Walter Dudley Tharp Jr., 80, of Elm Grove, formerly of Dripping Springs, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at his beloved Senior Care of Brownwood with his family by his side when he went to be with Lord.

Funeral services for Walter will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at Blaylock Funeral Home Chapel in Brownwood with Tony King officiating. Burial will follow at Varga Chapel Cemetery in San Saba County. Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Blaylock Funeral Home of Brownwood. Arrangements are under the direction of Blaylock Funeral Home of Brownwood.

Walter was born June 28, 1937, to Walter Tharp Sr. and Annie Harrell Tharp in Austin. Walter grew up in North Austin where he graduated from McCallum High School in 1956. He joined the Navy in 1956 and was active for two years, then in the reserves for another two.

In 1959, Walter married the love of his life, Linda Sorrell of Dripping Springs. They started their marriage together in Dripping Springs with a short time spent living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After deciding on making their home back in Drippin’, they returned and raised their family of three boys there for the next 35 years. Walter and his wife, Linda, built and operated the Redwood Drive-In Grocery for several years that was located on the west side of Dripping Springs. In June of 1995, the two decided to move further west to San Saba County near Richland Springs in the community of Elm Grove. Here they would buy a small ranch with plans to live out the rest of their lives in this small community.

After the death of his wife Linda in 2008, Walter spent all of his free time working at J&J Tractor in San Saba. It was there that you could find Walter visiting behind the counter and occasionally running parts for them, but his specialty was running down the street to pick up catfish for his coworkers. Walter served on the Elm Grove Volunteer Fire Department and Elm Grove Rodeo Association. He also took great pride in taken care of his grandkids, running them to and from all their after school activities. He loved being a grandpa to his seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Around 2013, Walter’s mobility began to decline and he decided to make Senior Care of Brownwood his new home where he would enjoy his final years. It was here that you could find Walter scooting around the halls happily in his wheelchair. He found entertainment in becoming the “official hall monitor.” At any given time he could tell you where any staff member or resident was located. He received the best care of his life at Senior Care and during his last days was visited by ALL of the staff of which many cried and thanked him for his friendship. Most of his visitors told funny stories on him, but most important to them told of how they would miss caring for him every day. For them, Walter wasn’t just a patient, he was a friend. Often Walter would speak of the staff fondly and he held them near and dear to his heart. He had found a second family living at Senior Care of Brownwood.

Walter was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Tharp; grandson, Joseph “Joey” Tharp; and his parents, Walter Sr. and Annie Tharp. He is survived by three sons, Charles Tharp of Elm Grove, William Tharp and wife Hope of Wylie, Steven Tharp and wife Kim of Elm Grove; seven grandchildren, Charlie Tharp and wife Shelly of Richland Springs, Jason Tharp and wife Tara of San Saba, Cheyenne Wiley and husband Dusty of Corpus Christi, Brittney Cooper and husband Jacob of Wylie, Ryan Tharp and wife Camry of Tyler, Brandon Tharp and Sierra Tharp both of Elm Grove; seven great-grandchildren: Cohen Tharp, Avery Tharp, Hudson Tharp, Luke Tharp, Mia Tharp, Ryder Wiley and Kennedy Cooper; one sister, Billie Jean Miller and husband Bob of Dripping Springs; and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by ALL of the staff, his extended family, at Senior Care of Brownwood.

Our family would like to say thank you to the entire staff at Senior Care of Brownwood and to his physician, Dr. Amy Tindol for the constant 24/7 love and care that was provided to Walter aka “WALT.”

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Joseph “Joey” Lee Tharp Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Richland Springs Independent School District, 700 West Coyote Trail Richland Springs, TX 76871. Online condolences for the family are welcome at www.blaylockfuneralhome.com.