Edna Sophia Philen Tapley was born April 5, 1938 in Lufkin, Texas. She graduated from Lufkin High School in 1956, and received a degree in English Literature from the University of Texas in Austin in 1960. On a sunny October morning in 1957, she struck up a conversation with Byron Tapley. The chance encounter led to a marriage that filled 55 years. Sophie completed a rich and varied 75 years lifespan on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Her compassion and concern for anyone she met evolved from strong ethical and religious foundations. She had a unique gift for building lasting friendships. She filled her life with adventures, from sailing the Atlantic to hiking the Rockies, and canoed all over Texas in craft she built herself. She led the family into technical climbing, skiing, and backpacking and was a licensed private pilot, a certified scuba diver, and a Technical Class member of AARL. Sophie ardently defended the causes she believed just. She served the Sierra Club, the Natural Science Center, Save Barton Springs, the 99ers womens flying club, and the Austin Yacht Club. She taught sailing, sat in trees to prevent their felling, and nursed baby owls back to health for release. Nurturing her two sons, providing constant support and motivation to her husband Byron, and spending days teaching her grandchildren to skip rocks, feed ducks, name the flowers and trees, and sail on Lake Travis, she inspired all of her family with her uncompromising honor, gentle tolerance, and boundless love of nature. Never a creature of the earth, she loved to fly, whether attempting to parachute from her garage roof at age 6, earning her pilots' license while 8 1/2 months pregnant, or riding the trapeze on a racing scow with her grown son. Her family, though saddened by her loss, now thinks of her spirit soaring free, watching over them and speaking to them in the fragrance of flowers, a bright autumn day, or the warm touch of the summer wind. Sophia is survived by her husband, Byron Dean Tapley; their son Mark Byron Tapley of San Antonio, wife Elizabeth Lowe Tapley and children Margaret Rose, Laura Elizabeth, and William Arthur; and son Craig Philen Tapley of San Antonio, wife Katherine Goralski Tapley and daughter Olivia Grace; and sister Sydney Philen Yeager. She was preceded in death by her parents, Martha Edna Collins Philen and Richard Sydney Philen of Lufkin, Texas. Services will be at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home at 411 Ranch Road 620 South in Lakeway, Texas, on Saturday, May 4th, at 11 a.m., with visitation Friday May 3rd from 6-8 p.m. http://wcfish.tributes.com/funeral_homes/obituaries contains further information. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Lake Travis - (512) 263-1511. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com.
The Guest Book is expired.
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Published in The Lufkin Daily News on May 2, 2013