Cover photo for James “Jim” Rafferty's Obituary

James “Jim” Rafferty

James (Jim) Rafferty, 65, of Mesa, AZ passed away on September 10


, 2023 in Chandler Regional Hospital after a short illness.  Jim was born in Rockford, IL to Bartholomew and Barbara Rafferty.  He graduated from Rockford East High School in 1976 and married Vicki Gifford on July 18


, 1981.  In younger years, Jim was an auto mechanic and flame cutter at J. Rubin Steel before he began the journey of becoming a mechanical engineer. Over the years, he worked for several companies in the Rockford area with his last Illinois company being Weiler Engineering in Elgin, IL.  After moving to Arizona, he worked at Eclipse Automation in Mesa, where he retired in September 2022.  Jim was happiest when all of his kids and grandkids were in one place; he would have been happy to have all his family living in one house. His grandkids were the bright spot of his days, and he looked forward to their visits to Arizona.

Jim is survived by his wife, Vicki, of Mesa, AZ; his daughter, Ashley (Joshua) Reynolds of Phoenix, AZ; son, Tyler (Jessica) Rafferty of Freeport, IL; grandchildren Barrett and Piper Rafferty; and brothers in law Michael (Rachel) Gifford and Jeffrey (Glenda) Gifford.  He is also survived by his furry side kick, Luna.

He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Arthur and Donna Gifford; sister Barbara Roggensack; and nephew Brett Gifford, to whom he proudly donated a kidney in 2004.

Jim loved all living beings, big or small.  From rabbits to hummingbirds, he saved several types throughout his lifetime.  A memorial fund will be set up to be distributed to the shelter in Mesa where we adopted Luna as well as the AZ Humane Society, for animals needing emergency surgeries or medical treatments.

Per Jim’s request, there will be no services.  Those who knew him well knew that he didn’t like special attention and was perfectly content just being in the background.

Memorials can be sent to:

Vicki Rafferty

4904 S Power Road

Ste 103 – 236

Mesa AZ  85212
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James “Jim” Rafferty, please visit our flower store.


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