Alice Smyser Raphel

Age 80 Longtime elementary school teacher also served as an election judge.

August 04, 2008|By Kevin Rector | Kevin Rector,Sun Reporter

Alice Smyser Raphel, a retired Baltimore County elementary school teacher, died July 28 of cancer at her longtime home in Monkton. She was 80.

She was born in York, Pa., where she graduated from William Penn High School in 1945. She received an English degree from Goucher College in 1949 and later earned a master's degree in education from Goucher.

She married Eugene F. Raphel, a land surveyor, in 1950. They lived briefly in Towson before moving to their home in Monkton, where she devoted herself to raising their three children.

Family members said she was a devoted teacher and mother who had an insatiable curiosity.

Between 1968 and 1975, she taught third and fourth grades at Lutherville Elementary School. In 1975, she began teaching the same grades at Carroll Manor Elementary School in Phoenix. She retired in 1990.

She volunteered at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, where she served as a docent, helped with the Children's Nature Education Program and assisted staff during school field trips.

Mrs. Raphel served in various volunteer roles for Goucher College in a span of 50 years. She held positions on the Alumni Board of Directors, the Alumni Tour Committee and the Friends of the Library and Baltimore Club groups. She maintained close ties to many friends from Goucher until her death.

She also served as an election judge and was a longtime volunteer for the Elkridge Harford Hunt Pony Club.

"Regardless of your station in life, when you were speaking with my mother, she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world," said her daughter, Corrine "Teener" Raphel Sweeney of Kennett Square, Pa. "She enjoyed hearing about your life, listened intently and remembered. Her genuine interest in others was apparent to all who knew her."

A service will be held at noon Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road in Monkton.

In addition to her husband and daughter, survivors include a son, Eugene F. Raphel Jr. of San Francisco; another daughter, Alice Raphel Linberg of Laytonsville, Pa.; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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