Elaine Raibley, 89, loving wife and beloved mother, grandmother and great
grandmother, died on September 5, 2020, from complications of Covid-19.
She is survived by 11 children: Bernard (Nancy) Raibley of Louisville, CO; Margaret Raibley of Davenport, IA; Paula (Steve) Elmer of Monroe, WI; Elaine Susan Raibley of Seneca; Judith Raibley Masterson of Waukegan; Annette (Brian) Olson of Morris; Mary Maltas of Joliet; Lawrence Raibley of Dixon; Paul Raibley of Joliet; Laura (Ray) Gutkowski of Amboy; and Mark Raibley, of Palos Park. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Born Florene Elaine Hooper on August 23, 1931 in Minooka to Margaret and Wendell Hooper, Elaine, along with her brother Ray, spent her formative years at Mooseheart Child City & School, in Kane County, after her father was killed in a pedestrian accident.
Her mother worked in the laundry and kitchen on the campus, which swelled in the years following the Great Depression to accommodate 1,400 children.
She spent her adolescence in Ottawa, where she attended high school but left before graduating to help support her family. She found work at Owens Illinois in Streator, where she met her husband of 65 years, Bernard “Barney” Raibley. The couple lived briefly in Ottawa, before making their home in Seneca, where Elaine finally found the security and stability that eluded her as a child.
An outgoing, fun-loving, compassionate woman, Elaine loved people. No one she encountered remained a stranger. Her world revolved around her husband and children, though she made time for close friendships — hosting coffee-klatches in the dining room with a baby on her lap and a toddler in a nearby playpen, while her kids and their friends bounced in and out. Her first child was born in 1951, her last in 1973. She was forever cradling, rocking, balancing babies on her hip. She dried our tears, made us
laugh and modeled forgiveness, acceptance and kindness. She was our first teacher and she taught us how to love.
She led a Brownie troop in Seneca for many years. She volunteered for the local food pantry and was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Seneca.
Elaine was preceded in death by her husband Bernard Raibley; an infant son, Michael Francis; and older brothers Gene and Ray Hooper.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Seneca. Masking and social distancing required. Internment will be private.
The online guest book may be viewed and remembrances shared at www.ottawafuneralhome.com