The Daily Item
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Elsie L. Raffensperger, 85, of 777 Rainwater Drive, Lexington, formerly of 1145 Smoketown Road, Lewisburg, Pa., died Sunday evening, Dec. 30, 2012, at Richmond Place in Lexington.
The former Elsie Anne Kaethe Laue was born Dec. 15, 1927, in East Orange, N.J., the only child of the late Carl A. Laue and Lia Wohnig Laue. On Oct. 10, 1953, she married Stanley P. Raffensperger, formerly of Biglerville, Pa. Mr. Raffensperger preceded her in death in 2004.
Ms. Raffensperger graduated from Hunter High School in Manhattan, New York City, and Hunter College, also in Manhattan, in 1950 with a degree in chemistry. During her senior year at Hunter College, she won the prestigious Beauty and Brains competition. She also completed graduate level courses in psychology.
Ms. Raffensperger began her post-college career as a food technologist at the General Foods Research Laboratory in Hoboken, N.J. She met her future husband there while working together in the early 1950s. After working together at General Foods in New Jersey, they raised their family in Chicago, Ill., Glen Head, N.Y., Knoxville, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., and Lewisburg. In 2008, she moved from Lewisburg to Lexington.
She had a lifelong passion for community service, teaching and the arts. Ms. Raffensperger was an active elder and deacon in her church, president of her local AAUW organization, member of the League of Women Voters and participated and led as an officer numerous other organizations that were important to her, her family and her community. She taught science and math at the high school level as a substitute teacher in several school districts and tutored high school students for standardized tests and college admission exams.
As an artist, she focused on oils and watercolors and considered her kitchen and garden her studios. She studied at the Art Students League in New York City, the University of Tennessee, the Louisville School for Art and with Jim Gray, of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Jeff Martin, of Selinsgrove, Pa. She held one-woman art shows throughout her life, and her subjects were primarily flowers, garden scenes and the people around her. Accomplishments in Ms. Raffensperger’s painting career included many awards at numerous juried shows. She was particularly proud of being a founding member of the “Out of the Blue” Art Gallery in Lewisburg and thoroughly enjoyed working at the gallery during her late 70s and early 80s.
She was a member of Lexington Christian Fellowship and a former member of First Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg.
Ms. Raffensperger was a devoted mother and grandmother and enjoyed visiting her extended family. She played an active support role for her two children, their spouses and eight grandchildren.
Surviving Ms. Raffensperger are two children, Brenda and husband Billy Henderson, of Lexington, and Paul S. and wife Julie Raffensperger, of Bethesda, Md.; and eight grandchildren, Matthew and wife Andrea Henderson, Keren, Stephen, Susanna and Michaela Henderson, all of Lexington, and Brynn, Lauren and Katherine Raffensperger, of Bethesda.
Professional services are entrusted to the Dugan Funeral Home Inc. Bendersville. A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Biglerville, Pa. A viewing will precede the service starting at noon.
Burial will follow in Biglerville Memorial Cemetery with a gathering to follow for family and friends in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Biglerville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Himmelreich Memorial Library in Lewisburg and the Lexington Hope Center, Lexington.
Friends and family may express online condolences at www.DuganFH.com.