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Epworth United Methodist Chr
3245 Oakland Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020
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James Verhoek Tarbell


1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
James Verhoek Tarbell Obituary
James Verhoek Tarbell

Palo Alto, CA - Marcellus James Verhoek Tarbell passed away on May 2, 2018 in Palo Alto, California surrounded by family. He was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 22,1935 to Margaret and Marcellus Verhoek. He loved his home state of Michigan and chose to vacation on lakes there during many summer vacations. His father died in 1943. In 1947, when his mother married J. Harold Tarbell, a professor of economics at Lafayette College, the family moved to Easton, PA.

James graduated from Easton High School in 1953 and from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1958 with a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, a five-year degree later considered equivalent to a master's degree. He worked his entire career, from 1958 to 2000 for DuPont. Initially, he worked in several different states as a field engineer but after 1966 he worked in Delaware as a consulting engineer within the company. He was valued for his exceptional ability to analyze new ventures and other complex problems and traveled to Europe, South America and Asia.

James married Roberta L. Kupfrian in 1965 and they had three children. From 1966 to 1993 they lived in Montgomery Woods in Hockessin, DE where they enjoyed their extensive flower, vegetable and fruit gardens. He was active in the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association which worked with local citizens and New Castle County to achieve planned development. Starting in 1978, he designed and built an extensive addition to their home which incorporated passive solar heating and cooling.

He had a life-long passion for learning, an avid intellectual curiosity that he passed on to his children all of whom earned advanced degrees in their chosen fields. DuPont recognized him for completing more in-company courses than any other employee and throughout his retirement he completed many online classes and traveled worldwide. In 1994, he moved to Landenberg, PA, and became a regular at the local YMCA. During his last year of life, he lived in Palo Alto, CA near two of his children.

James was predeceased by his mother, Margaret Tarbell, father Marcellus Verhoek, stepfather J. Harold Tarbell, stepbrother, John H. Tarbell, and stepsister, Beatrice Eldora Tarbell. He is survived by his 3 children, Karen, Kristin and Ben Tarbell, their spouses, and 4 grandchildren and his brother, Jack Tarbell.

A memorial service in honor of the life of James Verhoek Tarbell will be held on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 at noon at the Epworth United Methodist Church (3245 Oakland Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017), with a reception to follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to a place he enjoyed, the Kennett Unionville YMCA, 747 W Cypress St., Kennett Square, PA 19348.
Published in The News Journal on June 14, 2018
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