William “Bernard” Tapley, also known as Bill or Tap, passed away on April 3, 2022 at Community Hospice in Vidalia, Georgia. Bernard, who was 84, died from Alzheimer’s that was complicated by a brain bleed. He was born in Reidsville, Georgia. He is survived by Diane Tapley, his wife of 60 years, his niece and chosen daughter, Kim Alexander, his son, Mark Tapley, and his daughter, Janae (Jan) Tapley Sorenson, his sister, Betty Anderson, his grandchildren, Nicole McDaniel, Jessica Tomberlin, Jamie Lewis, Jarrett Alexander, Danielle Hardeman, Tapley Sorenson, Hunter Sorenson, and Rance Tapley. He has 12 great grandchildren and one on the way. He also has many loving in-laws and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Otis and Nora Tapley and his brother, James Tapley.
Bernard has been a member of Reidsville Baptist Church since he was a boy. His Mother (known to family as Mama Nora) was a nurse at the hospital and actually delivered Diane (his future wife). Bernard and Diane had a committed, loving marriage and Bernard’s only concern about his passing was that he was worried about who would take care of his beautiful wife.
Bernard retired from the United States Navy where he served on nuclear submarines for most of his career and spent the last five years as a recruiter. He excelled in that work because he loved serving his country and he was passionate about the opportunities the Navy could offer. After his service, Bernard spent 20 years with Georgia Power where he worked at Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Power Plant and retired after 20 years. Bernard was also a member of the Masons, the oldest fraternal organization in the world, and rose to the highest leadership position.
He was lucky to see the world when he was in the Navy. Bernard and Diane lived in Scotland and all over the U.S. Hong Kong was the favorite place he ever visited because of the diverse and friendly people. When Bernard wasn’t working, you could find him on the golf course at Vidalia Country Club or Brazell’s Creek Golf Course. He was proud to have two holes in one during his time golfing and got down to a six handicap at one point. Bernard and Diane also spent a lot of time at their home on Lake Sinclair where he enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to fish and going night fishing on the pontoon boat.
When asked to describe his perfect day, he said “Knowing my family is safe and provided for and maybe playing a round of golf with my buddies.”
When asked how do you want future generations of your family to remember you, he responded as follows:
1) As being able to provide for my family
2) Being firm but loving for my family
3) Teaching my family to always be truthful and that what you do good or bad today you will reap tomorrow.
We will celebrate Bernard’s life at the Reidsville Baptist Church on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:00 am. The service will begin at 11:00 am. The service will be live-steamed for friends and family who cannot attend. Please visit Low Country Cremation and Burial at bradleybanderson.com, select William Bernard Tapley and scroll down to view. The service will be up for 90 days. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a tribute donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at Alz.org. The family appreciates the outpouring of love and support.
Low Country Cremation and Burial is serving the Tapley family.