Cora Jean ‘CJ’ Rapsard

Cora Jean ‘CJ’ Rapsard

GUILDERLAND — Cora Jean “CJ” Rapsard loved children and she loved beauty created by her own hands.

Mrs. Raspard died at her home in Guilderland on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. She was 87.

She and her late husband, Kenneth J. Rapsard, raised five children of their own, but they also were extraordinarily dedicated foster parents to more than 50 infants over the course of the years. First-time visitors to their home were often astonished to see the care they lavished on the foster babies; they kept a journal for each child in their care, to go with the infant to his or her new home.

Community Maternity Services, the Albany Catholic Charities agency with which the Rapsards worked for over 20 years, describes some of the qualities of a successful foster parent this way:

“Flexibility, patience, sense of humor; ability to recognize and respond to a child's needs and to not expect immediate affection from that child…”

These were qualities Mrs. Rapsard must have possessed in abundance.

She was born in North Tonawanda, New York on October 3, 1928, the daughter of Kenneth R. Hay and Vivian Hay.

She married Mr. Rapsard on June 16, 1951. Thirteen years later, they and their children moved to Guilderland, where she lived the rest of her life.

Porcelain and a house full of children may seem a risky combination, but the Rapsard household was full of both. Mrs. Rapsard was an avid and talented porcelain painter, her family says. Not only did she belong to the World Organization of Porcelain Painters, but she also served the organization at local, state, national, and, ultimately, global levels.  She was its world president in 2005.

Her family says of her that she “was a great mother and a wonderful friend to many. She will be missed by us all. Rest in peace, Mom. Love you bunches.”


Mrs. Rapsard is survived by her daughter, Sharon Waldbillig and her husband Neil, of Ballston Lake; her son Steve and his wife Nancy , of Latham; her daughter, Patty Busa, of Rotterdam; her daughter Carol Phillips, of Guilderland; and her son Larry and his wife Pam, in Ohio. Also by her sister, Anita Lachner, and her husband Arnold, of Kerrville, Texas; and by 11 grandchildren and one long-awaited great-grandchild.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Madeleine Sophie Church, 3500 Carman Road, Schenectady, Friday, June 17, at 10 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society. Burial will  be at St Agnes Cemetery, Menands.

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