Transition: Parker Raphael (Passed Feb. 15, 2018)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Parker Raphael passed away Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Washington

Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville with family at his side. He

was 68.

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.