Calling hours will be observed from 4 – 7 PM on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Zaback-Williams-Ducro Funeral Home, 500 West Prospect Road, Ashtabula, Ohio.
If desired, contributions in Tom’s name may be made to Lung Cancer Research Foundation, 155 East 55th Street, Suite 6H, New York, NY, 10022. www.ducro.com
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