Raffety, Seymour J.

Seymour J. Raffety

Symour J. Raffety, USAF

July 23, 1932 – June 16, 2022

Seymour J. Raffety, 89, of Grinnell, IA, formerly of La Crosse, Wisconsin, died on Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the Mayflower Community Health Center in Grinnell.

A private family graveside service was held at Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell on Monday, June 27, 2022, with Rev. Orlan Mitchell officiating.

Memorials may be designated to the Seymour Raffety Memorial Fund for the benefit of local organizations and his favorite charities and mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, P.O. Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with his family online at www.smithfh.com.

Seymour John Raffety was born the son of LaVerne and Iness (Straight) Raffety in Grinnell, Iowa on July 23, 1932. He grew up on the Raffety family farm north of Grinnell and graduated from Grinnell High School with the Class of 1950. He continued his education at Grinnell College where in 1954 he received a bachelor’s degree in physics as well as his ROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He also received a fellowship from the Atomic Energy Commission to study health physics at the University of Washington, Seattle for the following school year ending with a program at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, WA during the summer. Following his fellowship, he went on active duty for flight training culminating in a 16-month deployment as a helicopter pilot at Tachikawa Air Base near Tokyo, Japan. Upon his honorable discharge in October 1958, he entered graduate school at Iowa State University where he received his MS and PhD degrees in nuclear engineering.

While at Iowa State University, Seymour met Carmen Warner, who was the maid of honor in his sister’s wedding. After a short courtship they were united in marriage December 26, 1959, at the First Baptist Church in Iowa City, IA. Following Seymour’s graduation, they moved to Oak Ridge, TN where Seymour started his professional career working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. During their four years in Oak Ridge, they had two children, Helen (1966) and Linda (1968). In November of 1968, they moved to La Crosse, WI. where they had their third child, David (1972) and Seymour worked at Dairyland Power Cooperatives as the nuclear manager at its La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR) power plant in Genoa, WI. until he retired in December 2012 at the age of 80. In 2015 Seymour and Carmen moved to the Mayflower Community in Grinnell, IA.

Seymour’s first passion was his family followed by his love of travel, vegetable gardening, and helping others through his participation in the Kiwanis Club. Seymour and Carmen took many trips throughout the years including a 6-week trip to Europe after graduation, work-associated trips to Sweden, Finland, and the former USSR, annual family vacations to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and cross-country family road trips. In their later years they enjoyed cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal and in 2013 they took their last cruise spending a month seeing Hong Kong, Beijing China, Korea, Japan and the surrounding areas.

Seymour is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carmen Raffety of Grinnell; three children: Helen (David) Rieland of Troy, MI, Linda (Paul) Kiehne of Phoenix, AZ, and David (Ashlie Thielman) Raffety of La Crosse, WI; three grandchildren: Julie Rieland, Erik Rieland, and Amelia Raffety; his brother, Donald (Faye) Raffety of Milwaukee, WI; sister-in-law, Ann “Suzy” Raffety of Grinnell, IA, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, LaVerne and Iness (Straight) Raffety; brothers: Maynard (Eloise) Raffety and Howard Raffety; and sister, Carolyn (Clayton) Knutson.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

©2023 USAF Rotorheads   All Rights Reserved   |   Financial Statement