Ronald Edgar Tapley, 94

Published 2:32 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

Ronald Edgar Tapley, 94, died September 8, 2021, at The Willows at Harrodsburg. Born in Ilford, England, on October 30, 1926, he was the son of Edgar and Hilda Hoare Tapley. Ron was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Sylvia Kathleen Witham Tapley. Ron is survived by his son, Sheldon Clyde Tapley. His daughter-in-law, Ann Silver, and his grandchildren, Peter Tapley and Rachel Tapley (Joe Yeager) will miss him deeply.
After graduating from the Reading School in Reading, England, Ron served in the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. When peace returned, he resumed his education, matriculating at the University of London, where he earned degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently, he earned a post-graduate diploma in management and business.
Upon enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1944, Ron was accepted into an intensive training program for ship’s engineers. He was one of a few graduates of this demanding course and went on to become a Chief Petty Officer, managing the engine rooms of nine ships, including the minesweeper HMS Pluto, on which he served the longest, with duty in the Mediterranean and the North Sea.
Ron and Sylvia were married in Ilford in 1951. They soon emigrated to Montréal, where he joined an international engineering firm and served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. This was the first of many moves that would eventually take them to live in Texas, Florida, Venezuela, Switzerland, Belgium, Missouri, Colorado, and Kentucky. His career took him all over the world. As a senior executive for Monsanto Company, he supervised the construction of manufacturing and research facilities on four continents.
No matter where he lived, Ron kept his home shipshape. He loved flowers and being outdoors and spent many happy hours working with his daughter-in-law, Ann, in her garden. After moving to Danville, he enjoyed helping his neighbors care for their plants. He was an athlete throughout his life, with a particular passion for tennis. He played at least once a week for many years and was for a time a ranked amateur. He and Sylvia loved to dance, a pastime that he continued into his nineties at ballroom dancing classes at the Art Center of the Bluegrass.
Friends will remember his charm, courtesy, and good cheer. To his family, he was a kind and supportive father and grandfather, and a loving husband, who took tender care of Sylvia during her long, final illness.
The Tapleys gratefully acknowledge the wonderful care of Heritage Hospice, The Willows at Harrodsburg, and his kind caregivers Wanda Burgess and Joyce Fischer. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Ron may be directed to the Art Center of the Bluegrass, 401 West Main Street, Danville, KY 40422, Please sign the online guestbook and send a Hugs from Home at

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