In July 2020, Raphael’s wonderful & compassionate father Tommy became very ill and a month later he passed away. This was devastating for both Nichole and Raphael. It was also a catalyst for Nichole, who truly loved Tommy. It made her realize that life is finite. Within days she told Raphael, “We need to start the coffee shop you have always talked about.” This inspired our slogan to “Be like Tommy.” Raphael wrote this quote merely hours before Tommy passed away.
Raphael always wonders what Tommy is thinking right now. Tommy always gave awesome advice. Raphael remembers the countless times when he made personal sacrifices to give his children what he didn’t have as a child.
Such as the time when Raphael was 16, and Tommy rode the bus to work so that Raphael could have the car to be able to drive his friends to school and around town. Raphael would get up early at 4:30 in the morning to drive his dad to the downtown Spokane bus stop. Tommy road the bus 20 or so miles to work and back home just so Raphael could have it better than he did as a kid.
Raphael still remembers the day he was set to go to Marine Corps Boot Camp. His recruiter was supposed to get him at 5 am but forgot. Tommy got up without hesitation and said, "well lets go" and he dropped Raphael off at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing). He gave his son a hug and said, “you’ll do good boy." When Raphael returned from each deployment in Iraq, Tommy and Alex were there with open arms welcoming him back home.
Tommy has always made personal sacrifices for his friends and family. Another story is when Raphael's sister was struggling financially and having car trouble. Tommy made the 300+ mile trip from Portland to Spokane just to changer her brakes because he didn't want her driving a dangerous car that she couldn't afford to get repaired.
These are a few examples of Tommy's innate selflessness. He is a mountain of a man. We could all see and feel the love that poured out of him. Tommy wasn't just Raphael's dad, but also his best friend.
We love Tommy. We hope through our shop and community involvement, it inspires others to "Be Like Tommy."
If you know someone who values altruism, and gives back to their community, you can nominate them for our "Be like Tommy" Award. You can e-mail Raphael@montaguebrotherscoffee.com with the subject title "Tommy Award Nomination." Include your name, the name of the person you want to nominate, and the reason. You can also fill out the form below.
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