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Rev. Thomas E. Tarpley Sr.

Thomas (Tom) Ellerson Tarpley Sr. passed away at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ypsilanti, MI on August 15, 2021, at 3:55 p.m. at the age of 79.  Thomas is predeceased by his father, Thomas Tarpley, Mother, Mattie Tarpley, and brother Carlyle Tarpley. Thomas is survived by his loving wife Gloria of 45 years. They were married in Pontiac, MI, on September 27, 1975. They had no children between them.  

Thomas is lovingly remembered by his sisters, Denise Tookes (Leo), of Lake Orion, MI, Karen Tarpley of Farmington Hills, MI, and brother, Robert Tarpley (Lavinia) of Lansing, MI. His children; Thomas E. Tarpley Jr, (Hetty) of Detroit, MI, and Makeba (Dwayne) Bradford of Southfield, MI. Grandchildren; Britiney Walker Tarpley of Detroit, MI, Helena Vassar of Ypsilanti, MI, Cayla Hooks of Detroit, MI, Troy Tarpley, Detroit, MI, Makene Culpepper, and Javen Culpepper, and Kira Tribble. Great-grandchildren Jordan Phillips, Kalani Phillips, and Giya Roze Culpepper. 

Thomas was born in Lebanon, TN, on July 2, 1942. He attended Pontiac High School in Pontiac, Michigan. After being away from school for several years, he enrolled in the accelerated degree program at Cleary College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1997. Two months after graduation, he entered Asbury Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2001. 

Thomas was also a proud Veteran who served two years in the US Army from 1964-1966.  Thomas worked for 16 years in real estate management, 14 years as a Life Insurance Registered Representative, and served the United Methodist Church for 15 years as a church pastor at Detroit: Cass Community, Flint: Trinity; Flint: Faith, and Fowlerville. After his retirement in 2015, he attended the United Brethren in Christ Church, where he served as the Care Pastor until his death. 

Thomas enjoyed reading, traveling, fishing, and visiting with friends. His main goal in life was to bring others into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  

A visitation will be held at Herrmann Funeral Home,1005 E Grand River, Fowlerville, MI 48836 on August 19, 2021, from 4-8 pm. The Celebration of Life Service will be held at Fowlerville United Brethren Church on Friday, August 20, 2021, with visitation from 10-11 am, and a celebration service at 11am with Pastor Chris Augustat officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Donations may be made to Fowlerville United Brethren Church, or Fowlerville United Brethren Celebrate Recovery, 9300 W. Grand River Ave., Fowlerville, MI 48836.

Condolences for the family may be offered to Gloria Tarpley at gatarpley@yahoo.com.