Raphael Ambrose Echemann passed away peacefully at his home in Sidney on November 6, 2022 surrounded by his family. He was born July 3, 1930, to Theodore and Amelia Echemann. Due to his mother’s passing after his birth and three young children already at home, he was lovingly reared by Andrew and Amanda Hemmert in Sidney. On October 24, 1953, he married the love of his life Barbara Lou Becker in Botkins, Ohio at Immaculate Conception Church.
Raphael graduated from Sidney Holy Angels High School in the class of 1948. He entered the Navy as Corpsman during the Korean War in 1951-1953. Raphael began his business career purchasing Hemmert Outdoor Advertising from his father and later created Interstate Displays which became the third largest Interstate Outdoor Advertising firm in Ohio by 1976. In Sidney, the community enjoyed Barbara and Rafe’s Dog House Root Beer Stand for years. He was an active real estate developer of the well-known Carriage Hill Condominiums and Village West Apartments.
A committed contributor to the Sidney community, Raphael was elected to City Council in 1966 and Mayor of Sidney in 1974. He taught Red Cross swimming lessons, was a past president of Sidney Kiwanis, coordinator of Holy Angels Parish Picnic and was the oldest Eagle Scout in Shelby County.
When Raphael was 45, he moved his family to Santa Barbara to attend Brooks Institute where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography. Raphael was an avid tennis player, enjoyed water skiing, and playing his baritone and bugle. Raphael had a great sense of humor and his family and friends will miss hearing his infectious laughter.
A truly adventurous man, Raphael obtained his pilot’s license in 1953 and owned many different planes. He and Barbara ended up with a Cessna T-210 aircraft that they used to commute to their beloved Santa Barbara, making many trips through the Great Rocky Mountains. His 3 sons are also pilots. Raphael and Barbara loved to travel and enjoyed visits to Africa, India, Hong Kong, Haiti, Europe, and repeatedly to their favorite Cabo San Lucas.
He loved his children and grandchildren very much. He is survived by his sons, Thomas (Tami) of Sidney, Timothy (Mary Pat) of Piqua, and Patrick of Dayton, as well as his foster son Ignacio Arruza (Sharon) of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
His grandchildren: Andrew (Cailyn) Echemann, Tricia (Benjamin) Randolph, Kelli, Tina, Conrad and Lila Echemann and great grandchildren; Auden, Wally, Indigo, Kinslee, Maeve, Weston, and Myla.
He will be sorely missed by his special care takers especially Chrystal Gray.
Surviving in addition to his children are his sisters Anne Freytag, Roseann Lehmkuhl, Janet Aselage (Tom), Eileen Myers (Philip), sisters-in-law Thelma Becker, Susan Clune and brother-in-law Dave Becker (Bonnie). Including his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife Barbara Becker Echemann, his great granddaughter, Amelia Randolph, his brother-in-law, Robert Freytag (Anne), Ruth Schieltz (Robert), Ted Echemann (Shirley), Howard Echemann (Phyllis) his brother-in-law Tom Lehmkuhl (Roseann), Tom Becker (Janet), William Becker (Thelma).
Friends may call at Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home in Sidney, Ohio on Friday, November 11, 2022 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM and again on Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 10:30 AM at Holy Angels Catholic Church with Fr. Andrew Reckers. Interment will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Sidney, OH with full military honors.
Online condolences may be left for the Echemann family at www.salm-mcgillandtangemenfh.com. Memorials may be made to Wilson Health Hospice (www.wilsonhealth.org, Hospice Endowment Fund). The family would like to extend a special thank you to Wilson Health Hospice for all their help and care with Raphael. Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home is honored to be taking care of the Echemann family.
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