Cover photo for Thomas Raphael-Nakos's Obituary
Thomas Raphael-Nakos Profile Photo
1945 Thomas 2021

Thomas Raphael-Nakos

January 12, 1945 — December 15, 2021


Tom Raphael-Nakos was born in Meriden, Connecticut on January 12, 1945. His mother was a New Englander and his father had immigrated from Corfu, Greece in 1920. He experienced a turbulent childhood which played a part in shaping the adult he was to eventually become. In his early years he developed an interest in the message of folk music and taught himself to play the guitar. His life became a Quest to find his place, to reflect, ponder, and to deliberate ideas, concepts and meaning. He was a philosopher at heart, always seeking to strum his senses and question.

This led him on a long-lasting exploration to discover life, where he journeyed through many twists and turns along the way. He was married twice, first to Nan Spillman and later to Stephanie Raphael. He had three children: Christopher, who died shortly after birth, Priscilla, who he discovered in her adulthood, and Matthew, who he helped raise. He was also survived by numerous grandchildren, including Madeline Nakos, Emma Nakos, Tally Zetooney, Devan Hicks, and Brooklyn Tarpley, and Hazel, Rhye and Shel Jaeger.

His greatest passion was cooking.  He had quite a flare and created his own recipes.  He enjoyed   working with his hands, which was reflected in his interests in woodworking, gardening, and writing, to name but a few. He was an avid follower of current events and held an unrelenting interest in discussing and debating politics. He had many careers during his life ranging from barber to United Methodist Church minister, with many others in-between. None defined the gentle, kind, emotional, and complicated man that he was.

He died at home as was his desire on Dec. 15, 2021.  It was a very windy night and gave pause to deliberate John 3:8: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Memorials will be given to Tapestry Farms, PO Box 2332, Davenport, IA 52809 or

Human Society, 2802 Central Park, Davenport, IA 52804.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Raphael-Nakos, please visit our flower store.


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