July 4, 1938 – April 20, 2018
Harry lived a dedicated purposeful life for the youth of
our community and their families
Harry passed away on April 20, 2018 after 8 years of suffering from Meningioma A Typical (brain cancer). Harry Gordon Tappin was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1938 to Karen Maloney and Gordon Tappin. There is a total of 7 children. Herb, Darlene, Karen Brackett, Carolyn Tappin, Marsha, and Herm (Mary) Tappin. There are 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Harry and his family moved to Hopland when he was 9 years old and graduated Hopland High School in 1956. He enlisted in the Army after graduation, he was sent to
the University of Massachusetts for training in water purification specialist and served for 3 years stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany.
After an honorable discharge, he moved to Ukiah in 1959 where he met and fell in love with a cheerleader from Ukiah High School, Karen Olsborg. They wed on December 27, 1960 and were married 57 ½ years ago. Karen and Harry raised four children, Herman Tappin 60, Lauree Tappin-Baldwin 54, Natalee Tappin 51 and Cheree Tappin 49. Harry learned the glazing trade while working at Ukiah Glass Co. and in 1969 Harry and Karen purchased ABC Glass Co. and moved to Healdsburg. Many children lived with the Tappin’s when times were tough for them.
In 1970, Harry started his coaching career in Pop Warner Football. Then, in 1973 he coached girl’s kickball and softball for 10 years. In 1974 – 78, he started coaching CYO boy’s basketball with Ron Babbini. In 1978 he coached boy’s freshmen and Jaycee basketball for 9 years and the team was able to win the 1 st place title every year. In 1980 to 1983 Harry started the St. John’s traveling CYO track team. From 1984-2000, he coached girl’s varsity basketball: 5 REIBT tournament wins, Sonoma County League Champion 12 times, NCS Champion 3 times, Nor Cal Champion 2 times, California State Championship runners –up 2 times. Harry coached boys and girl’s basketball for over 30 years at
Healdsburg High School. Harry brought girl’s basketball to Sonoma County, so he developed a program for third through eighth grade for 18 years for developmental skills at the Boys and Girls Club. There were 3 leagues: 3rd & 4th grade, 5th & 6th grade, and 7th & 8th grade. Prior to league play college coaches came to give free clinics. There were approximately 24 teams. Jackie Henderson said, “When I become the varsity girls basketball coach I want you to coach with me”. Harry was inducted into the Healdsburg High School Hall of Fame in 2013.
Harry coached hundreds of young boys and girls. Besides coaching youth basketball, Harry was a guest coach at many basketball college camps and clinics and created the Healdsburg Summer Heat Tournament. Harry Tappin is remembered by hundreds of former players and community members as a tireless advocate for youth in Healdsburg. Dozens of his players went on to play college basketball through full ride scholarships. Many were first generation to go to college.
Harry was heavily involved in the community. He was involved with Ukiah 1960-1969, as well as the Ukiah Jaycees. Early on when we moved in to Healdsburg in 1969 he was involved with Kiwanis and very active in the Christmas Tree Lot with Jed Mitchell. Harry won the Mendocino County Fair Whiskerino Contest 1969, along with the Distinguished Service Award for the Ukiah Jaycees. He was also the chair of the Jaycees Flags that were put in front of businesses on the holidays. From 2000 – 2015, he was active in coordination of the American
Cancer Society Relay For Life in Healdsburg.
Special thanks go to Harry’s caregivers Mafi Balawa and Roma Cakacaka - we would not have been able to keep Harry at home without your loving care.
Harry is preceded in death by his parents Karen Maloney and Gordon Tappin, siblings: Herb, Darlene, and Marsha.
Harry is survived by his loving wife Karen Tappin; four children: Herman Tappin, Lauree Tappin-Baldwin, Natalee Tappin, and Cheree Tappin; siblings: Karen Brackett, Carolyn Tappin, and Herm (Mary) Tappin; 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held on May 12, 2018 at St. John’s Catholic Church Gymnasium, on the corner of Fitch and Tucker Streets, Healdsburg, CA 95448, from 1pm-3pm. The Tappin Family has requested that memorial donations be made to HEF – Healdsburg Educational Foundation, PO Box 1668, Healdsburg, CA 95448, or to the American
Cancer Society, Redwood Chapter 1451 Guerneville Road, Suite 220, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.