J. Scott Tharp

Obituary of J. Scott Tharp

Joseph Scott Tharp, 89, died peacefully at his home in Barrackville on the morning of Saturday February 26, 2022. Scott was born January 30, 1933, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the son of the late Rev. C.D. Tharp, a Methodist minister, who was pastor of the Methodist Protestant Temple at that time. His mother was the late Lydia Candace Hall Tharp, a former Lost Creek Elementary teacher prior to her marriage. Scott was predeceased by his brothers and sisters, Glenn W. Tharp, Blanche Carpenter, Delma Breazeale, Thelma Wolfe, Frances Everson, James B. Tharp, and his younger sister, Elaine Veltri, who died February 28, 2020. His is survived by his wife, Joan Eddy Gall Tharp. Scott and Joan were married December 11, 2008. His first wife, Mary Jo Post Tharp, died in 2007, after 47 years of marriage. He is survived by his two sons, Matthew Scott Tharp and Joel Wesley Tharp, Joel's wife Krystal, and one grandson, Travis Scott Tharp. He is also survived by Joan's five children, Kevin Gall, Julia Ehman, Andy Gall, Matthew Gall, and Jenny Rodriguez. Scott is also survived by several nieces and nephews, including Mark Shaver of Barrackville, Dixon Shaver of Fairmont, and Marsha Folio of Bridgeport. When he was nine years old, Scott moved to Barrackville with his family, and has been a resident of Barrackville ever since. He was a graduate of Barrackville High School, Class of 1951, after which he graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with an A.B. degree, majoring in English. Upon graduating from Wesleyan, Scott served two years as an enlisted man in the United States Army, stationed most of his time as a stenographer at Far East Headquarters at Camp Zama, Japan. Upon completion of his military service, he entered the College of Law at West Virginia University, receiving his Bachelor of Laws (now Doctor of Jurisprudence) in 1959. He immediately began practicing law in Fairmont as an associate of Attorney Herschel Rose, spent two years as general counsel for a local corporation, and then returned to the private practice of law in Fairmont. His practice prospered and after several years of solo practice, James A. Liotta and David R. Janes became his associates, followed later by Karen M. Yokum, and the law firm of Tharp, Liotta and Janes was formed (later becoming Tharp, Liotta, Janes and Yokum, and subsequently Tharp, Liotta, and Yokum). Scott continued his practice of law for nearly 62 years, reluctantly retiring and closing the practice in December 2020. He was a member of the West Virginia State Bar, formerly serving on its Board of Governors, a member and past president of the Marion County Bar Association, a member of the West Virginia Bar Association, a former member and officer of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, a former member and state committeeman of the American Trial Lawyers Association, and was elected a Fellow of the West Virginia State Bar Foundation. He served for many years as a member of the panel of labor arbitrators of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Scott served four terms as president of the Barrackville Lions Club, and as such was an active roadside volunteer, cutting weeds and picking up litter. As a member of the Lions Club, he actively participated in the maintenance and beautification of the roadside park at the top of Crematory Hill. He was an active and dedicated member of the Barrackville United Methodist Church and enjoyed teaching the Young Adult Sunday School class for over 60 years. He held nearly every office in his church, including church treasurer, chairman of the finance committee, Sunday School superintendent, choir director, assistant pianist, and member of the United Methodist Men's organization. He was formerly honored as Fairmont District Methodist Layman of the Year. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia United Methodist Foundation and served as member of the Board of Directors of the Union Mission for many years. Scott loved sports, both as a fan and a participant. As an adult, he bowled in the Business and Professional League for 40 years, pitched for the Slugs slow-pitch softball team (which he named), and played in the over-35 basketball league. His most strenuous participation in basketball came as an adult, either at the school on Saturday nights or on the court in his back yard with Darroll Courtney, Sonny Martin, and others in the no-harm no-foul league. As a loyal alumnus of Barrackville High School, Scott originated and was chairman of each of the four Barrackville High School Homecoming Jubilees, beginning in 1991 and ending in 2011. Scott had a zest for life and had many hobbies and interests, including gardening, lawn and flowers, photography, music (playing the piano), and genealogy. He had an insatiable desire to travel and, along with his family, visited all seven continents, all 50 states, and roughly 130 countries throughout the world. Evidence of this was apparent in his office, with a map of the world and souvenirs and mementos of his travels on display. Scott was a most loyal Mountaineer fan, holding season tickets for WVU football and basketball for over 40 years. He and the family seldom missed a bowl game, and he and Joan attended basketball's Final Four in Indianapolis. Aside from his love for his family and his faith, Scott's greatest passion was practicing law. He loved being a lawyer and dealing with clients, working with their problems and, in many cases, becoming lifelong friends with them. He often told younger lawyers that to be successful you must have a passion for being a lawyer. To him his profession was truly not a job but a pleasure, and retirement was never his goal. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Scott’s memory to Barrackville United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, PO Box 186, Barrackville, WV 26559. Friends will be received at the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV on Wednesday from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The funeral service will be celebrated in the Barrackville United Methodist Church on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 11:00 AM with Reverend Stephanie Bennett presiding. The interment will follow in the Barrackville Cemetery. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com. The Tharp family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV.
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Wednesday
2
March

Visitation

1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Ford Chapel
201 Columbia Street, P.O. Box 2098
Fairmont, West Virginia, United States
304-363-3130
Thursday
3
March

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Barrackville United Methodist Church
409 Pike Street
Barrackville, West Virginia, United States
304-366-8342