Obituary of Joseph Massie Tappero
January 11, 2017
Joseph Massie Tappero passed away from congestive heart failure on Jan. 6, 2017, in the home he hand-built in 1954, surrounded by love and support. He was 89 years old. A memorial service at Hooper Weaver Mortuary is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 at 11:30 a.m. with a Celebration of Life to follow at the Love Building at Condon Park in Grass Valley. Joe, a longtime resident of Nevada County, was born in Butte, Montana on April 2, 1927. He was born to Louie and Lena Tappero and was the oldest son of four siblings. He was predeceased by sister, Louise Crowder, and brother, Louie Tappero. His oldest sister, Marie Hartsock of Vallejo, CA, is the only remaining sibling of the family. His family made their way to California when he was a young boy, eventually landing in Nevada County. At the age of 14, Joe joined his sister, Marie, in Vallejo to attend electrician journeyman school — where he received a certificate of perfect attendance. He eventually returned to Nevada County to complete high school. Joe then enlisted in the army at the end of the World War II and was honorably discharged in 1947. Subsequently he completed his AA degree at Placer Junior College, where he studied electrical engineering. During his time there he not only played football, but led the ski team to many victories. A jack-of-all-trades, over the years Joe worked as a milk man, a logger, a salesman for Alpha Hardware and helped to build a bridge for the state near Alturas, CA. But most folks will remember Joe for his long career as the suave and reliable appliance repairman for Gra-Neva Appliance.
An avid outdoorsman, Joe arranged his life to spend every extra minute out in the beauty of nature. One could find him at the Yuba River or Poorman Creek either gold panning or fishing. He enjoyed hiking, camping, boating and was an expert skier, at one time helping to coach the Nevada Union Ski Team. Joe was an ardent athlete exceling at bowling, tennis and golf, spending many years as a member of the Nevada County Country Club. Another passion was spending time in his beloved home reading — his favorite genres included mysteries and stories based in history, both true and fictional.
Joe is survived by his wife of 40 years, Rosalie Tappero, a Nevada County native; his son Joseph (Tracy) Tappero; daughter Kathleen (Rick) Maher; step-daughters Wendy (Matthew) Willoughby, Tina (David) Hookom; grandsons Jonathan (Jenny) Tappero, Evan (Lisa) Tappero; step-granddaughters, Olivia, Simone, Madeline and Juliette; and several nieces and nephews. Fourth generation 7-month old twin great-grandsons, Emmett and Corben Tappero, brought great joy to him near the end of his very full and realized life. A man of few words but immense action, his helpful spirit and warm smile will be greatly missed by friends and family. Arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.