Joan Frances Raphael passed away at the age of 84 at her home in Vail, Arizona on 1/6/23 after a heartbreaking decline from Alzheimer's Disease.
Joan was pre-deceased by her sister, Sherry Sobel, and is survived by her husband, Dr. Damon S. Raphael, her three daughers - Patricia (Jon) Stoll, Marjorie (Bill) Cooper, and Lisa (Michael) Ramirez, her grandchildren - Cecilia Lookingback, Suzette (Edgar) Vargas, Beth (Christian) Benecke, Billy (Lacy) Cooper, and John (Christina) Cooper, her great grandchildren - Keyaanie Lookingback, Serenity Vargas, Abbie, Isaac, John and Luke Benecke, and Anna and Liam Cooper.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Joan attended James Madison High School and Brooklyn College where she received her Bachelor's degree in Education. She taught elementary school for several years before starting her family. Joan lived near Sidney, Nebraska from 1962 to 1964 while her husband was in Military service and her daughters, Lisa and Marjorie, were born in Sidney.
Joan and Damon arrived in Tucson in 1967. Joan remained a homemaker until 1970 when she started attending the University of Arizona to obtain her Master's Degree in Counseling and Guidance. She worked for Catholic Social Services at Eastside Counseling Center for a number of years before opening her own private Counseling practice. She had a special interest in Clinical Hypnosis and had studied with the well-known expert psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson. Joan enjoyed a successful career as a counselor and workshop leader. One program she created was named "Business with Pleasure" which encouraged people to create a positive, supportive atmosphere at the workplace. Another was called "It's Not Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood" which explored the roles of laughter and playfulness to bring joy to your life. She led these workshops at local hotel meeting rooms.
Joan was athletic. Over the years, she enjoyed bowling, raquetball, and tennis. She was very interested in exercise and movement. She became certified by the Arthritis Foundation to teach water exercise. She studied Yoga, Qi Gong, and Feldenkrais Movement.
She loved the desert and, after retirement, volunteered as a docent at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, where her favorite thing to demonstrate was the Saguaro Cactus. As a volunteer for the Tucson Botanical Garden, she visited nursing homes with plants to entertain patients. Joan had a green thumb. She grew wonderful houseplants. One time, she won a raffle from the Botanical Society for a Boojum Tree, a rare plant that she loved. She planted it at her home where it prospered. When she moved to Vail, she had to leave it behind.
Joan loved music, especially Opera. She was interested in Art and Photography. She took classes at Pima College in Videography and Photoshop editing when it was first developed. She loved playing games, especially Mah Johng, which she learned later in life.
She loved to laugh and always managed to find the humor in any situation. She had a beautiful smile and a sunny disposition. Joan was well loved by many people and will be missed terribly by her family and friends.