Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff William Henry Rafford

Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, December 16, 1903

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff William Henry Rafford

William Henry Rafford was my great great grandfather. His death changed the entire course of history for my family and forced his oldest son, my great grandfather Paul Rafford, Sr. to leave school at the age of 14 and go to work to support his family. There were no benevolent funds, insurance or support for officers and their families who were killed in the line of duty at the turn of the Century. My family struggled just to keep from starving and to recover from the loss of such a fine dedicated family man.

Michael Betteridge

May 20, 2019

I said a little prayer today for Deputy Sheriff Rafford and his family. He may be gone but never forgotten. He will always be a New York HERO.

Robyn Wilkes

December 15, 2015

I heard the story on many occasions about my great great grandfather's bravery and courage and how his 15 year old son, my Pop, had to quit school and get a job to support the family. Most of the family moved to Delaware in the 1940's and I met many of them when I was a young boy in the 50's.

Michael Betteridge
great great great grandson

April 30, 2015

My great, great grandfather was Sheriff Henry Howard Preston. He served from 1903 to 1906. Warden Rafford and Sheriff Preston rode to the shooter's house to serve a civil summons, and Mr. Rafford was killed.

I would like to be able to speak to any of Warden Rafford's descendants or relatives.

arthur bloom

February 12, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

June 4, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 108th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 16, 2011

I appreciate seeing my great-grandfather's service to his community acknowledged, remembered and honored.

Francine Rafford-Turner

October 29, 2011

Going to work each day, leaving your young family for what was hoped to be a few hours can not have been easy knowing every day could bring a new jeopardy. I thank you for your dedication to community and your ultimate and supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, rest in peace.

Vivien Van
Great Great Niece

October 20, 2011

You re remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

manchester, nh

December 7, 2007

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. It is deeply appreciated.


December 16, 2004

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