Donald's Story

ASHLAND - Donald P. Rafford, Jr., 85, died unexpectedly on Thursday, May 22, 2014. He was born March 28, 1929 in Portage Lake, a son of the late Donald and Elizabeth (Michaud) Rafford.

Donald enlisted with the US Army during the Korean War. Following several years of honorable service, he returned to Maine where he worked with former B&A Railroad for over 42 years as a conductor and engineer. e was a member of the Le Blanc-Junkins Post 9699, Ashland, the DAV, AmVets and the "Cooties." Adopting his small engine repair business from his father, Donald enjoyed puttering around in his garage- until his wife couldn't take it anymore. He liked to piece together jigsaw puzzles and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, always with his faithful dog, Benji, at his side.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Georgene (Clark) Rafford of Ashland; five children, Sheila McElheny and her husband Jim of Lancaster, PA, Clark O. Rafford and his wife Deborah of Bethel, Joanna Richards and her husband Derek of Castle Hill, Cyndi Johansen and her husband Daniel of Wellington, CO, and Theresa "Tess" Rafford of Lancaster, PA; 12 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Donald is predeceased by his sister, Betty Dawn Rafford, and brother, Dana Rafford.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at St. Marks Catholic Church, Ashland. Relatives and friends may greet the family Wednesday morning from 9:30 until 11 AM at the church. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family at Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery, Caribou. Arrangements entrusted to Lajoie Funeral Home-Ashland, 114 Exchange St., Ashland. In lieu of flowers, donation in Donald's name may be made to: Maine Veterans Home, 163 Van Buren Rd. Caribou, ME 04736. To share condolences online, please visit
Published in Bangor Daily News
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