OBITUARY

Joe Thomas Raper

October 14, 1929March 7, 2018

Joe Thomas Raper, 88, of Memphis, TN, passed away at his home in the company of his family on March 7, 2018.

He was born October 14, 1929 to John and Birdie (McCharen) Raper in Tupelo, Mississippi. On December 17, 1949 he married the love of his life, Marijo Ragan, in Corinth, Mississippi. Joe enjoyed Southern history, Airedales, rose gardening, the Ole Miss Rebels (especially Archie), and the Dallas Cowboys. He was an accomplished woodworker, producing beautiful cradles for his grandchildren - and those same cradles have rocked many other babies over the years. He was a meticulous investigator of the family genealogy, contributing material for journals and libraries. He has immortalized his family in volumes of research and priceless photographs. Following the death of his beloved son Kenny, Joe’s strength in his faith grew and led him to the Prison Ministry at 201 Poplar.

Throughout his adult life, he has had Marijo as his inseparable partner. Over the last months, he found pleasure in reminiscing about their life together - the moment he first saw her, people they know, fishing at Lakeview, and their many travels around the country. They ventured into Death Valley, braved the traffic in Washington,DC, enjoyed the music of Branson, explored Cliffside Indian dwellings, stood in awe of the great redwoods, and dined at Bob Evans along the way.

An ever present priority in Joe’s life was family. He worked long and hard at Kroger for 47 years to provide for his family. He was intensely interested in his ancestors and in passing on their stories. He was equally as interested in the generations ahead. He was so pleased that both his grandson and great-grandson bear his name. He was always uplifted by the presence of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

A special thank you to the Crossroads Hospice in Memphis for their loving care and support.

Joe is survived by Marijo, his wife of 68 years, daughter Linda (Rob) Rockhold, daughter Tommie Holbrook, brothers Bob and Jim Raper, grandchildren Shannon (Ryan ) Becher, Neal Rockhold, and Leah (Ashley) Mooney, great-grands Ava, Callie, Nolan, Connor, Presley, Joe, and Leland. He was preceded in death by his son Kenny, parents John and Birdie Raper and sister Virginia Rogers.

Visitation will be from 1 PM until 2 PM at Memphis Funeral Home, 3700 Germantown Parkway, on Sunday, March 11th with funeral services following at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

  • FAMILY

  • Marijo Raper, Wife
  • Linda Rockhold (Rob), Daughter
  • Tommie Holbrook, Daughter
  • Bob Raper, Brother
  • Jim Raper, Brother
  • Shannon Becher (Ryan), Grandchild
  • Neal Rockhold, Grandchild
  • Leah Mooney (Ashley), Grandchild
  • Ava, Callie, Nolan, Connor, Presley, Joe and Leland, Great Grandchildren
  • Kenny Raper, Son
  • John and Birdie Raper, Parents
  • Virginia Rogers, Sister
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Neal Rockhold
  • Rob Rockhold
  • Ryan Becher
  • Ashley Mooney
  • William Pegg
  • Kevin Williams
  • Billy Pegg, Honorary
  • DONATIONS

  • St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Services

  • Gathering of Family and Friends Sunday, March 11, 2018
  • Reception for Family and Friends Sunday, March 11, 2018
  • Funeral Service Sunday, March 11, 2018
REMEMBERING

Joe Thomas Raper

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Debra Riem

March 16, 2018

Marijo, Linda and Tommie, I am so sorry for your loss. I really missed seeing you guys and kids at the service. We all had the Flu and just couldn't get out. I wish I had seen Uncle Thomas in recent years. I have many memories of him and all of you. He was always fun when we were kids, and I really enjoyed talking with him when Mother was in hospital about your trips out west and about our ancestry. Hope to see you guys not to long away!!

Kim Raper Turner

March 8, 2018

Uncle Thomas always had a beautiful smile and a loving manner. He had a way of making you feel good about yourself. One of my best memories was the love and care he and Aunt Marijo had for Kenny. How Uncle Thomas lovingly kidded around with him and would make him laugh. I love you Uncle Thomas! Rest in Peace.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Joe Thomas Raper, 88, of Memphis, TN, passed away at his home in the company of his family on March 7, 2018.
He was born October 14, 1929 to John and Birdie (McCharen) Raper in Tupelo, Mississippi.
On December 17, 1949 he married the love of his life, Marijo Ragan, in Corinth, Mississippi.
Joe enjoyed Southern history, Airedales, rose gardening, the Ole Miss Rebels (especially Archie), and the Dallas Cowboys. He was an accomplished woodworker, producing beautiful cradles for his grandchildren - and those same cradles have rocked many other babies over the years. He was a meticulous investigator of the family genealogy, contributing material for journals and libraries. He has immortalized his family in volumes of research and priceless photographs.
Following the death of his beloved son Kenny, Joe’s strength in his faith grew and led him to the Prison Ministry at 201 Poplar.
Throughout his adult life, he has had Marijo as his inseparable partner. Over the last months, he found pleasure in reminiscing about their life together - the moment he first saw her, people they know, fishing at Lakeview, and their many travels around the country. They ventured into Death Valley, braved the traffic in Washington,DC, enjoyed the music of Branson, explored Cliffside Indian dwellings, stood in awe of the great redwoods, and dined at Bob Evans along the way.
An ever present priority in Joe’s life was family. He worked long and hard at Kroger for 47 years to provide for his family. He was intensely interested in his ancestors and in passing on their stories. He was equally as interested in the generations ahead. He was so pleased that both his grandson and great-grandson bear his name. He was always uplifted by the presence of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
A special thank you to the Crossroads Hospice in Memphis for their loving care and support.
Joe is survived by Marijo, his wife of 68 years, daughter Linda (Rob) Rockhold, daughter Tommie Holbrook, brothers Bob and Jim Raper, grandchildren Shannon (Ryan ) Becher, Neal Rockhold, and Leah (Ashley) Mooney, great-grands Ava, Callie, Nolan, Connor, Presley, Joe, and Leland. He was preceded in death by his son Kenny, parents John and Birdie Raper and sister Virginia Rogers.
Visitation will be from 1 PM until 2 PM at Memphis Funeral Home, 3700 Germantown Parkway, on Sunday, March 11th with funeral services following at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.