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News Release

August 19, 2008


Michael Peña, News Service: (650) 725-4275,

Longtime political science department staffer dead at 89

A memorial Mass will be celebrated in Los Altos on Friday, Sept. 5, for Ann Elizabeth Rafferty, a longtime university employee who died Aug. 2, 2008, of chronic pulmonary occlusion. She was 89.

Rafferty was honored with the Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the achievement of university goals, in 1993, the year she retired. Throughout her 30-plus years on the staff of the Department of Political Science, she worked as an undergraduate assistant, although she also interacted with graduate students and faculty.

Born and raised on the East Coast, Rafferty moved to the Bay Area with her family at the onset of World War II. Her father, John Lofland, was president of the New England Steamship Co. and had been appointed by the Navy to serve as West Coast coordinator of shipbuilding, repair and conversion.

In 1948, she married James Gerard Rafferty in Palo Alto, and the couple eventually settled in Los Altos. Her husband, the official timer for the Stanford football team for 30 years, died in 1996. Their son Jim died in 1999. They are survived by sons Chris of Palo Alto, John of Berkeley and Kevin of Los Angeles, who all graduated from Stanford.

In winning the Cuthbertson Award, Rafferty was cited for her warmth and understanding to students, her proactive approach to potential problems and her "continued grace and ability in running a most spirited and hectic office."

The Friday service at St. Nicholas Church, 473 Lincoln Ave. in Los Altos, will start at 11:15 a.m.


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