Charles Raper recalls being almost too afraid to take on the real estate business.
“I was so scared of not being able to support my family, I went to Phoenix Federal to take out a loan for six months,” he said. “But it paid off. I sold a house even before my first day.”
That was more than 43 years ago, before Raper built a thriving business selling Muskogee properties.
Since then, he also has built a house on historic property near the Arkansas River, built a collection of sports cars, and built a love of travel.
Raper, 72, spent his childhood on a farm between Kinta and Whitefield. The family moved to Muskogee when Raper was in the sixth grade.
“My dad sold shoes at Durnil’s for 17 years, then got into the real estate business,” Raper said. “That’s how I got into the real estate business.”
Raper said he already had a good job as a sales engineer, but his father just kept after him.
“He didn’t put pressure on me,” he said. “He kept telling me there’d be good opportunities.”
Raper got into the business during a changing time.
“I did a lot of work for builders, like in Grandview,” he said. “I actually sold five houses in one day. I worked a lot of hours. My poor son said he’d never be in real estate because I was always gone.”
The son, Shawn Raper, now sells real estate.
Meet Charles Raper
CAREER: Real estate.
EDUCATION: Central High School, 1958; Attended Oklahoma State University and Northeastern State University.
FAMILY: Wife, Sandy; son, Shawn; stepchildren, Billy Fillman and Tobi Thompson; five grandchildren.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.
HOBBIES: “Cars, airplanes. I love to fly. I don’t do as much scuba diving as I would like.”