Elbridge, NY. – It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our mother, Edith “Irene” Raper, loved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, sister, and aunt. She passed away at the age of 95 surrounded by her loving family on Monday, June 28th after sustaining injuries during a fall.
She was born May 29, 1926, in the small town of Wyanet, Ill to wonderful parents, Howard and Mary Benningfield. It is in that same town where she met a handsome young pipeliner, Billy Gene Raper, who would later become her husband. They traveled wherever the pipeline took them before settling down in Elbridge, NY. She was devoted to her children and husband and was a stay-at-home Mom.
Irene loved reading the bible, writing poetry, and attending Church. She also loved going to auctions and garage sales and always kept an eye out for that special glittery treasure where it would find a home in one of her many display cabinets. In fact, she left a ton of stuff to her sons and daughters and they have no idea what to do with it. If you are in need of a punch bowl, cookie jar, or peacock themed items, let us know.
All whom loved her will never forget her tenacity, spunk, and love of the scriptures (especially when they helped her win an argument).
Irene is survived by her four children, Jerry Sankey (Cathy) of Auburn, Rod Raper of Apollo Beach FL, Kathy Schwab (Stephen) of Elbridge, NY, and Karen Pilat (Chris) of Ocala, FL; her eight grandchildren, Greg Sankey (Cathy) of Birmingham, AL, William Sankey (Julie) of Lanai, HI, Seth Raper of Tampa, FL, Cory Brosch (Frank) of Oswego, NY, Jennifer Stanger(Christopher) of Pittsford, NY, Amy Gronau (Rob) of Elbridge, NY, Katie Knox of Warners, NY, Laura Merrill of San Diego, CA; and 8 great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Irene was preceded in death by her first husband Robert Sankey and her second husband, Billy Gene Raper, two sisters, Gladys Ill and Edna Mae Thorn, and one brother, Junior Benningfield.
Services: No Calling Hours. There will be a small private Family, “Celebration of Life” held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to her church family, Freedom Baptist Church, 3324 East Genesee St, Auburn, NY 13021.