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
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
The online guest book may be viewed and remembrances shared at www.ottawafuneralhome.com
Ottawa Funeral Home & Crematory
1111 LaSalle St, Ottawa Illinois 61350