REPUBLIC - Robert William Tapio, 88, a longtime Republic resident, passed away Monday morning, Oct. 15, 2012, at the Jacobetti Home For Veterans in Marquette.
Born July 4, 1924, in Chicago, the son of William and Alma Tapio, he moved to Republic as a young boy. After attending Republic schools, he joined the United States Navy where he served for six years during World War II as an Aviation Machinist Mate First Class.
Returning from the service, he graduated from Republic High School in 1947. After receiving his teaching degree from Northern Michigan University, he taught in downstate Pewamo, then Republic for one year, before joining the Negaunee Public Schools, where he stayed until his retirement in 1981.
Mr. Tapio was a member of the St. Augustine Catholic Church, where he served as lay reader and an adult altar server. A longtime member of the Republic Michigamme Board of Education, he was instrumental in the construction of the new school in 1962.
Bob was a member of the Republic Volunteer Fire Department - where he was a charter member of their running team - the Grant Nyman Post Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lions Club, and the American Legion. Along with his wife Margaret, he bowled in leagues in Ishpeming and Iron Mountain for many years. His grandchildren were the highlight of his life.
He is survived by one son, Robert (Val) Tapio of Harbor Beach; two grandchildren, Emily Tapio of Harbor Beach, and Evan (Sarah) Tapio of Yorktown, Va.; a sister-in-law, Lorraine Mercier; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, who he married Feb. 5, 1946, along with two sisters and one brother.
Funeral services will be Thursday at 11 a.m., at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Fr. Greg Heikkila to officiate, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Military honors will follow the service by the Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard with burial in the Republic Cemetery.
The Racine Funeral Chapel of Ishpeming is assisting the family.