Transition: Parker Raphael (Passed Feb. 15, 2018)
Parker Raphael passed away Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Washington
Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville with family at his side. He
Parker was born in Albany, New York, the first born and only son to
Verna and Parker Raphael Sr. He soon was joined by three younger
sisters Dorinda, Dale and Rachelle. After the family moved from New
York to Southern California, Parker took up surfing and became part of
a surf club that competed in competitions. Their club photo hangs
today on a wall of Pizza Port, a prominent restaurant in the coastal
town of Carlsbad.
After graduating from Oceanside High School, Parker attended nearby
Menlo College before traveling abroad to study at Tel Aviv University
in Israel where he also spent time living in a kibbutz. Upon his return to the states, he became a student at an alternative university, College at Old Westbury State University of New York, where he met his wife Catherine. Together they traveled the country, journaling and filming a field
project on animal behavior, at which time Parker created remarkable
watercolors of birds. They completed their senior thesis: studying
ospreys on Sanibel Island, and graduated in May, 1972.
After a year living in Oyster Bay, the couple moved to Phoenix where
they established a window washing enterprise and one of the first food
coops. Parker also began his career in the print business at that time.
A move to the Osage area of Northwest Arkansas followed, along with
construction of a green oak home and a passive solar home.
It was there son Jesse was born and Parker honed his skills in spoon
making, crafting utensils from native woods and earning awards at
prestigious art shows.
He and Catherine eventually parted ways but Parker soon found a new
love, his sweetheart and companion, Anna, and helped with the
upbringing of her three daughters, Katie, Elizabeth and Molly.
He also switched careers from printing and spoonmaking to that of a
municipal employee, working for the City of Green Forest until his
In 2000, Parker and Anna moved to Eureka Springs where Parker soon
became part of the downtown night life scene, frequenting the historic
Wagon Wheel tavern and other watering holes, sharing his tall tales
with unsuspecting patrons. He also served as alderman on the Eureka
Springs City Council for a period of time.
He enjoyed camping in the great outdoors and was an avid fisherman. He
often loved to lure the lunkers from the comfort of his kayak when not
casting a line in the White River. He was also a Dallas Cowboys
football fan, a cook, basket weaver, gardener, and most of all — an
incredibly sweet and loving soul.
He is survived by his mother Verna, his three sisters, Dale, Dorinda
and Rachelle, his son Jesse, daughter-in-law Katie, grandson Sam,
granddaughter Alexis, plus Anna and her three daughters and their six
offspring, in addition to a host of nieces and nephews and numerous
A celebration of life is planned for 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb.24 at the Mill Hollow House.