John Mark Tapley
83, of Tampa, died in the hospital Tuesday, April 10, 2012, following a sudden
stroke at home. John was born Feb. 3, 1929 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Mark Watkins Tapley and Virginia Ault Tapley. At an early age he moved with his parents and brother, David, to New Rochelle, N.Y. His father, a PhD in chemistry, instilled in both his sons a love of nature, wildlife, and scientific inquiry, interests which John pursued over his entire life; he especially enjoyed ornithology. John attended Westminster Preparatory School in Simsbury, Conn., where he excelled in athletics, playing football and hockey; he was captain of the tennis team. He attended Duke University ('51), where he captained varsity tennis and sang in the Glee Club. Following college, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and then graduated Law School at UNC Chapel Hill. He served for a brief time as a prosecutor in North Carolina before becoming a Trust Officer with Harter Bank in Canton, Ohio, where he became head of the Trust Department. In 1976 John moved to Tampa, Fla., and he took a position with Sun Bank's Trust Department. He led that Department at his retirement. His integrity, professionalism, and leadership were hallmarks of his career. John's strong character and compassionate heart were also evident in his community service. He served on the City of Tampa Pension Board, The Boards of the Children's Home, The Tampa Bay Community Foundation and Canterbury Towers. He was a champion for Alpha House where he served as Board President. His warm and gregarious friendships were nurtured through his participation in Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the Cut Throat Chorus, and The Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club. He enjoyed vigorous health, was an avid tennis player and usually loved the game of golf. John's inquiring and caring Christian faith was ever present across his life. He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder at the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, where he was a member of The Koinonia Sunday School Class, The Followers of The Way Bible Study, and was Chairman of The Planned Giving Committee.
John is survived by his wife Ruth Tapley, with whom he enjoyed nearly 30 years of a loving and happy marriage. He is also survived by his brother and lifelong friend, David Tapley (Nancy) of Stonington, Conn. John was a loving, committed and generous father and grandfather. His life was a great blessing to his family, his children, John Mark Tapley, Jr. of Sacramento, Calif., Anne Tapley Phiel (David) of Amherst, Ohio, and Susan Tapley Eriksen (Paul) of North Canton, Ohio. He delighted in his grandchildren, Jacqueline and Lauren Phiel, and Michelle, Katie, Janet, and John Mark Eriksen. Also left to mourn are Casey Trezevant Cathey (Jeff), Suzanne Trezevant Alvarez (Jorge), Jay Trezevant (Margaret), Charlie Trezevant (Sonya), and their children. Also grieving are Doug Belden, Colleen Belden Frasca, Laura Leigh Belden Martin and Sharon Belden Polo.
A memorial service was held at The Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be sent to Alpha House or The Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church.
Published in The Repository on May 27, 2012