Funeral services for Robert C. Tappin Sr., 69, former warden of the Morehouse Parish Correctional Center in Collinston will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the Morehouse Baptist District Educational Association Building with the Rev. Freddie L. Smith officiating. He will lie in state from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, November 29 in the chapel of Loche's Mortuary. A Homegoing Celebration will be held at 6 p.m. at the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Collinston.
On November 21, 2013 at approximately 9:30 p.m he passed away unexpectedly. He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie James and Georgia Tappin; three brothers, Henry, Gus Riley and Willie James Tappin; three sisters, Dollie B. Loche, Willie Mae Potter and Emma Jones, his daughter-in-law, Ruth Tappin and his father-in-law, Lee E. Loche.
Born September 9, 1944, Robert was the ninth of 11 children born to the late Willie James and Georgia Tappin. Robert Charles Tappin grew up in a home filled with discipline and love. He was taught how to take care of the family's various crops and animals by his father. He was taught to cook (he was a fantastic cook) by his mother and older sisters. It was from his father he developed a love for horses that he shared with his family. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, raising and riding horses, and was known as one of the best chefs in Morehouse Parish.
Robert attended Collinston Elementary School and was a 1963 graduate of Union High School. He decided to accompany his older brother Anthony back to New Jersey when he graduated. He stayed there until Uncle Sam decided he needed him and he "joined" Uncle Sam's army in 1968. His cooking skills landed him a supervisory position in the army; a job that he dearly loved.
While home on furlough, he met a young lady, Veronica Faye Loche, and decided that he would like to continue their relationship. And, they did. After dating for one year and seven months, Robert and Veronica were married on June 14, 1970 at the St. Mary C. M. E. Temple. He completed his "stint" in the army, returned home and was employed at Georgia Pacific Paper Mill for three years. During that time they were blessed with a baby boy who they named Robert Charles Tappin II (what else!). In 1977 he and Veronica were blessed with a baby girl, who they named Robin Charlynette.
In 1973 Robert joined the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Department under Sheriff Hughie Perry. He attended the LSU Law Enforcement Institute in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Upon completion he was appointed the first black Criminal Investigator for the Sheriff's Department. He received numerous commendations from the Louisiana Sheriff's Association, and the North Delta Regional Training Academy. He was certified as a First Responder and received commendations Jail Evacuation and Disaster Planning, and in numerous other prison related areas. In 1979 after much deliberation, he resigned and joined United Energy Resources, but law enforcement remained his passion. He later returned to the Sheriff's Department as a deputy and was eventually appointed assistant warden at the Collinston Correctional Center. On January 7, 1994, he was appointed Warden of the Collinston Correctional Center where he remained until he retired on January 14, 2011 due to health issues. He brought many young men and women into the law enforcement arena and showed them they could "make a difference in the lives of the incarcerated."
An avid horseman, he was one of the founders of the Ponderosa Riding Club. He was also served as a board member of the Morehouse Activity Center (MAC).
Robert was a member of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Collinston where he was a choir member, served as a deacon and on the finance committee. He was also on the Planning Committee that rebuilt Galilee after it was destroyed by a tornado.
He leaves to continue his legacy and cherish the wonderful memories: his devoted wife of 43, Veronica Loche Tappin; two grateful children, Robert II and Robin Tappin Hobbs and her husband, Albert Allen Hobbs; four grandchildren that he adored, Rashini Chai-Anne Tappin, Mikenzie Danielle Tappin, Robert Charles Tappin III and Alleigh Grace Hobbs; three brothers, Anthony Tappin (Pearl) of Irvington, NJ, Bobby Tappin (Barbara) of Houston, Texas and Johnny Tappin of Collinston and one sister, Geneva Tappin Williams of Houston, Texas; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Opeary Loche of Bastrop; four brothers-in-law, Rogers Loche and James Potter of Collinston, Howard Loche (Sharilynn) of Bastrop and Edward Loche (Burnell) of Houston Texas and Eddie Lee Tappin, Newark NJ; four godchildren, LaWanda Motton, Kevin Moore, Jessica Olive and Anthony Jackson and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Published in Bastrop Daily Enterprise on Nov. 27, 2013