Louis Rafaj

Louis Rafaj

Louis Rafaj, age 92 of Lakeside, MI passed away on July 17, 2020. He was born in Damborice, Czechoslovakia. In 1949, he escaped from communist Czechoslovakia and eventually immigrated to the United States. He dedicated his life to music in service of the Catholic Church, playing the organ in Europe, Canada and the United States. He spent decades sharing his love of music with students in the classroom and through private lessons. He was a gifted musician who brought the joy of music to many. Music was his heart and soul.

Louis was a very hard-working man. He always had a positive attitude and a unique sense of humor. Beloved husband of 52 years of Anna Rafaj, nee Prikazsky.  Dedicated Father of Rev. Elias Rafaj, Anna (Stuart) Rosenberg and Maria (Robert) McGill; Loving Grandfather of Alexis, David, Charlie, Andrew, Anthony, Monica, Joseph and Gabriela. Brother of Anezka Hamanova, Antonin (Ruzenka) Rafaj, and the late Marie Hanakova and Ludmila Vydenska. Uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Funeral Mass Friday, July 24, 2020 10 A.M. at Czech Catholic Mission of Sts Cyril and Methodius, 9415 Rochester Avenue, Brookfield, Illinois, 60513.

Interment Private Lakeside Cemetery, Lakeside, MI at 2:30 P.M. (EST).

Memorials appreciated to: Czech Catholic Mission of Sts Cyril and Methodius 9415 Rochester Ave., Brookfield, IL 60513.

For those of you who cannot attend or choose not to attend under the current circumstances, and would like to express your condolences to the family, please click on the link below and you can leave the family a message. If you wish to send a Mass, Card, Sympathy Card or correspondence to the Family, please feel free to send it to Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513, c/o the Louis Rafaj Family. We will gladly forward it on to the Family.

Arrangements Entrusted to Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd.  Information 708-485-2000 or www.HitzemanFuneral.com

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Angelo and Sherry Cavallo condolence:

    We wish to extend to the whole family our condolences. We are praying for comfort and strength for all of you.

  2. Jacqueline Halliburton condolence:

    Fr. Elias, I can only offer what I have come to know, and that is that my deceased parents have been gone since 1995, 3 months apart after 63 years of marriage. Quickly and today, they are closer to me than when they lived 166 miles away. There is no day that I do not feel their presence in Christ and look forward to being eternally reunited with them. Peace and joy to you and your family.

  3. Maggie Vartivarian condolence:

    My sincere condolences to the Rafaj family. May God give you strength to go through these difficult days. Eternal memory and blessed repose

  4. Aymen Sada condolence:

    Beloved father Elias and family.
    My deepest condolences to you and your
    Family . I could see now that your father was the one to inspire y to devote your life to Christianity. It was a great honor to meet your father , mom and your sister at one of church events . I was impressed how lovely and nice they were .
    Rest in piece in the hands of god deer Louis .

  5. Susan Garrett condolence:

    Fr. Elias, I felt very blessed to have met your parents at St. Anne’s Iconography Celebration. Your father was very entertaining. I know he will be missed, My condolences to you and your family. May God comfort you all and may the great memories with your dad make you laugh those heart-healthy deep laughs to soften the pain of his absence. Eternal memory and blessed repose.

  6. Abraham Obeid condolence:

    My deepest condolences to the Rafaj family, my thoughts and prayers are with you, may he Rest In Peace in heaven

  7. Sr Ann Laszok, OSBM condolence:

    Please accept my deepest sympathy and prayers on the Falling asleep of your father. May all the blessed days you spent with him offer some comfort during this difficult time.

    May the Lord grant your family peace and strength!

  8. Reem Zaghloul condolence:

    My deepest condolences to you and your family

  9. Frank and Camille Mensik condolence:

    We have always held Mr. Rafaj with the highest regard. Our sincerest condolences to all the Rafaj Family.
    May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed thru the Mercy of God rest in Peace…Amen

  10. Mickey Cytacki condolence:

    Fr. Elias and family May the Lord grant you peace and strength! Eternal memory and blessed repose. He will be missed.

  11. Mickey Cytacki condolence:

    Fr. Elias and family May the Lord grant you peace and strength! May your father be an advocate for us in Gods holy kingdom. Eternal memory and blessed repose.

  12. Jorge and Beatriz Rodriguez condolence:

    Please accept our deepest condolences on the death of your father, Father Elias. Our hearts are with you and your family in this time of sorrow.

    May your many memories of him sustain and comfort you and your family. In time, they will become treasures.

    God bless you!

  13. Caroline Furlong condolence:

    Dear Father Elias, please know that you and your family are in my prayers. What a lovely father you had on earth!

  14. Alma A Cázares condolence:

    Dear Fr. Elías, My deepest condolences to you and your family. May perpetual light shine upon your father.

  15. Liz & Mark MacFarlane condolence:

    Father Elias and family
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this time, as your father has gone home to rest with our Lord. We pray as the days continue to pass, that you find comfort and support in those that surround you and the wonderful memories you carry in your mind and in your heart of your father.

    God Bless you and your family

  16. Jose perez condolence:

    So sorry for your loss. Please accept our condolences on behalf of your Quigley brothers!
    En Paz descanse!

  17. Father William O'Brien condolence:

    Father Elias and Family,
    On behalf of my parish, Saints Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Church in Spokane Valley, Washington, my deepest condolences to you. I will celebrate a Divine Liturgy for the repose of your father’s soul. Vicnaqja pamjat!

  18. Daisy liu condolence:

    Deepest condolences to you and your family. God bless you and your family

  19. Nimioand Marcela Tristan condolence:

    Dear Father Elias and family, May our Lord give your father the joy and blessings of the life to come. We are keeping you, and your family in our prayers.
    May God’s blessing be upon you and your family

  20. Lynn and Danny Pitocco condolence:

    Dear Father Elias and family, although we did not personally know your father, we knew you Father Elias and were blessed to have had you in our home. In my Life Offering for Priests, I will pray for you especially and I for the soul of your father who shall live for eternity with our Lord in Heaven. Know that you remain a constant in our prayers.

  21. Juliana H. Wang condolence:

    Dear Fr. Elias, our deepest condolences to you and your family. I am honored to have met your parents at our Icon Open Studio. We offered our prayers at our daily Mass this week for him.
    安息主懷 Juliana & Justin Wang

  22. James Deshotels condolence:

    Remembering Mr Rafaj in my prayers & at the Divine Liturgy. Trusting he’s at rest where the light of God’s face shines. His family & loved ones are especially in my prayers these days

  23. Jane Prikazsky condolence:

    I want to extend my deepest sympathy to you on your loss. I will always remember him as a very kind and most welcoming man. My prayers to all of you!
    Much love to you all ❤️

  24. Rhonda Courter condolence:

    Father Elias and the Rafaj family may the Lord Bless all of you and keep you in his arms during this time of grief. You are in my prayers daily! God Bless all of your family!

  25. Elizabeth Flick condolence:

    I would like to express my condolences to the Rafa Family. I live in new Buffalo Michigan, and I came to know Mr. Rafaj, When I was just a little girl. I lived in Chicago since birth to the age of 12 before moving to Michigan, and I went to Saint Helens school in Chicago on Augusta Boulevard. Mr.Rafaj,Taught me beginners piano when I was in first grade at Saint Helens. After years gone by due to my parents divorcing and moving to Michigan, in the summer 1996, my husband and I were at Saint Mary’s church in three Oaks, I remember mass being crowded. My husband and I sat in the back of the church, and when the organ started playing and the organist started to sing, I told My husband that that voice is familiar from my past. After mass was over I had to see for myself if it was true that it was my old piano teacher! Excited to see that it was I introduced myself and told Mr. Louis who I was and where I attended school in the past. Next church visit, I had I even brought my old elementary pictures and pointed out what I look like as a little girl, this did not matter to him because he remembered me anyway. My fiancé then my husband now, we’re preparing for our marriage. This would be our second marriage. And I asked Mr. Louis If he wouldn’t mind being our organist for my wedding. And he was very well honored. This was August 31, 1996. A bittersweet, because I felt that seeing Mr. Rafaj later in life and especially to have him play for my wedding day was God sent. Thank you for all the good memories from my past rest in peace.

  26. Maria Gavilanes condolence:

    Dear Rafaj Family,

    Anna my friend I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my parents seven months apart from each other in 2001 and my husband from luekemia in 2015 I can understand the pain of losing someone so dear as is a father and father inlaw to Stuart as well as grandfather to Alexis, David and Charlie. Also a husband to your sweet mother and father to your brother Fr. Elias and your sister Maria and all the family members. My prayers are with all of you at this most difficult time. May the Lord be your strength. Sylvana and me send all our love. May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine on him. Amen.

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