Retired Command Sergeant Major Pablo "Paul" Tapia, age 76, and long-time resident of Colorado Springs, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 12, 2012. Paul was born on May 14, 1936 in El Cerrito, New Mexico to the late Benjamin and Librada Tapia. Above all, Paul's passion was his family and his desire to serve his country as a Special Forces Green Beret in the United States Army. During his 32 year military career, Paul served in locations all around the world including, Asia, Central America, and Vietnam. Along the way, he earned numerous medals for his bravery and dedication including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart with two clusters, just to name a few. After retiring from the Army, Paul continued his commitment to his country and gave over 30 years of civilian duties at the Air Force Academy. He was also an employee at King Soopers for fifteen years. Paul is survived by his wife of 55 years, Alice Gauna-Tapia; children, Tamara (Brent) Whitman, Frank Tapia, Valerie (Brian-deceased) Renfro, Roberta (Tom) Talmich, Bev (Manuel) Labbe, Jerri Blaise-Wanda, Benjamin Tapia and Pauline Pollack. Paul is also survived by two brothers, three sisters, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by Andres and Tobias Tapia and Antonia Tapia. Visitation will be held on Monday, December 17, 2012 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:00am at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1830 South Corona Ave., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80905. Interment and full military honors will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Pueblo Riverwalk Veterans Bridge, 101 South Union Ave., Pueblo, CO 81003. Online Condolences: ShrineOfRemembrance.com
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Published in The Gazette on Dec. 16, 2012