Granby mourns passing of civic leader Raffety
As the New Year dawned Grand County lost one of its civic leaders.
On Jan. 1 longtime Granby Mayor and Town Trustee Ed Raffety passed away from natural causes in Denver. Raffety became a leading figure in local government beginning in the early 1990s and continuing through the next two decades.
Raffety and his wife Pat first moved to Grand County in 1969 from Denver, settling into a home on the north fork of the Colorado River. The couple opened Mr. Ed’s Market in Granby. During this time Ed got a taste of his future civic involvement when he spearheaded an effort to replace a bridge over the upper Colorado River.
He also became active in what would become one of his primary passions in public service, recreation programs and districts, when he became a member of the Board of the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District.
Granby Recreation Department Director Julie Martin remembered Raffety fondly.
“Ed was a true gentleman, a man of his word and a wonderful mentor to me,” said Martin. “He was a huge advocate for community recreation and specifically for the Granby Recreation Department. The department definitely wouldn’t be where it is today without his support over the last 20 years.”
Raffety was first elected to the Granby Town Board in a 1991 recall election. At the time he ran on a platform of support for Granby’s recreation department, which was being considered for funding cuts. He was elected Mayor for the first time in 1996 and served one term. In 2001 Granby Mayor Dick Thompson died and Raffety was appointed Mayor and served in that capacity until 2002. He continued to serve as a Granby Trustee until 2011 and was designated as the Granby Mayor pro-tem.
During his time in public service Raffety was a proponent of establishing the Granby Police Department. Granby Police Chief Bill Housley remembered Raffety as a man of integrity.
“He was a man of very strong character, very wise,” said Chief Housley. “I know he loved the Town of Granby. He spent a lot of time meeting and talking about Granby issues and I have deep, deep respect for him.”
The father of three and grandfather of six was a life-long supporter and promoter of community recreation facilities. Raffety Park in Granby bears his name and stands as a memorial to his civic service.
“Ed was key to the success of Granby’s park developments,” commented Martin.
A memorial celebration in his honor is planned for June 21, 2015 at Raffety Park in Granby.
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The Board of Grand County Commissioners is planning a public comment session for a proposal to rename the Gore Range to the Nuchu Range.