Dr. Robert Ferris Tarpy passed away on June 30, 2019. Dr. Tarpy, “Bob” or “BT,” to family and friends, is survived by his beloved wife of fifty years, Marilyn Abendroth Tarpy; his two brothers, Hollis W. Tarpy, Jr. (Liz) of Colorado Springs, CO, and Patrick E. Tarpy (Janet) of McComb, MS and Austin, TX; his cousin, Robert M. Ferris (Sue) of New Orleans, LA; his three daughters, Leah Tarpy Rodgers (Greg) of New York, NY, Rachel Tarpy Sammons (Jesse) of Atlanta, GA, and Jessica Tarpy Shaheen (Andrew) of Napa, CA; and four grandsons. Bob was particularly known for his passion for medicine, his irreverent jokes and infectious smile, his love of friends and family, and, as an epicure at heart, his enthusiasm for restaurants and travel.
Robert Tarpy was born on December 17, 1944 in Shreveport, LA to Hollis Wilbur Tarpy and Louise Elizabeth Tarpy, née Ferris. He attended Jesuit High School, where he excelled in oratory and biology, mentored by Father Mike Kammer and Father George Wiltz. Dr. Tarpy received a B.S. in 1966 from Loyola University in New Orleans, and continued his medical studies at the LSU Medical Center, graduating in 1970. Dr. Tarpy completed his residency at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and credits working with Dr. Gaylon McCollough and Dr. Ed Stevenson with influencing his passion for medicine.
Dr. Tarpy practiced medicine for 42 years as a physician, double board certified in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery, and loved helping and serving the Lafayette community. During his time as a doctor, he treated over forty thousand patients. Dr. Tarpy particularly valued his experiences of facial reconstructive surgery and sinus intervention in improving the lives of his patients. He also loved working and collaborating with his fellow ENT physicians Dr. Kevin Duplechain, Dr. Denbo Montgomery, Dr. Barry Alldredge, Dr. Robin Barry, Dr. Steve Butaud, and Dr. Dave Foreman.
In his personal time, Bob pursued many interests. He and Marilyn devoted considerable energy to promoting the arts and artists in the Lafayette and greater Louisiana communities. Francis Pavy, John Geldersma, Clifton Chénier and Stanley Dural, Jr., aka Buckwheat Zydeco, were particularly important to Bob. Bob and Marilyn supported a gallery in the French Quarter, the Vincent Mann Gallery, founded by the late Jacob Manguno, and built a collection of Louisiana and French artists that they showcased in their homes. Bob loved water skiing and snow skiing, riding horses and working out at Red Lerille's gym. Bob and Marilyn also supported the Sundance Institute in Sundance, Utah and spent many happy years there. The Tarpys have had a further passion for the francophone world, and contributed to the Festival Internationale de Louisiane, where they helped establish the Rain Angels program. They also enjoyed spending time in the French West Indies, on the island of St. Barthélémy. Bob was an avid gourmand, and counted among his closest friends the dedicated servers of the New Orleans dining community. Bob and Marilyn had many memorable Friday lunches at Galatoire's and evenings at Antoine's and Emeril's, among countless others. After Bob's retirement in 2016, he and Marilyn relocated to Pensacola Beach, FL. They greatly valued the dear friends who welcomed them to the community and enjoyed wonderful memories of boating and celebrating their new life there.
Monsignor Nalty will officiate a Funeral Mass, to be held at St. Stephen Church in New Orleans on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at 10 am. There will also be a visitation on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at JACOB SCHOEN & SON, 3827 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 from 4 pm until 6 pm. Funeral participants include his daughters, Jerry Prejean, Kevin Duplechain, Patrick Tarpy, Tim Abendroth, Greg Rodgers, Jesse Sammons, Andrew Shaheen, Tom Mcguffy, Sherman Scott, Denbo Montgomery, Bill Huls, and James Williams. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Dr. Robert Tarpy to the Duke Cancer Institute to support the pancreatic research of Dr. Gerry Blobe at 710 W. Main St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701. JACOB SCHOEN & SON in charge of the arrangements.