Joseph A Tarr, Jr.

Born: Tue., Jan. 31, 1922
Died: Sat., Nov. 24, 2012


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Wed., Nov. 28, 2012
Location: Peterson-Blick Funeral Home, Inc.

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Thu., Nov. 29, 2012
Location: Russell United Methodist Church

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Joseph A. Tarr, Jr., 90, Rt. 957, Russell, Pa., passed away on November 24, 2012, at UPMC Hamot Medical Center, Erie, Pa., from congenital heart failure.

Joseph was born January 31, 1922, in Erie, Pa., the son of the late Joseph and Clara (Zimmerman) Tarr.  Joseph graduated from Academy High School in 1940.  He worked at General Electric before entering the Army Air Corps in October, 1942. He earned his flight wings in March 1944 as a B-17 pilot.  Stationed in Nuthampstead, England, he flew 35 missions from October 1944 to February 1945; nearly all of his missions were over Germany as a member of the 298th Bomb Group.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among several medals.

On October 17, 1945, he married Betty Jean Mason and began 66+ years of marriage.  Joseph went to Gannon College and Pennsylvania State University where he earned a B.S. degree and then a Masters in Wildlife Management in 1953.  In 1956 Joseph and Betty moved to Russell, Pa., where he became a forester for Hillerich & Bradsby buying white ash for baseball bats.  He retired in 1987 but continued to survey land and manage timber sales for private owners.

Always an avid hunter and fisherman, he pursued a variety of hobbies and interests during his years in Russell.  He was an Explorer Scout Leader, a member of the Russell Volunteer Fire Department, a member of North Star Lodge #241, a baseball coach, a developer of Werner Park, a member of the school board, and a lifetime member of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club where he and Betty could be found on Wednesday and Friday nights.

He loved golf and was still playing in two leagues this past summer.  But the first love of his life—Betty—led him to dancing from the moment they met.  Joseph and Betty formed Tarr’s Stars and were part of Circle 8 dance group.  Joseph “called” Western Round and Ballroom Dancing in clubs in Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada.  

Joseph was a long time member of the Russell United Methodist Church where he was head usher and worked on several committees.  He was a true patriot and late in life participated in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and attended many reunions for the 298th Bomb Group as a member of the 603d Squadron.

Joseph will be remembered as a loving husband and father.  Those who knew Joe well recognized him as a trustworthy and honorable man.

Joseph is survived by son Patrick H. Tarr and his wife Susan, Arlington, VA, and their children, Aaron Joseph Tarr and his wife Rachel, Annandale, VA, and Allison Tarr and her fiancé Andy Deptula, Dedham, MA; by daughter Debbie Darigan and her husband Bob of Rhode Island and Connecticut, and their daughter Amber in Danielson, CT; and by two half-sisters Eleanor Van Tilburg and Margaret Bender. Patrick and Debbie wish to recognize the special love and support of Jackie Tarr and Kate during these last few weeks.

In addition to his parents, Joseph was preceded in death by wife Betty, by sisters Marjorie Tess and Clara Anderson, and by his half-brother John D. (Jack) Tarr.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Russell Methodist Church Building Fund, Main Street, Russell, Pa. 16345, or to the Penn State University School of Forestry.
Friends will be received at the Peterson - Blick Funeral Home, Inc., 1003 Penn Ave., E., Warren, on Wednesday, November 28, from, 5 to 8 p.m.  A funeral service will be at the Russell United Methodist Church, 17 N. Main St, Russell, Pa., on Thursday, November 29 at 11 a.m.,  with Rev. David Heckman, pastor, officiating.

Burial will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Russell United Methodist Church Building Fund, 17 N. Main St, Russell, PA 16345 or the Penn State University School of Forestry.

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Condolence Booklet

George D. King
   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
To the Tarr Family:

Very sorry to hear of Joe's passing. I spent two summers working for Larimer & Norton back in the early 70's while I was a forestry student at Utah State University. Occasionally Joe and I were paired together to complete property line resurveys and marking. Thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Joe along with his dedication to the job and his endless supply of energy. I think Joe would be pleased to know that due to some of his encouragement led me toward a 30 year career with the United States Forest Service. Thanks Joe!

Lynne Nadal Wiltsie
   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
My condolences on the passing of Joe. He lived a full and productive life, and his family is a reflection of the quality of character instilled by loving and supportive parents. "May flights of angels lift him to his

   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
To Pat and all the Tarr families,
My condolences go out to you during this sad time.

John & Allison Darigan & Family
   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
So very sorry for your loss. Joe was a great man always so kind and a smile on his face when we would see him. I picture he and Betty dancing in the heavens, together again. God Bless

Jean Carlson Morando
   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
So sorry to hear about the loss of your father - may your memories help you through this time and give you strength.

Dennis Lobdell
   Posted Tue November 27, 2012
Sorry to hear of Joe's passing .Betty was my mother's cousin,Eric Nystrom and I plastered a house for Joe and Betty. I knew Joe all of my life.He was a great man and will be missed; sincerely Dennis

Willie & Dora Devore
   Posted Wed November 28, 2012
We are so sorry to read of his passing and extend our sympathy to the family of Joe. We have been dear friends of Joe & Betty for many years. Not only through dancing, but Willie and Joe worked in the lumber business as associates together. He would visit our mill and talk with us; then he and Willie discussed business. He was a wonderful man and always a gentleman. He will be greatly missed.

Mike Chase
   Posted Wed November 28, 2012
Betty and family I know you miss this fine gentleman. I remember visiting with him and how much I enjoyed him. Peace with you all

Joe and Joyce Maljovec
   Posted Thu November 29, 2012
It was my great pleasure to do business with Joe for years. We became good friends. He will be greatly missed.
Joe Maljovec

Mark Thompson
   Posted Thu November 29, 2012
Very sorry to hear about Joe. He was a joy to be around and always greeted you with a smile. We will miss him for sure. My prayers for all your family.....Mark Thompson and family

Marilyn Gibb-Rice, 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association
   Posted Sat December 08, 2012
I had the privilege and honor to interview Joe in September at the 398th Bomb Group reunion at Philly. What an incredible person he was and a true hero of WWII. He will be missed.

Can someone in the family please contact me in order to give me an address to mail the video of the interview (when it is completed)? Thank you.

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