JEAN BECHLAR RAPHAEL
December 28, 1922 February 16, 2021
Jean Bechlar Raphael passed away peacefully on February 16, 2021 in Colorado Springs, her home for the past twenty years.
She was born in Chicago in 1922 to the late Gertrude and Charles Bechlar, spending her childhood and much of her adult life in the Chicago metropolitan area. She was married to Jack L. Raphael in 1946 who preceded her in death in 1988.
Jean is survived by their three children and their families, Taffy Raphael (Jim Gavelek) of Chicago, Ralph Raphael (Elaine Richman) of Baltimore, and Dennis Raphael (Kate) of Colorado Springs. She is also survived by four grandchildren, David (Lesley), Matt, Alex, and Sam; and two great-grandchildren, Jack and Charlie.
Jean was active in the Jewish communities in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs through her work with Sisterhood and Hadassah and in community libraries through their book club programs. She volunteered throughout her life, from helping shelter dogs become more adoptable to work supporting museums of art. She loved the arts, from theater to music to the visual arts. Professionally, Jean and her husband, Jack, founded Raphael's Pharmacy in Harvey, Illinois, a forerunner in providing surgical supplies supporting residents in the area for forty years. She herself summed up her life in one of her last conversations, indicating that she felt 'lucky' to have lived the life she did.
Jean will be missed. Due to Covid-19, the Graveside Service in Colorado Springs was held primarily by Zoom.
A Graveside Service was held on Friday, February 19, 2021, at Sons of Israel Cemetery, 1005 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice
, knowing that Jean cared deeply about Israel and Jewish life, education and libraries, and the arts. An organization she believed in deeply is American Friends of Magen David Adom (https://afmda.org/about-us/
). Magen David Adom is Israel's national ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization, as well as Israel's representative to the International Red Cross.