Jack M. Rafferty Jr.
Sept. 16, 1934 – May 13, 2020
Funeral services for Jack Rafferty, 85-year-old longtime Buffalo resident who passed away the morning of May 13 at the Wyoming Retirement Center in Basin were held Tuesday, May 19, from Harness Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Don Paulson officiating. Visitation was at the funeral home chapel on Monday. Interment was in Willow Grove Cemetery, with graveside services to follow the funeral. Donations in Jack’s memory may be made to Shrine Children’s Hospital or St. Jude’s Hospital in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams, Buffalo. Online condolences may be made at www.harnessfuneralhome.com.
Jack Milton Rafferty Jr. was born on Sept. 16, 1934, in Stansbury to Jack M. and Ethel M. “Portwood” Rafferty. He grew up and went to school in Reliance where he played football and basketball and ran track. He graduated from Reliance High School with the class of 1952. After high school, he attended the University of Wyoming for one year and transferred to Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway, Arkansas. While at Arkansas, he played basketball and baseball and coached college junior varsity basketball. He earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Arkansas State Teachers College in 1956. He was married on Aug. 12, 1956, in Lake Village, Arkansas, to Mary Isabel McHan, and they made their home in Tillar, Arkansas, where they both taught school. Iz taught home economics, and Jack coached junior high and high school girls and boys basketball and taught social studies. Jack was a member of the National Guard and spent active duty in a medical unit. They lived in Lake Villages for a short time, where Jack was a Curtis Candy salesman. In August 1959, they moved to Sunrise and lived and taught; Jack coached in the Sunrise-Guernsey area until 1968. Jack took a job in Buffalo with Johnson County School District No. 1, where he taught and coached basketball and was assistant coach for both football and track. Buffalo started a golf program, and Jack was the head golf coach for several years. While coaching in Buffalo, Jack was the first coach to lead Buffalo teams to state championships. He actually won back-to-back championships in 1972 and 1973. Jack retired in 1987.
He was a member of the Wyoming Coaches Association and was inducted into the Wyoming State Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Wyoming Education Association, the Big Horn Baptist Church, Buffalo Golf Club and the Wyoming Quarter Horse Association. He was a brand inspector for a short time and enjoyed helping local ranchers gather cows. He enjoyed horses, golf, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Wyoming Cowboys.
He is survived by his wife, Iz, of Buffalo; two sons, Pat Rafferty and his wife Toni of Midland, Texas, and Jeff Rafferty and his wife Melissa of Sheridan; one brother, Jim Rafferty of Reliance; and two granddaughters, Riley and Callie Rafferty of Sheridan. He was preceded in death by his parents.