Mary Jeannette (Norton) Tappan, born August 22, 1930, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2019. She leaves behind her two daughters Janice and son-in-law Tony Cerny, Judy and son-in-law Jerry Bailey; granddaughter Heather and husband Chad Cerniglia, two great grandsons Dominic and Gavin Cerniglia, nephew Dan Norton and wife Patrice, nieces Sharron Baumbach and husband Fred, Pam Wolff and husband Aleks, nephews Terry Floyd and wife Elizabeth and Harry Floyd and wife Sherry and all of their families, along with many cousins and beloved dog Sophie.

She was preceded in death by her husband Vorace ‘Tap’ Cameron Tappan who passed away in 2000, her mother Mary and father William Norton, brother Willis and sister-in-law Sharon Norton, and sister-in-law Patricia Floyd.

Mary was born in Santa Rosa and moved to Eureka when she was a young child. She attended Eureka High School and Humboldt State College which she met her husband while attending college and they were married in March 1951.

She worked at the Eureka Water Department before having children then was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom with her daughters till they entered Junior High School. During those early years she was both a Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls troop leader. Upon returning to the work force she was the Executive Assistant for the U.S. Forest Service at Six Rivers National Forest in Eureka until she retired in 1988. Her husband Tap loved sport fishing as a hobby and even though Mary never learned to swim she willingly donned a life jacket and would go with Tap out fishing.

Mary lived in Eureka until shortly after Tap passed, then she moved to Reno, Nevada to be close to her daughter Judy and grand daughter Heather and great-grandsons Dominic and Gavin. She recently had moved to Livermore at the end of 2018 to spend time with daughter Janice and son-in-law Tony.

Mary was a lovely lady, full of love with a sweet and compassionate personality and whom everyone adopted as their ‘Grandma Mary.”

A Celebration of Life reception will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Wharfinger Building, Eureka Marina, #1 Marina Way, Eureka. Food and beverages will be served.

The family requests in lieu of flowers donations to your local schools or favorite charity. Her family would like to offer special thanks to the staff at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and the medical doctors of Stanford Health Care, and all those that have touched our lives.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Mary Tappan’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.