Willie Cleo Tharpe Jr.

  • "Willie was loved by many people. I met him our senior year..."
  • "I only met Willie two times after a few Tiger football..."
    - Charlie Butler
  • "As life goes on we lose friends along our way. It almost..."
    - Patricia Barnett
  • "Always a smile, always positive in thoughts. I will miss..."
    - Diana Fike
  • "One of the best at all that he did. Will be truly missed..."
    - Robert Watson

On Memorial Day, May 26th, 2014, heaven was enriched as Willie Cleo Tharpe, Jr. entered peacefully into eternal life. Willie passed away after a 2½ year battle with leukemia. He was
born on Good Friday, April 7, 1939 in Ailey, Georgia. In 1945 the family moved to Merritt Island, Florida. Willie graduated from Cocoa High School in 1957 where he was a stellar athlete in football, basketball, baseball and track setting the orange belt conference record for the 440 yard dash in 1957. He was also Orange Jubilee King and Class President. Willie attended the University of Florida but could not finish due to his mother's illness. He managed Myrt's Restaurant until his mother's recovery. He then joined Boeing's Apollo program team becoming their S-IC Stage Liaison Engineer. Following the Apollo program, Willie worked for Braun Cadillac in Orlando before establishing W T Wire & Cable. He and his wife, Dawn relocated to Fayetteville, NC for a brief period of time where he sold cars at Hendrick Chrysler Jeep. Willie could be seen on many tennis courts and the Rockledge Golf course for 50 years before moving to Daytona Beach. Willie always had a big smile, warm hug and great sense of humor. Among those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Dawn, daughters, Renee Staheim (Larry), Tracey Naster and son, Will (Paula), stepdaughter, Kerry (Jake) and stepson, Scott, sisters, Quida, Charlotte, Sue (Merle) and brothers, Roy (Barb) and Danny (Reb) and 7 grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews. Willie is predeceased by his mother, Myrtice, father, Willie, and sister, Bobbie Jean. There will be a celebration of his life and sharing of memories, June 7 at 3 pm at the Oceans Grand Condo Social Room, 2 Oceans West Blvd., Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118. If so desired, contributions may be made to Halifax Health Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129. The family is forever grateful for the compassionate care shown by Hospice at the end. Condolences may be shared with the family at carepages.com/Williectharpe

Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on June 1, 2014
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