Benjamin Light Rafftesaeth, 90, of Gulfport, MS, and formerly of Lebanon, PA, passed away on Friday, April 21, 2023, at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, MS. He was the husband of the late Keiko Sawai Rafftesaeth, who passed away in 1998.

Ben was born in Buffalo, NY, on May 12, 1932, to the late Marion Paul and Dorothy (Light) Rafftesaeth.

He graduated from Univ. of Hawaii/Windward and John Harris High School. He was a 20-year US Air Force Veteran and then owner of businesses in Hawaii and Roswell, GA. Ben was a member of Hill Lutheran Church in Cleona. He enjoyed world travel, playing bridge, watching sports, good food, home upkeep, and spending time with his family.

Surviving are his sons, Thomas Rafftesaeth Duke, and wife, Lyubov “Lulu” Avery Duke, Kenneth Paul Rafftesaeth; grandsons, Kevin Duke, Daniel Duke, Arseniy Avery, and James Avery, who live in the Atlanta area, Phoenix, Denver, and Nashville. His brother, James Isaac Rafftesaeth, and wife, Patricia Rafftesaeth, live in Cape May, NJ.

Services will be held Monday, May 1, 2023, at 11 am at Hill Lutheran Church, 998 N. Mill Street, Lebanon, PA. Interment will be in Hill Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lebanon. The viewing is from 10 am-11 am and service 11 am-12 pm followed by a military honors ceremony at the church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Chi Alpha Campus Ministries @ Tennessee Tech. Donate at