Ronald Edgar Tapley, 94 – The Advocate-Messenger



Ronald Edgar Tapley, 94, died on September 8, 2021 at The Willows in Harrodsburg. Born in Ilford, England on October 30, 1926, he was the son of Edgar and Hilda Hoare Tapley. Ron was predeceased by his 61-year-old wife, Sylvia Kathleen Witham Tapley. Ron is survived by his son, Sheldon Clyde Tapley. He will be sadly missed by his stepdaughter, Ann Silver, and grandchildren, Peter Tapley and Rachel Tapley (Joe Yeager).
After graduating from the Reading School in Reading, England, Ron served in the British Royal Navy during World War II. When peace returned, he resumed his studies and enrolled at the University of London, where he obtained degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering. Subsequently, he obtained a graduate degree in management and business.
After enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1944, Ron was accepted into an intensive training program for ship engineers. He was one of the few graduates of this demanding course and became Chief Petty Officer, managing the engine rooms of nine ships, including the minesweeper HMS Pluto, on which he served the longest, with missions in the Mediterranean and in the north. Sea.
Ron and Sylvia were married in Ilford in 1951. They quickly emigrated to Montreal, 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 eventually brought them to live in Texas, Florida, Venezuela, Switzerland, Belgium, Missouri, Colorado and Kentucky. His career has taken him all over the world. As a senior executive at Monsanto Corporation, he oversaw the construction of manufacturing and research facilities on four continents.
No matter where he lived, Ron kept his house shaped like a ship. He loved flowers and the outdoors and spent many happy hours working with his stepdaughter, Ann, in his garden. After moving to Danville, he loved helping his neighbors take care of their plants. He has been an athlete throughout his life, with a particular passion for tennis. He played at least once a week for many years and was a ranked amateur for some time. He and Sylvia loved to dance, a hobby he continued until he was 90 years old in ballroom dancing lessons at the Art Center of the Bluegrass.
Friends will remember her charm, courtesy and good humor. To his family, he was a kind and supportive father and grandfather, and a loving husband, who cared for Sylvia during her long and final illness.
The Tapleys warmly thank the care of Heritage Hospice, The Willows at Harrodsburg and their kind caregivers Wanda Burgess and Joyce Fischer. In lieu of the usual commemorations, contributions in memory of Ron can be made to the Art Center of the Bluegrass, 401 West Main Street, Danville, KY 40422, Please sign the guestbook online and send a hug from home at


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