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Philip Tarpley

October 1, 1923 ~ April 3, 2020 (age 96)


Philip Tarpley, 96, of Rio, passed away peacefully at At Home Again, April 3, 2020. He was born October 1, 1923 in Milton Junction, Wisconsin, the third child of Frank and Delia (Lynd) Tarpley.  

He graduated from Whitewater High School, and served in the 343rd Bomb Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force (Army Air Corps).  2Lt Phil Tarpley was a B-24 (Heavy) nose navigator based in Lecce, Italy during WWII.  He graduated with a degree in business education from Whitewater State Teachers College after the war.  He received his Master’s degree from UW-Whitewater after also studying at UW-Madison. Phil married Doris Jeannette Grossmann September 25, 1945 in Pardeeville, Wisconsin.  They lived in Rio most of their married life and celebrated almost 65 years of marriage before she died in August, 2010.

Phil was a business teacher at Rio High School for almost 20 years and then taught at Madison Area Technical College for 20 years.  While teaching at Rio High he was a class advisor to many of those 20 high school classes. He and Dorie enjoyed going to their class reunions every year and keeping in touch with former students.   Phil was also a school bus driver, baseball umpire, and basketball timekeeper to name a few of his many, many part-time jobs to support his family. Phil also went to all of his Whitewater HS reunions and most of his annual WWII 98th Bomb Group Veteran’s Association reunions in addition to traveling the US visiting his remaining WWII B-24 Liberator crew members.  In 2009, Phil joined a small group of his 98th BG members on a trip to Romania; his Bomb Group had participated in the Ploesti Raid; one of the pivotal bombing raids of WWII on the major oil and petroleum suppliers to the German war machine.    

He loved to travel and visited all 50 states as well as much of Europe and parts of Central and South American.  He was a great reader and up into his 90s could be found at the library most mornings reading the papers or a good book.  He loved to fish and hunt most of his life and was a deer hunter into his 80s and hunted turkey at 87. Following his retirement Phil and Doris lived in St Petersburg, FL half of each year.  He was very active in their retirement community and their church in Florida. He will be greatly missed there as well as in Rio.

He is survived by his three children, Jane (Bob) Sockrider of Mukwonago, Terry of Rio, and Linda (Bill) West Fairborn, Ohio; grandchildren Nathan (Amanda) Sockrider of Franklin, Matthew (Kay Leigh) Sockrider of Palmyra, Jonathan West of Fairborn, OH, Colleen (Michael) Haubert of Seneca, SC, and Lindsey (Rob) Brammer of Dallas, TX.  He has 10 great-grandchildren; Caleb, Hannah and Gabriella Haubert; Mila and Alexander Sockrider; Evan, Alexis, and Isabella Sockrider; and Bess and Samuel Brammer. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Gordon Grossmann Sr.

Phil was preceded in death by his wife, parents; sisters Eunice Knutson and Midge Bull;  brother Richard Tarpley; brothers-in law Ludwig Knutson, Orrin Bull, Robert Grossmann, and Jerry DeNure; sisters-in-law Dorothy Grossmann, Marjorie Grossmann, Jean Tarpley and Darlene DeNure; grandson Michael Sockrider; great-grandson Adam Sockrider and great-granddaughter Lilah J Sockrider. A Celebration of life will be held at a later date.  

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Family to do services at later date

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