Louis Rafaj, 92

Church organist

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Louis Rafaj, 92 of Lakeside, Michigan, died on July 17, 2020. 

Mr. Rafaj was born Oct. 17, 1927, 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, including for many years in Brookfield. 

Mr. Rafaj 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.

He was a very hard-working man who always had a positive attitude and a unique sense of humor. 

Mr. Rafaj was the husband of 52 years of Anna Rafaj (nee Prikazsky); the father of the Rev. Elias Rafaj, Anna (Stuart) Rosenberg and Maria (Robert) McGill; the grandfather of Alexis, David, Charlie, Andrew, Anthony, Monica, Joseph and Gabriela; the brother of Anezka Hamanova, Antonin (Ruzenka) Rafaj, and the late Marie Hanakova and Ludmila Vydenska; and the uncle of many nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, July 24 at 10 a.m. at the Czech Catholic Mission of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, 9415 Rochester Ave., Brookfield. Interment is private at Lakeside Cemetery, Lakeside, Michigan.

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

If you would like to express condolences online visit HitzemanFuneral.com. If you wish to send a Mass card or sympathy card, mail to Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 31st St., Brookfield, 60513, c/o the Louis Rafaj Family.

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