Raymond Robert “Bob” Raff Jr., age 86, of Laporte, PA, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 24, 2022. He was a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, brother, and friend. Passionate, driven, loyal, and caring, Bob will be remembered by all who knew and loved him for his devotion, dedication to civic and social causes, and the immense impact he left on his community.
Bob was born in Philadelphia, PA, on March 13, 1936, a son of the late Raymond Robert Raff Sr. and Mildred Perry Raff. He grew up with his younger brother, the late Donald Raff, in the New Jersey suburbs, where he attended grade school, and played various sports, including football, track, and field.
Bob graduated from Collingswood High School, a member of the class of 1953, after which he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, graduating in 1959 with a B.S. in Management Engineering. He began his career as an industrial engineer working for Honeywell and Philco in Philadelphia, during which time he married Barbara Gaudier and welcomed his three children, Janine Raff Cleveland, Suzanne Raff Petersen, and Robert Raff. In 1969 he relocated his family to Bloomsburg, PA, and continued his work as an engineer for US Radium, Pennsylvania Optical Company, and Burton Enterprises.
In the summers, he brought his family up to Lake Mokoma in Laporte, PA, where his father had bought a cottage named ‘Briarcliff’ back in 1958. The Lake Mokoma Association (LMA) benefited from Bob’s leadership as Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees. He is also fondly remembered for running the LMA swim and sailboat races for a decade during the 1970s. Laporte became Bob’s full-time home in 1980. He married Patricia Miller Raff, also from Laporte, in 1984. He and Pat enjoyed summer barbeques with family, cross country skiing, train trips across the country, winter getaways to St. Simons Island, GA, and endless talks about politics. Once settled in Laporte, where he spent his remaining years, he worked for Sprout -Waldron Industries and then eventually ran his own manufacturing engineering software consulting business, Raff Associates, until his retirement.
Outside of work and family, Bob was active politically, socially, and philanthropically in many organizations, volunteering his time and experience as a valuable contributor to his community. Some of Bob’s greatest contributions and life-long accomplishments were through his commitment and work with the Eagles Mere Laporte Lion’s Club. He was a Charter Member and loyal representative of the EML Lion’s Club from its founding in 1984 until his recent passing. Not one to shy away from giving his time and energy, Bob held various leadership positions for the EML Lion’s Club, including President for 2 years, Treasurer/Secretary for 14 years and Treasurer for an additional 11 years. He also chaired the Scholarship Committee throughout his nearly entire tenure and was involved in organizing the annual Lion’s Club Golf Tournament for 30 years. He attended three Lion’s Club District Conventions and recruited ten members, certainly leaving his mark on the past, present and future success of the organization. Bob’s tenacious devotion to the mission of the EML Lion’s Club earned him several awards, including the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and the International President’s Commendation.
Apart from his service to the EML Lion’s Club and LMA, Bob also volunteered his time and expertise to various other organizations, serving as President and Treasurer of the Mokoma Conservancy and a member of the Sullivan County Advisory Committee for the Community Foundation for Twin Tiers. He also acted as the Sullivan County Republican Committee Chairman for 25 years and held roles of Board Member and President of the Sullivan County School Board. In addition, he followed his passion for sports into retirement where he officiated track & field and cross country at the high school and collegiate levels for 13 years.
Bob was a true inspiration to his family, friends, colleagues and athletes and leaves a legacy of fellowship, responsibility, and compassion in the communities where he lived and served. He will be eternally missed.
Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia Miller Raff of Laporte, PA, son Robert (Susan Fallows) Raff of Orlando, FL, daughters Janine (Frank Blackard) Cleveland of Maitland, FL, and Suzanne (Christian) Petersen of Laporte, PA, step-son John (Andrea Lange) Ferguson of Fairfax, CA, grandchildren Kiersten (Garad) Soderman of Austin, TX, and Benjamin (Virginia) Petersen of Maitland, FL, step grandchildren Ryan and Nicholas Ferguson of Fairfax, CA, and great-grandchildren Anya Soderman, Zane Soderman, and Calla Soderman of Austin, TX. He is also survived by sisters-in-law: Carolyn Raff of Bel Air, MD, and Dorothy Raff of Mount Airy, MD; two nephews Stephen Raff & Jeffrey Raff.
Besides his parents, Bob was predeceased by his brother Donald P. Raff, on January 9, 2022.
A Celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, July 16th, 2022, at 11:00 A.M., at the Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA
Friends may call from 10:15 AM, at the Homer Funeral Home, Dushore, PA, until the start of the Celebration of his Life at 11:00 AM.
The family requests memorial contributions be sent to the EML Lions Foundation – P.O. Box 105 – Laporte, PA 18626.
To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to www.homerfuneralhome.com.
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