Teaneck, NJ – William “Bill” Raiffe died peacefully late Thursday, September 24, 2020 in Albany, NY after a brief Hospice stay. Bill was born in the Bronx, New York on January 19, 1926 to Thelma (Taylor) and William “Buddy” Raiffe. He is predeceased by his parents, sister Shirley Wright, and nephew Hubert Scott. Bill is survived by his sister Joan Clark (Melvin, d.), Schenectady, NY; nephews Rick Scott (Diane), St. Paul, MN, Leslie Clark, Schenectady, NY, and Kevin Clark, Hillburn, NY; nieces Roxanne Jordan, Jacksonville, FL and Patricia Brown (James Williams), St. Paul, MN; nieces-in-law Linda Scott, the Bronx, NY and Ellen Evans, Albany, NY; and many cousins, grand-, and great-grand nieces and nephews.
Bill grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1943, after which he joined the United States Merchant Marine. Bill served in Europe from 1943 - 46, during and after World War II. He moved to Paris after leaving the Merchant Marine and, as an accomplished musician, made his living playing piano in nightclubs.
Bill returned to the States and opened a tailor shop on 1st Avenue in Manhattan. He operated for more than 40 years, serving a wealth of clients, many of them Broadway stars.
Bill lived for many years in New York City and then Teaneck, NJ, and remained close with his mother until her death. He moved to upstate New York late in his life to be closer to family. He was loved by his many nieces and nephews and was adored by the staff at the Mansion at South Union in Cambridge, where he lived before his death.
Bill had a rich life filled with camaraderie, travel, music, hard work, and good fun. He was so engaging, shared wonderful stories, and had a sharp sense of humor that kept you laughing. His early love for piano and Paris remained with him and he continued to play whenever he could and to visit Europe as often as possible during the rest of his life. Bill surrounded himself with art, song, and people who brought joy to his life, and he embraced many wonderful life experiences. He reflected that same joy into the lives of those around him. Bill was a loyal friend, a devoted son and brother, and a loving man. He will be truly missed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Henry Raiffe, please visit our floral store.