WHS helps commemorate Brian Tarpley
A new memorial being created to commemorate the late Brian Tarpley, who died on Feb. 29 of this year.
Tarpley suffered from kidney failure and esophageal cancer for some time. Family friend, Jen Joy, remembers Tarpley trying to stay positive and happy in his final days, regardless of how he was feeling.
“Well he actually had kidney failure, he had been doing dialysis three days a week. Then he was he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and that ended up spreading to his lungs, lymph nodes, liver and stomach. Even on his worst days he kept a smile, he had a great spirit,” Joy said.
Tarpley was an avid fan of all sports at WHS, especially baseball.
Baseball varsity boys coach, Derek Boyd, remembers Tarpley as a positive influence on his team and as a stellar athlete in his day.
“Tarp was a great guy to have around our team. The guys loved it when he came to the games and cheered us on. Obviously he was a standout athlete, but we’ll miss him more for being a great guy,” Boyd said.
WHS senior Derek Kunkler hopes people remember Tarpley for his attitude and his personality.
“I would like Brian to be remembered by his character, his contagious smile and his humor,” Kunkler said.
Curtis Williamson (12), who was close with Tarpley throughout his time on the baseball team, also recalls Tarpley being cheerful at all times.
“If you got the chance to ever meet him, you’d know he was the happiest and friendliest man and always had a smile on his face no matter where he was at,” Williamson said.
According to Joy, the WHS baseball team will be setting up a scholarship fund in Tarpley’s honor and will also be creating a memorial, which is to be located directly behind the baseball fields.
“There is a Brian Tarpley memorial college fund scholarship being set up, and the baseball team is buying a flower tree to plant outside the fence in centerfield as well as a memorial rock for him,” Joy said.
Joy also mentioned that donations are being accepted of the baseball memorial and scholarship, both of which they hope to complete by the conclusion of the current baseball season.