Raphael Wayne Harper

Date of Birth

April 17, 1961

Date of Death

October 30, 2022

Raphael Wayne Harper was born in Santa Barbara, CA, on April 17, 1961, to Raphael and Helen Dansby Harper, both now deceased. Raphael suddenly passed away from a heart attack at age 61 on October 30 while at his Santa Barbara home. He was born into a large family well known for their kindness, acts of community service, and support of Santa Barbara’s African American and Latino communities.

Raphael stood regal in stature, and reigned as his family’s King of Hearts. Raphael, known to childhood friends and family as Big Wayne, attended McKinley Elementary School and graduated from Santa Barbara High School. As a Don, he was known for his abilities on the basketball court. Friends recall his prowess on the basketball court and football field, talents later passed down to his sons and grandson.

Raphael attended Westmont College in Montecito before heading north to San Francisco State University on a basketball scholarship. He transferred to Long Beach State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. During his career, Raphael worked as a physical therapist, most recently as a fitness instructor at Gold’s Gym.

At 19, Raphael celebrated the birth of his first child, Raquel Odile, named after her Father. His second child, Shante, came a little later. He subsequently met his wife, Joanie, and her daughter, Cryshauna McKee. They became partners, marrying in Las Vegas and celebrating the birth of three more children, Raphael Cortez, Ramon Marquez, and Raliccia. Unfortunately, Joanie preceded Raphael in passing away.

Raphael’s descendants brought his greatest joy as he doted on four grandchildren from his daughter, Raquel, including Justice, Jayah, Joyous, and Jermelle. He enjoyed Raphael Cortez’s children, Ramelo, Raphael, Cortez Amir, and Ayiah; Ramon’s child Julian, and Raliccia’s children, Christopher and Legacy. Raphael loved, cheered, and praised their efforts.

Raphael spent the last 11 years of his life as a partner with Josephine Pereyra. They lived in Santa Barbara, enjoying visits with family, friends, and church. As a man of faith, Raphael found tremendous comfort from life’s tribulations in his Roman Catholic faith. As a result, he became close to Father Dan Lackie and other faith workers serving Mission Santa Barbara, which honors all people in the spirit of St. Francis.

In addition to his children, grandchildren, and partner, Raphael is missed by many aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends who cherish him.

The viewing will be November 17 630pm at mcdermott-crockett & associates mortuary 2020 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

The funeral service will be November 18 11am Old Mission Santa Barbara, 2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105


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