Ernest Joseph Raphael, age 71, passed away after a long illness on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at his home in Dunnellon, Florida. He was the husband of Nancy A. (Gonneville) Raphael for 31 years.
Born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, son of the late Joseph & Irene (Raphael) and Earl Snell, lived and was raised in Rochester, Massachusetts until moving to Dunnellon, Florida in 1986.
After graduating from Old Rochester Regional High School, he enlisted into the US Navy in 1964, served proudly on the USS Randolph Aircraft Carrier for 2 years and was discharged in 1968 after 4 years of reserve duty. He loved his country and spoke often of his service.
He returned to his hometown where he held a variety of jobs including carpentry, commercial fisherman out of New Bedford & Fairhaven on various scallopers, draggers, quahogging, and lobster boast for 8 years. He was also a dispatch delivery driver for the New Bedford Standard Times for 11 years.
One of the original owners and operators of Cape Cod Choppers Motorcycle Shop in Wareham, Massachusetts.
While in Massachusetts, he was an avid Martial Arts enthusiast, earning his Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, participating in a number of tournaments, and becoming an instructor in Shotokan along with Aikido and Yoga.
He was Founder and lifelong President of the Tribesman Motorcycle Club (RAF) from 1974-1984.
Once he moved to Florida he established Raphael Painting, contracting primarily with Jim Walter Homes, and remained in business until his retirement in 2009. Along with his painting, he delivered the Ocala Star Banner for 10 years.
Hobbies included motorcycles, baseball, fishing, raising birds, and spending time with family and friends. He was lifelong dog lover, and would never be without one.
In addition to his spouse, he is survived by 3 children: Steven and Joann Raphael of Dunnellon, Angela Raphael of Citrus Springs, sister Joann Sykes of Virginia Beach, brother, Danny Raphael of New Bedford, Massachusetts, 11 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
No services will be held in Dunnellon. Remains will be placed in the Sherman Cemetery, Rochester, Massachusetts.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The United Way, the Kidney Foundation, or the Veterans Administration in him name.
Family and Friends wish to extend their sincere thank you to the Staff of Crystal River Dialysis, all employees of the Malcom Randall Veterans Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, and to Hospice of Citrus County for the outstanding care, respect, and ongoing services which we have received.
We would also like to thank all of our friends and co-workers for their many prayers of support.