‘True gentleman’ Alan Tapp, a former Worthing magistrate, has died at the age of 87.
Mr Tapp was also a member of Sussex Police Authority and responsible for building a number of properties in Worthing and beyond.
Daughter Susan, his youngest child, said: “He was a very wise person and a true gentleman. He did a lot of kind things for people very quietly.”
Born in Worthing on Christmas Eve in 1928, Mr Tapp was the youngest of eight brothers.
He met his wife Jean Ross, known as Jill, in 1946 and they were married at St Mary’s Church in Shoreham on November 25, 1950.
They moved around a lot in their early married life as Mr Tapp was a salesman for Kalamazoo from 1949 to 1966.
He then took a job in a bank in Brighton and they moved to Shoreham, where Mrs Tapp was born, in 1968. The couple had three children in three years, John, Michael and Susan.
Mr Tapp left the bank in 1973 and worked for Lazard for four years before he and his wife formed their own company, Meridian Securities Ltd, in 1977.
The company built Cardinal Court in Grand Avenue, a number of luxury homes in the town, including High Salvington and Offington, and commercial developments including at West Thurrock and Lakeside.
Michael said: “He was on site every day. He was the managing director and the site foreman. He would also oversee quite large developments.
“What he really liked, though, was building two or three executive houses in Worthing.”
John pointed out that it was in his blood, as the family business was a building firm, where three of Mr Tapp’s brothers worked with their father.
Mr Tapp was on the bench at Worthing Magistrates’ Court for more than 15 years, including being deputy chairman from 1991 to 1996, and served until he had to retire at 70.
He was appointed to Sussex Police Authority in May 1988 and served for a number of years.
Married for 65 years, Mr and Mrs Tapp lived in Mill Lane, Shoreham, for many years before moving to Shelley Road, Worthing, ten years ago. Mrs Tapp died about 18 months ago.
Michael said: “He was a devoted family man. He was very active in all his business ventures but it was all to give us what he wanted to give us.”
Susan added: “As a father, he was completely supportive. He always encouraged and supported us.”
Mr Tapp’s six grandchildren were also a big part of his life.
John said: “He has been a huge influence on all of us in different ways.
“He was a man of his time. The real difference was seeing him with his grandchildren. He took real joy in being with them and having them with him.”
The funeral will be at St Mary’s Church in Shoreham 3pm tomorrow and then Worthing Crematorium.
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