Raphal Snowden-Billups, age 83, was born February 26,1939 to her loving parents, J.D. Snowden and Louise (née Key) Cole. She departed on Thursday, March 24th, 2022.
Raphal was born and raised in Jackson, TN. She moved to Elgin in her early teens, then attended Elgin High School. She worked as a health technician at Elgin Mental Health Center for over 20 years, before retiring in 1987 to be a full-time homemaker.
Raphal always had a love for children. She had 7 of her own: 4 boys and 3 girls. She met her husband, Joe, who happened to be the barber that cut her sons’ hair and lived next door to her parents. This neighborly friendship blossomed into marriage and the birth of 2 daughters.
Raphal was devoted to caring for her family and others. She was the #1 babysitter around; she loved babies and they loved her. In fact, she loved all children, especially the boys (just ask Admas and Giovanni, her pride and joy). She was always willing to help those in need when she could, and was only a phone call away.
There were no strangers in Raphal’s world. She could hold a conversation for hours and those close to her would agree. After talking, shopping was her favorite past time. She loved a nice suit, high heels, and jewelry – all things “girly”.
Raphal loved to cook. Her specialties were greens/cabbage, chicken with fresh garlic, along with dressing, potato salad, and jellies/jams. Her family knew they could always come to Grove Avenue to get a home-cooked meal because it was guaranteed that Raphal Dee had something on the stove. She even took her love of cooking to church, serving in the Kitchen Ministry for years.
Raphal had strong faith and was a two-time cancer survivor. She never gave up the fight and will to live. She was a true warrior, in every sense of the word.
Raphal was preceded in death by her father, JD Snowden; mother, Louise Cole; son, Michael D. Spates; brothers, Phillip Gillespie and James Snowden; and sisters, Billie Rouse, Gertrude Little, Carolyn Gillespie, and Cursie Wells.
She is survived by her husband, Joe Billups; daughters, Raphal Dee Spates of Elgin, IL, JoAnn (Eric) Taylor of Chicago, IL, and Daphne Newsom of Chicago, IL; sons, Ronnie Spates of Elgin, IL, Kevin (Antoinette) Spates of Zion, IL, Everett (Sonia) Spates of San Antonio, TX, and Steve (Linda) Billups of Buford, GA; sisters, Ruby Snowden of Milwaukee, WI, Ora (Mikerew) Kefale of Knoxville, TN, and Ruth (James) Hodges of Knoxville, TN; brothers, Ivory Snowden of Milwaukee, WI and DeWitt (Pearl) Cole of Knoxville, TN; grandchildren, Roman Wood, Ryan Wood, Christopher Baum, Kevin Spates Jr (Mann), Kenita Spates, Yvonne Spates, Everett Spates Jr, Sparkle Spates, Phillip Spates, Eric Taylor Jr, Ashley D. Taylor, and Dedzra Leonard King; 19 great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins; and special extended family, Jeanette McKinstry, Lea Vasquez, Giovanni Vasquez, Armanii Vasquez, and Loyal Vasquez.
Visitation will be 10:00am until funeral service at 11:00am, Saturday, April 2, 2022 at Second Baptist Church, 1280 Summit Street, Elgin, IL 60120. Pr. Willie Tate will be officiating.
Interment will be private.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadison.com.