Cover photo for Rafael Tafoya's Obituary
Rafael Tafoya Profile Photo
1945 Rafael 2023

Rafael Tafoya

January 14, 1945 — October 14, 2023

Rafael Tafoya, 78, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed away, Saturday, October 14, 2023 surrounded by friends and family.

Rafael, fondly known as Ralph, was born to Romolo Chavez Tafoya and Maria DeAtocha Pena Tafoya on January 14, 1945 in St. Johns, Arizona. Ralph graduated from St. Johns High School in May 1963. He honorably served three years, 1964-1967 in the United States Army 50th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) as a Specialist 5 medical corpsman in Southwest Asia, (2 tours) earning National Defense Service, Vietnam Service and Campaign Metals. After service, Ralph earned an Associate in Arts Degree from Phoenix College in June 1971 which enabled him to work for automated semiconductor testing equipment companies such as: Honeywell, Fairchild, Schlumberger and NPTest.

Ralph is survived by his only son, Chris (Kendra) Tafoya, grandchildren, Zane and Reese, brothers, Moises, Edmundo and sister, Helen.  

Ralph was predeceased by his parents, brothers, Herman, Lupe, Joseangel, and sisters, Dulcenea and Lucille.

Aside from his love for hunting and fishing, Ralph was also passionate about helping friends and family. He always volunteered his home for others and events and always contributed his God given gift of making bread, sopapillas, beans, chili and tamales for camping, pool parties or families get-togethers. Ralph positively impacted our friends and families and he will be truly missed.

A viewing will be held Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 8:00-9:45 a.m. at Burnham Mortuary, St. Johns. Following the viewing, Ralph’s family will host a graveside service at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Johns Catholic Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project in Ralph’s name.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, October 21, 2023

8:00 - 9:45 am (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Johns Catholic Cemetery

31658 U.S. 191, Saint Johns, AZ 85936

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