In Memoriam: John Raffa

Worked for Chase in USA and Italy

The Chase Alumni Association mourns the death of member John Raffa, 72, who worked at Chase from 1965 to 1994.  He passed away May 10, 2009 following complications from surgery and had been ill for a year.  He leaves his wife, Yolanta of Saddle River, NJ, two sons and five grandchildren.

John was born in Trieste and migrated to the United States in 1955.  He worked at Chase in audit, consumer/retail products, middle market banking and European finance capital/capital markets.  He was comptroller for Factor and Finance and CFO for Chase Italy -- an assignment he particularly loved.

He was a graduate of Hofstra University and was awarded a Master's degree from St. John's University. He was Vice President & Managing Director of Wall Street Financial of Franklin, NJ.  

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From John P. Tracy:  I retired after 25 years at Chase and met the owner of a mid-size mortgage company which was growing quickly and was looking for someone to fill the role of Director of Sales and Marketing. Having met and interviewed with the owner, I was asked to meet with the Managing Director, John Raffa. To begin the meeting, I handed John my resume and he took one look at it and smiled. Surprisingly, the next words out of John’s mouth were that he too, had retired from Chase.  Next, we began to discuss all of our Chase associates whom we knew in common over the years. Needless to say, being new at Wall Street Financial, I had a lot to learn as quickly as possible and John was only too willing to help. I could not have had a better teacher. It did not take long before I had learned that John Raffa was also the person to whom everyone in the company went with their problems, and they left with John’s help with the correct solution. John spent 14 years at Wall Street. He managed our finances, did our tax returns and provided our bank -- Chase of course -- with updated financials.  He was responsible for getting new mortgage lenders signed and managing these relationships.  He had reporting into him our HR, Credit and Collections and Accounting departments. He regularly put in 10-to-12 hour days and took work home on a regular basis. Most importantly, he loved Wall Street, and every Wall Street employee loved John.
   I was asked to say a few words at John’s funeral on Thursday.  I had asked many of our longtime employees for their thoughts about John, and here is what they had to say: "a true gentleman"; "a class act"; "a father figure"; "he always made time for you"; "he taught me so much"; "he was a perfectionist in all he did professionally and personally", and "to all of us at Wall Street and Chase, we were made better by knowing John." 
    In the book of names, parents go to name their children, and the name John means “God’s Gracious Gift.” That is what he was all who knew him. God Bless, John and his Family.