October 16, 1926 - May 5, 2017
Born in Salinas
Resided in Salinas, CA
Tom was the son of Thomas Hansen Tarp and Elena (Hansen) Tarp.
His grandparents came to California in 1868 from Langeland and Sonder Bjert, Denmark, and started farming in Old Natividad off Old Stage Road, Harris Road and at Deep Wells, near Gonzales. Tom's father continued the family farming tradition in Gonzales and Hunter Lane where the farm is still in family production.
Tom was preceded in death by his high school sweetheart, Patsy Ann (Simas) Tarp. She was his one and only, and the most beautiful and special woman in his life, to whom he was married for 61 years. They traveled to Tahiti, Mexico, Alaska, Canada and many Western States, always with a fishing pole and an eye out for a good restaurant. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Arline Tarp Works and brother-in-law Bob Works, and sister-in-law Jeanne and brother-in-law Armin Neubert.
Tom Tarp leaves behind sons William (Kathleen), Brad (Rosemary), Alan (Diane), and 6 grandchildren Jody (Lenny) Tarp-Braasch, Bradley Tarp Jr., Paul (Julie) Tarp, Elissa (Joseph) Dana, Kyle (Rachel) Tarp, and Shayla (Cory) Hoffman. Tom was also blessed to have 6 great grandchildren Ross, Riley, Avery, Trenton, Ella, and Kathryn.
Surviving relatives include Tom's special niece Dianne Works Geiger, his loving cousin Sharon (Mike) Richardson, the Woodworth Family of the Bay Area and nephews Rod (Susan) and Bryan (Patty) Neubert and niece Karla Neubert Silva.
Tom worked at the family farm on Hunter Lane until age 18. He then began his professional produce career working for his father-in-law, Bill Simas, at Triangle Fertilizer Co. He started in the warehouse and eventually was in charge of fertilizer sales. Later in his career he managed the farm operations for Interharvest, The Garin Co., J.R. Norton and as a partner in Tarp Bros. Farms.
Tom's entire life was dedicated to ranching and farming. He farmed from Brentwood, Salinas, Bakersfield, Oxnard, El Centro, Yuma, to Phoenix and back again. There were days he'd cover thousands of acres, in two states, overseeing crops from broccoli to head lettuce to potatoes to strawberries. His planting schedule was on a yellow tablet that needed revision by hand each time it rained. He also managed the family strawberry and cattle operation. Just weeks before his death he was still managing the family ranch.
One of his great adventures was in 1963. Tom was part of a local group of farmers, which included Hugo Tottino, his high school classmate and good friend. They visited Russia, during the height of the Cold War on a "Farmer to Farmer" trip. They traveled in Russia for 7 days at farms near Leningrad, Moscow, and Tbilisi. They also visited farms near Belgium, London, Bulgaria, Vienna and Rome.
Tom was the Past Exalted Ruler of the Salinas Elks Lodge #614. He was an officer as the new Elks Club was built and Exalted Ruler for its Grand Opening in 1965.
Celebration of Life will be held at Noon, Thursday, May 18th, at the Salinas Elks Lodge, 614 Airport Blvd., Salinas, CA 93906
Memorials may be sent to Monterey County Ag Education, Attn: Candi Depauw, PO Box 7461, Spreckels, CA 93962.
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Salinas, CA US 93906
Spreckels, CA Attn: Cadi Depauw 93962