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Death in our diocesan family: The Rev. Cornelius "Cork" Tarplee

Votive candles

The Rev. Cornelius "Cork" TarpleeWith sadness we share the news of the death of the Rev. Cornelius "Cork" Tarplee, former Rector of St. Stephen’s, Millburn, on April 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, CA. He passed gently surrounded by his loving wife, the Rev. Judith Baldwin, their daughter, Lily Baldwin, and son-in-law, Adam Blum.

A graduate of Oberlin College and Virginia Seminary, Cork served as rector of parishes in Hamilton, NY; Weare, NH; and Dunbarton, NH before becoming the rector of St. Stephen’s.

During his 17 years in Millburn, Cork grew the congregation into a thriving and dynamic parish that, by his example, focused their ministry tending to those in need, to social justice issues, and to equality and fairness for all. The best way to describe his ministry is that he loved and welcomed everyone.

Cork was an exceptional and inspiring preacher. He particularly dedicated himself to the issues of equality for gay and lesbian people and was one of the earliest rectors to hire and mentor gay and lesbian clergy. Known for his quiet and gentle nature, Cork was a fierce and relentless advocate for love and inclusion for all.

In addition to his wife, daughter Lily and son-in-law Adam, he is also survived by his children Alison Coluccio and her wife, Nancy Menning, Matthew Tarplee and Katherine Hall-Lapinski; his granddaughter, Roxy Coluccio; his sister and brother-in-law, Patty and Al Tucker; and his beloved family the Rev. Melissa Hall and Fran Lapinski.

A private memorial service will be held in Los Angeles, CA, at a future date.

Letters of condolence can be sent to the Rev. Judith Baldwin at 817 1/2 South Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Good and gracious God, the light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, you sent your servant Cork to be a priest in your Church to feed your sheep with your word and to guide them by his example; give us the grace to keep the faith he taught and to follow in his footsteps. We entrust him into your unfailing mystery of Love and Hope through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.