The laughter was as abundant as the tears – and often both came at the same time – at a memorial service held Monday to honor Andrea Raphael, who died April 6, 2012 at her home in Florence at the age of 47.
NORTHAMPTON – It’s hard to forget the first time you met Andrea Raphael. For so many, it was at her and John Reily’s house in Florence at “family parties” that included dozens of cousins, neighbors, exchange students, teachers and a few people Andrea had just met. This was Andrea’s family: the world.
Visitors walking in the door would look around the chaos, and invariably find Andrea’s wide smile. She’d then get close and the conversation would start. Her questions were probing, insightful, personal. Her perspectives were deep, wide-ranging and global. You want to find a school for a teenager with special needs? Andrea knew the research – and a good family for you to talk to also.
This was classic Andrea. She had an amazing ability to connect with people – intellectually, instinctively – and with humor – on subjects as wide-ranging as fair trade, travel, sports, languages and music. “I love it,” she would say after a new conversation. “I just love it.” And she did. Andrea Raphael did not drink life. She gulped it. pid=156965045#sthash.shDNQ7A4.dpuf
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