I always felt connected to Coach. Felt he cared. Enjoyed and learned. He made a difference in my life and so many more.
Good man. Excellent teacher. He cared and will be remembered.
I would like to mention one other thing about "Coach" Raphael - I saw a much softer side of this wonderful man when I would go to Fat Tuesdays on Fridays - he remembered all of us and made you feel so special - no one can compare to him - he stood out amoung all men - he will definately be missed !!
Whether in the classroom or on the field, Coach always taught meaningful life lessons. I'm very grateful to have learned from him. Love you Coach.
Today we bid farewell to our beloved Coach Raphael. What a man of devotion and dedication to all aspects of his life! He was true to his Catholic faith, his family and marriage, his country, and his role as teacher and coach. He taught at St. Joe for 41 years.......41 years!
I remember my days in his classroom well....Learning a new way of thinking called Algebra. I finally caught on and excelled in it as the year progressed. He was stern, ever present, and offered some great comic relief. He used to assign our homework problems in his usual serious way. Then he would add(
pun intended), "Turn over!.......(then peering over his bifocals)......the page....." Then we would all simulate turning around in our desks.
Well, Coach, you are turning over a new page in your life. You will see your beloved parents, your precious wife, and the students who crossed that bridge before you. You have reached your goal, and you will forever be the champion of our hearts. We love you, and we shall see you again...
So many fond memories, as a coach and a fantastic teacher. He was a dear friend to my parents also, before their passing. Prayers to all the family. I know he will be missed everyday. Grateful to have known him. Love to all of you.
I will miss seeing Coach Raphael motion for me to go ahead of him to take Communion every week, and I will miss seeing him at Kroger. I will miss the smile every time he saw me. It was a genuine, sincere smile he wanted to offer, not a polite one he felt like he was obligated to give.
Coach Raphael was a selfless man who committed his life to teaching kids all he could about hard work, discipline, courage, honor, integrity, faith - the kind of values that last beyond a ballgame. The football field was just another classroom to teach the values that were important to him. He had a way of making you want to be better than you were, of getting your best effort and the confidence that came from that. He made us all better because he expected us to be better. St. Joe always had that reputation for being tougher than we should have been, forever going up against bigger, faster players. But that didn't mean much to Coach because in all his teams he instilled a big dose of his toughness and guts. You played hard and you never quit. And if you lost, you sure didn't cut up on the bus ride back. He'd also praise you and love on you. He was proud of all his kids, students and players alike, and always had a smile and a sense of humor.
One of his favorite pranks was in the middle of a stressful Algebra test, he would turn off the light and slam his hand on a filing cabinet and scare everybody to death. He thought that was hilarious. Before he's ever begin writing on the chalk board he made a cross at the top like this .+. because he put his faith at the top of everything he did. We had Mass early on Friday mornings before games and always said an "Our father" immediately before gametime. He put all his faith in his Lord.
I so much admire him for what he made of his life and how he influenced so many people that had the privilege to spend some time with him. Mrs. Raphael taught me for 2 years at Holy Family and she was just as special. Coach just commanded respect and he was worthy of every bit of it. I hope the Good Lord will look down lovingly on his family and give them comfort and peace. He left them a legacy of a very fine name. I am very certain he got a "Well done!!" on his arrival in heaven.
Lord Jesus, hold fast to the Raphael family, students and friends. Comfort their restless hearts and give them the peace that only you can give. Calm them with the security of your ever presence and surround them with your love. Wrap them in your loving arms of protection and have them to lean on your promises. Keep them Father ever near to your heart. Praying for you as you go through this most difficult time.
RIP Coach,He was my math teacher and always encouraged to do better. class of 1967.He will be missed.
Bill, I never met your dad but have heard only good things about him and his legacy on the entire community. His life obviously had a favorable impact on everyone he encountered. Hope you are well and say hi to Bob.
While I never had Coach Raphael as either a teacher or coach, I had Mrs. Raphael as a teacher at Holy Family and knew Mat pretty well back in the 60's. My brothers & sisters always spoke highly of Coach. He will be greatly missed by his family and anyone who knew him. RIP.
A legend to academia and to sport in the state of Mississippi...I had the honor and privilege to have learned from "Coach" both on and off the field...his motivation carries through in my daily business and personal life, today. I was glad to have spent some time with Coach a few weeks ago...He will be missed.
Big loss of a great man. Coach was my Math teacher, gave me encouragement to bring my F up to an A- by end of year. That became the foundation of my math related career of 40-ish years. Class of 1968.
Coach was the FIRST man to teach me back in the early '50's. Only nuns before that! AND was a very good math teacher, along with being a great coach! Thanks, Coach for being there !
Ed Schmidt, Jr.
This wonderful man will live on in many hearts that knew and loved him. He influenced us all and I am one of the priviledged ones to have him influence both of my children. He will be missed but will live on within us with the lessons he taught. Prayers to his family.
One of a kind - a cliche in many instances - not in this one. Anyone having had the real privilege of being his student or even just having had the good fortune to know him, has been truly blessed!
Funny, oh yeah! The memories of being called to the front of the class in Algebra !!, with a couple of your buddies, standing at the chalk board - bracing for the words that you just KNEW were inevitable - "What a motley crew !!! "
And the nicknames he'd come up with for everybody - I'm laughing now, while remembering some of his more "choice ones"!
But more than that - we all know, he was the epitome of a Fine Man with incredible loyalty to St Joseph High School!
We were so fortunate to have know, and loved, Coach.
So many are joining you, his family, in missing him - he leaves mighty big shoes!
God bless you ,
Elvie Gonzales Clement
Coach hung in there with me when I struggled through algebra II and always said just keep trying you'll get it. Well many years later I did but it was his patience, compassion and love I remember most.
I have thought about Coach many times over the years. It was a privilege to have been a member of his team (1967-70) at St. Joe. RIP Coach. .+.
Coach Raphael was my Algebra teacher at St. Joe. Great man!
RIP Coach. You were a wonderful teacher of kindness, fortitude, and moral character in the classroom and on the field. Even though I didn't do so well in Algebra, my time working for you & our football team are some of my most favorite high school memories. May your spirit be rejoined with your loving wife now and your soul with our Lord.
You simply cannot say enough about the impact Coach had and will have on this world.
Coach RIP...you will be missed...may God hold you and your family in the palm of his hand!!!!!
I had the privilage of having Coach for algebra at St. Joe and Mrs. Raphael for math at Holy Family. I know I am a better person for having known them. Rest in the Peace of Christ.
Coach Raphael was a fine man that leaves everyone that knew him a better person.Rest in peace Coach.
My heartfelt sorrow to Raphael family.
Coach was a prince of a man.
How comforting to know that our departed loved ones are with the Lord forevermore. As God's word says, "To be absent from the body is to be presnet with the Lord."
With deepest sympathy,
My family prayers are with the family....and Coach
Coach and Mrs. Raphael are a big part of our family memories ~ Thank you, Coach for being a wonderful, loving soul to all of us lucky enough to have had you in our lives. Much love and prayers to the Raphael family
My condolences are with you during this sad time. What a great legacy he has left. May he rest in peace. My love goes to the family.
Coach, you and Mrs. Raphael are a large part of our family memories ~ we all love you very much! God Bless you and your family
Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach's family during this difficult time. He was a wonderful person.
Leslie and Wanda
My love and prayers are with all the coach's family. He and Claire will continue to watch over all of you.
Rest in peace Coach! My sympathy and prayers are extended to his family. I have very fond memories of Coach's math classes and his storytelling abilities. I still love math and that is because of how well Coach taught his classes and how it made it easy to understand but also interesting!
Lynn Zubatuk Rogers
Whenever someone at St. Joe said Coach there was only one man they meant. RIP
Rest in Peace Coach. You were such a inspiration to us all. Your guidance and love for your students was unconditional. We will miss you. The Raphael family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Although I was never a student of Coach Raphael, I never cease to be amazed at the number of people that he left such a positive influence on. I admire and have tremendous respect for this gracious man. He was my friend. Well, done, Coach, well done!
May the God of comfort grant you the comfort needed at this difficult time.
Coach Raphael was a passionate and influential man ... as a coach, as a teacher, and as a person who cared for others. I know that he was a major influence on my decision to go into engineering. I wanted to see how all that math, that he loved, worked in the real world; and not just on paper. And his influence went long beyond his coaching and teaching, it was his love for his fellow man that most will remember long after the memory of the games have faded, long after all of the equations have been solved.
My prayers go out to the Raphael family.
Coach, you will be missed.
My deepest sympathy to the Raphael family. Coach Raphael was an inspiration to all that came in contact with him. He has been a great role model. Because of his compassion, I learned to do the same for my students. Love you, miss you, wish I could be there. L. Bakutis '91.
Rarely does a teacher touch the lives of people who didn't even have them as a teacher, but this was a man who did. So did his lovely wife. St. Joe wouldn't have been the same without him. Rest in Peace Coach!!! Love and much Respect, Tammy Dean.
A wonderful man and an excellent role model for everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. God bless the Raphael family, our prayers are with you.
Rest in Peace Coach, you touched many lives and we loved you. God Bless your family in these sad days.
Laura Bleakney Tarbutton
My thoughts & prayers to the Raphael family. "Coach" was my Algebra teacher, basketball coach & I remember him running me through the blaster one time on the football field. Absolutely everyone loved this man...a great teacher, coach, and what a sense of humor also. Again, my sympathies to the family.
I would see Coach Raphael often at Fat Tuesdays on Fridays eating fish...it was a pleasure to visit with him - very kind man...he definately left his mark in this world.
Coach was an excellent role model in so many ways. He took his football almost as seriously as he took his mathematics...but both paled in comparison to the love he had for his wife and his faith. R.I.P.
Coach was probably my favorite teacher of all time, not only just for high school. He taught so much more than math, and he recognized that I might love Engineering as a career, which at the time, not many people were encouraging women into. I'll always miss him.
Coach touched so many lives, he will be missed. God Bless.
Many memories with coach. Iwas on his first football, basketball and baseball teams when he was first assigned to St. Joe back in the 50's. He expected you to give your all and more, as a team player and student. He was an exceptional coach and teacher. I will aways cherish the good times we had together. He will truly be missed.
With prayers and sympathy. 1953-1958
I had the honor of knowing Coach Raphael as a teacher, football coach, gentleman, friend, and a Great American. The world will miss this man. I am sad because it reminds me of my own mortality. But I know that Coach Raphael is in the the arms of Christ and has no pain or suffering.
Coach Raphael was one of the finest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He was a mentor, a teacher, a coach and a friend. May God bless the Raphael family. He will be missed by every life he touched. RIP Coach! Love, Dani
My prayers and sympathy are with the family. He made an impact on my life while teaching Algebra. He will truly be missed.
Coach Raphael taught me 11th grade math. A tough teacher & FABULOUS story teller & most importantly, loved by all of his students!!!
He was such a loved and admired man. He will be missed.
I was bookkeeper at St Joe. Coach Raphail was always a shinning star when he would come in my office. He will be loved and missed.
I had the honor of playing for Coach in the Miss Allstar Football game. My thoughts and prayers to his family and those he touched. In our short week together, I sensed the care he felt for all the players.
With prayers and sympathy,
Coach taught myself and many members of my family. He and his family were so giving of their time with my mother. He is some one who will be missed but left a very big mark on the world. Love to all the family. Kathy(Kuriger) George.