Remembering Mayor Raphael

NORWICH – According to those who were closest to Mayor Robert Raphael Jr., he was a man with simple and endearing characteristics; but he was by no means a simple man.

Following his memorial service, family, friends, colleagues, employees, and a host of fellow citizens gathered Friday afternoon in the City of Norwich Firehouse, “The House that Bob built,” as Fire Chief John Tighe calls it, to remember all the different ways he made their lives better.

At the podium, with five pictures hanging above highlighting her husband as a leader and as friend to Norwich, Vicki Raphael, the mayor’s wife of 36 years, joyfully and tearfully recalled anecdotes from decades’ worth of memories. She spoke of their first date, dressing Bob up in ridiculous outfits for Halloween parades, playing practical jokes, and life as a family built on love, humor and selflessness. “I don’t think we ever grew up,” she said.

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