Clara Raftery, 87, of Monaca passed away at her home on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.Surviving Mrs. Raftery are her son, Larry Raftery, of Monaca; her daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Dan Varga, of Chippewa; her sister, Sara Neal, of Florida; her sister, Eleanor Huffman, of Tennessee; and her sister, Mary Ellen Mahon, of Arizona.She had been married to her husband, Lawrence “Mike” Raftery, for over 61 years when he passed away in April 2008. Also preceding her in death, were her brother, Bill Mihalko, of Florida; her sister, Alice Shields, of Monaca and her sister, Betty Kisella, of Rochester.Born Clara Mihalko in Monaca on February 24, 1927, she lived almost her entire life in Monaca.After graduating from high school, she worked as a bookkeeper at Freedom Oil. Her sister, Alice, worked at Republic Steel with Mike Raftery and introduced him to Clara.She worked at the G.C. Murphy 5 & 10 in Rochester, Pa. from the 1950’s until the stored closed in the 1970’s, starting as a salesclerk and eventually becoming manager of the snack bar. She later worked for many years at the Beaver Valley Mall at the former Crown Card Shop, located near the fountain by the old Kaufmann’s Department Store.She liked traveling, dining out, playing cards and playing bingo. She and her husband, Mike, belonged to a couples bowling league at the Monaca Bowling Lanes and a square dance club in Youngstown, Ohio. A life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church of Monaca, she served at different times as Deacon and Elder. In the 1950’s, Clara and a childhood friend formed a card club with other friends that lasted over 25 years. She was a member of the Fourth Ward Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, serving a term as president. She was a member of the Monaca Junior Women’s Club and performed in their annual variety show with her sister, Alice. In the 1960’s, she was a founding member of the Monaca High School Band Mothers, whose first major project was raising funds to buy new band uniforms. She was a member of the White Shrine, the Eastern Star and the Aliquippa Elks Ladies Auxiliary where she served a term as president.In her later years, she experienced various life-changing health issues but retained her good spirits and never complained about her condition. She continued to be cheerful and optimistic for the rest of her life.Clara touched many lives and will be missed by many people.Friends will be received Saturday from 1 p.m. until the time of service at 3 p.m. in the Simpson Funeral & Cremation Services, 1119 Washington Avenue, Monaca. Clara’s pastor, Rev. Beth Wierman will officiate.In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 1301 Indiana Ave., Monaca, PA 15061.To share online condolences, get directions and other information, please visit simpsonfuneralhome.com.