Raphael Martin, loving husband of 61 years to Jenny Lynn Martin, died on Nov. 6, 2022 in Anytown, Calif. He was 89.
Raphael was born on Jan. 17, 1933 in Othertown, Calif. He had an idyllic childhood on the family ranch, playing with his beloved dogs as well as his also-beloved brothers, Peter and Simon, who were among Raphael’s best friends and preceded him in death in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
After graduating from Othertown High School, Raphael put his college plans on hold and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Korea, and served during the war there for two years before being honorably discharged. He then enrolled in Anytown State College to pursue a teaching credential.
Raphael, or “Mr. Rafi,” as he was known to his students, taught kindergarten at a time when teaching kindergarten was thought to be the domain of women. He never hesitated to get down on the rug with the children, or play ball with them on the playground. He modeled what a good human should be. Even after his retirement, he was a volunteer storytime reader at the school as well as Anytown Library.
Jenny Peterson was the fresh-out-of-college teacher who moved into the classroom next door during Raphael’s third year at Anytown Elementary. He walked over to introduce himself bearing a bouquet of school supplies. He must have known that the way to a teacher’s heart is through crayons and markers.
They married just six months later. It was five years before their children came along, and Susan and Heather were the lights of their lives. Raphael’s love for his daughters was matched only by his love for his grandchildren. He promised Connor, Preston, Deirdre, Rose, and Caroline that he loved all five of them equally, no matter how much they begged him to say otherwise.
But it was his wife with whom he was closest. That worked both ways, and Jenny was his primary caregiver until the end. She managed his medications, advocated for him at medical appointments, and proved again and again why she was the love of his life.
Raphael asked that no services be held, but that people should consider volunteering at a school near them, if they are able.
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