Theresa Anne Raufer (Finley)

(December 9, 1927 - July 20, 2014)

“One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” Andrew Wyeth
It’s probably not surprising that Andrew Wyeth was one of Theresa’s favorite artists; one of her very last trips was to Brandywine, and such sentiment was readily evident in her own watercolors and etchings. But it was apparent as well in the way she lived her life.
As a young woman, Theresa Finley happened to cross paths with Henry “Hank” Raufer while riding the L in Philadelphia on her way to work – as he was heading to his very first day of college at Drexel. Their sixty-one years of marriage were blessed with eleven children – and a close family that readily expanded to worldwide dimensions. She moved with Hank and her growing family (including two sets of twins) to Europe and then to South America – but always managed to find room for one more at their table. Family friends came and stayed – and became part of an extended Raufer “clan” in the Philadelphia and Burlington County, N.J. area. She and Hank continued to travel the world – visiting relatives and friends in China and Israel, the UK and Japan – until Hank passed away in 2010. But Theresa continued their annual extended “family” reunion every August – held for more than twenty-five years in Western Pennsylvania, and open to all of these friends from across the globe.
In addition to her art, Theresa was an avid reader, always surrounded by books and magazines – and especially cookbooks! There was much teasing about this, since it was easier to read and dream about delightful recipes than to actually prepare daily meals for a family of thirteen (plus assorted guests). Theresa’s home was a bustling place, and she was always at the center of it – making sure that meals were cooked, school work was done, that grandchildren and great-grandchildren had plenty of toys to play with, that bruised egos were assuaged, and that all visitors had a place for the night.
Her warm and open heart was honored in recent weeks, as visitors flew in to make sure they would see her — well in advance of the August reunion. Her eleven children (and extended family) will continue to be there, including Roger (Nicki) of Cinnaminson, Dennis (Regina) of Palmyra, June of Delran, Kathy of Delran, Patricia of Weehawken, Sue of Nutley, Mark of Riverside, Denise Eizadkhah (Ali) of Bridgewater, Colin of Great Falls, VA, David (Theresa) of Philadelphia and Robyn Kaminer (Mark) of Medford; and 18 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Bernice Bielesch (Al) of Phila. and sisters-in-law, Julie Finley of Riverside and Rita Sanasac (Ron) of Edgewater Park.
Come celebrate Theresa’s 86 wonderful years (Dec. 9, 1927-July 20, 2014) on Friday from 7-9 PM at the Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside, and Saturday from 11 AM at Sacred Heart Church 1739 Ferry Ave., Camden, where Mass of the Christian Burial will follow at 12 PM. Interment St. Peter’s Cemetery, Riverside. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to The Heart of Camden, an organization whose mission of restoring dignity and quality of life to the Camden community is in alignment with Terrie’s values.
Please make checks payable to:
Heart of Camden
1840 South Broadway
Camden, NJ 08104

14 thoughts on “Theresa Anne Raufer (Finley)

  1. Donna

    She was a Saint in my eye’s. I loved my Aunt Terri. She always sounded happy. I spoke to her last a few weeks ago over the phone at my parents house, I will never forget that short conversation.

  2. Sharon Callahan

    For the past twenty-five years Terry has made my son Marc and I members of her family. She opened her home and her heart to us. She was a wonderful woman with a beautiful soul.

  3. Terri Burch

    Mrs. Raufer graciously welcomed me to her home on Easter Sunday this year. She was full of joy and love and very happy to see all of her family together. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet her! My sincere condolences and peace to the family. She leaves a beautiful legacy.

  4. The Safier Family

    We are so sorry to hear of your mother’s loss. Although we did not have the pleasure to personally met her, it sounds like she was an amazingly strong & wise woman, who positively touched her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren. Try to find comfort knowing that Teresa is still watching over you.

  5. Mary Palmer Morrell

    Having known Terrie & the Family for over 50 years I can’t even begin to share all the memeories I have. She was a great person who always had a kind word for everyone. Terrie was one of the few people I looked up to who in my younger days guided me through some tough times. She will be greatly missed but her spirt will live on in her Great Family.

  6. DAN ROHRBACK JR

    MRS. RAUFER WAS ALWAYS PLEASENT AND VERY NICE TO ALL OF ME AND MY 5 SIBLINGS WHEN THEY WERE
    AT OUR HOUSE FOR THEIR GET TOGETHER AND I SPENT PLENTY OF WEEKENDS UP THE MOUNTAINS WITH
    MR. AND MRS. RAUFER THEY WHERE ALWAY’S VERY NICE TO ME , WE WOULD ALWAYS VERY NICE TO ME, WE WOULD SIT AND TALK ABOUT Y LIFE AND WHAT I WAS DOING WITH MY TIME SINCE I WAS DISABLED I WAS ALWAYS AMAIZED HOW MUCH TRAVELING MR RAUFER DID WITH HIS JOB. MRS. RAUFER WANTED ME TO MEET MARK BECAUSE WE SHARED A DISABLITIY TOGETHER AND SHE THOUGHT WE COULD BE FRIENDS TO ONE AND ANOTHER GOD BLESS HER SHE WAS A TRUE FRIENDLY PERSON TO MY MOM AND MY DAD AND MY FAMILY THEY ARE ALL UP IN HEAVEN HAVING A GET TOGETHER. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THE RAUFER FAMILY’S

  7. Rose

    We send you, Patricia and your family, our deepest sympathy and love at this time of loss. Although I never met your mom, I sense what a joy and inspiration she must have been to all of you from stories you’ve shared in the past and from reading about her just now. What a gift she was and I’m sure will continue to be to you in the many memories you’ll recall time and time again…and when feeling her presence always as there is no end to love! Rose & Chet

  8. Orly Zeewy

    Dear David,
    I am sorry I didn’t have the chance to meet your mother but it’s clear that her kind and generous spirit lives on in all of you. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

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