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Obituaries » Mark Charles Rafferty

Mark Charles Rafferty

August 11, 1953 - August 5, 2015

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Mark Rafferty, singer songwriter, loving brother and uncle, and treasured friend, died unexpectedly Wednesday, August 5, 2015, one week shy of his 62nd birthday. Mark was born and raised in Rockwell City, Iowa, “The Golden Buckle on the Corn Belt.” As the youngest of five, he got an early start at being the center of attention. He moved to California in his twenties and settled in the seaside community of Bolinas.

Full of wanderlust and determination, Mark proudly achieved a coveted BMW motorcycle club 100,000-mile award. In his athletic youth, he was a roller skater, skillfully traversing the dangerous “13 curves” section of Highway 1 more than once. He loved to read and play (yes, play). He would fill a half-court sized garage with new slot car track configurations every weekend. He also secretly designed the raised organic herb gardens at Commonweal, where he was site manager, in the shape of NASCAR tracks.

Mark traveled extensively, seeking vistas, historical perspective, culture and flavor. Ireland, Belgium and local restaurant Sol Food were particular favorites. He also loved cruises and everything Hawaiian.

His life was hardly dull; his head was full of ideas. Oh, the stories he could tell… He used this to his advantage, performing his own musical pieces on the guitar and ukulele with the West Coast Songwriters. He was our family troubadour.

To numerous people, Mark was heroic: a giver, a teddy bear, a thoughtful and fiercely loyal friend.

Many join Mark’s grieving family in mourning the loss of his positive life force and gentle soul… his absence now fills many spaces.

He is survived by his brother, Michael (Carol) Rafferty; two sisters, Maureen (Peter) Sorensen, and Marilyn (Ric) Wilson; 32 nieces and nephews; and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Gladys Rafferty, and sister Myrna Sunderman.