Bjorn Rafoss

Bjorn Rafoss died peacefully at his home in South Salem, NY at the age of 83 on Good Friday, April 19, 2019.  Bjorn was born in Kvinesdal, Norway on May 27, 1935, to parents Sevald and Thale Rafoss. He was the eldest of seven siblings. He was a child during the German occupation of Norway, and throughout the war he had German soldiers living in his home. At the young age of fifteen he left the Rafoss farm and moved to Sandes, Norway to work for a cabinet and furniture maker. At age 21 he boarded a ship bound for New York in search of the American dream and settled in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where there was a large Norwegian community. Bjorn found full time employment as a carpenter building houses. In 1958 he was drafted and on December 3, 1958 inducted into the US Army. He spent two years of active duty in Korea in the Signal Corp and was then re-stationed in Japan. In 1962 he returned the United States and remained in the Army reserve until 1964.
On the night of May 27,1962 he went out to celebrate his 27th birthday at a Sons of Norway dance in Brooklyn. It was there that he met the love of his life, Reidun Kylland. They married on June 6, 1964 and moved to New Jersey. Bjorn continued to work as a carpenter. They were blessed with the birth of their first child, Linda Rafoss, on March 7, 1967. In 1968 Bjorn purchased land in South Salem, NY and began to build a house for his family. They moved to South Salem, NY shortly before the birth of their son, Bjorn Kevin Rafoss in 1970.
In 1969, Bjorn started his own business, Surfside Pools & Construction Corporation. His love for his family and his work were the two driving forces in his life. Out the door at sunrise every morning and home for dinner every night. Always working hard and pushing himself to learn something new each day. He will be remembered for his love of building things with his own hands. He was a true craftsman. Although he won many awards for his work he valued his long-term relationships with his clients most of all. Bjorn continued to work every day until his cancer diagnosis in December 2018.
Sundays were always spent with family. He loved relaxing, reading the paper, playing with his children and later in life, his grandchildren. Reidun was always in the kitchen cooking and baking for everyone. Their home was an oasis for their children’s friends and for visiting family from Norway, and they entertained constantly. Bjorn was honest, calm, steady, thoughtful, and positive.  He lived his life the way he thought best and set an example for everyone around him.  He had an incredible drive and passion for life. He was an original thinker. He was never given anything except the love from his family, never followed the pack, always set his own limits and touched the lives of so many.  Bjorn’s family, friends, co-workers and all the clients he worked for will never forget him.
He is survived by his wife Reidun Rafoss, his children Linda Rafoss and Bjorn Kevin Rafoss, his son in law Scott Samios, his daughter-in-law Joanne Fischer Rafoss and his grandchildren Olivia Kylland Samios, Anastasios Nicolas Samios, Bjorn August Samios, and Pia Suzanne Rafoss, his nephew Richard Cogger, wife Charlene and their daughter Sigrun Nicole Cogger and a large extended family in Norway.
Friends may gather to celebrate Bjorn on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Kane Funeral Home - 25 Catoonah Street; Ridgefield, CT. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM at St. James Episcopal Church - 296 Titicus Road; North Salem, NY. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Peach Pond Cemetery - North Salem, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Cancer Research Association, or St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital,
"Slow and steady wins the race".

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