Rotary Club of Winchester

Rememberance of Tom Raphael

Jack Kean eulogized our recently deceased Rotarian, Tom Raphael last Thursday. The following is Jack's words about Tom. 
The true test of a Rotarian is not in length of service or how many committees you have served on but on how you measure up to the Guiding Principles of Rotary based in these four simple tenets:
 
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned
 
 
Tom Raphael checked off all of the boxes in his tenure as a Rotarian.
 
Born on June 9, 1922 Tom grew up in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School in 1940. He then went on to receive a degree in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1944 which made me think of a Stephen Hawking quote that I came across:
 
"In my school, the brightest boys did math and physics, the less bright did physics and chemistry, and the least bright did biology. I wanted to do math and physics, but my father made me do chemistry because he thought there would be no jobs for mathematicians."
 
I don't know if this entered into his academic decisions but with Tom's humor I am sure he would enjoy the reference.
 
 
With the War still ongoing Tom joined the service and served as a Meteorologist. After the war he was hired by Polaroid and worked alongside Dr. Edwin Land in those early years of the company. His professional career also included a stint at Arthur D. Little.
 
Tom was an inventor holding patents on approximately 28 inventions.
 
He was a member of the Winchester Boat Club and served as its Commodore in 1967-1968 and for his service was made an Honorary Member of the club.
 
Tom was very active in Scouting and for many years he was a scout leader at the First Congregational Church.
 
His great passion during the latter years of his life was manifested in his volunteer work with the Middlesex Canal Association. It is said his basement  resembled Winston Churchill’s War Room. His cellar was akin to a bunker filled with all things Middlesex Canal, from maps, to plans, to stacks of data contained in folders that littered the tables and filled the file cabinets to overflowing. He was known as, the "Father" of the Middlesex Canal restoration.
 
 
He joined Rotary in 2008. Although well into his retirement years Tom knew that he still had important and fulfilling work ahead. Rotary calls us to respond to our best impulses, our  best selves and that is what Tom did. He was happy and eager to serve. When it came to service the word "NO" was absent from his vocabulary.
 
 
 
Tom was charming, with a good sense of humor, and he had a tremendous enthusiasm for Rotary. He sought inspiration through the motto "Service Above Self".
 
Everyone found pleasure being in his company. He was erudite, and willing to share his knowledge on topics that spanned a wide expanse of  subjects.
 
Friendship is the foundation upon which Rotary is built.
He was a friend whom you could count on for friendship and support.
A gentleman always, professional, and an exceptional Rotarian, we who knew him are thankful for his camaraderie and we thank him for the service he provided to the Rotary Club of Winchester and  the larger community beyond.
 
Farewell Dear Friend: For over 95 years you gave of yourself. You profited most because you served best.
 
 
 
 
Jack Kean - September 7, 2017