Clifford Patrick Tharp
Clifford Patrick Tharp, an early settler and prominent Ridgecrest businessman, passed away peacefully at his home in Ridgecrest, Calif., on March 26, 2013, at the age of 84. His loving wife, Jo, was at his side.
Family and friends are invited to a memorial service Friday, April 5, at 10 a.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church on Graaf Street.
Pat, born in Pontiac, Mich., on St. Patrick’s Day, 1929, to Cletus and Edith Tharp, was the oldest of seven children. His earliest years were spent in Blue Eye, Mo., until the Great Depression when the family moved to California. The Tharps first settled in Lancaster. When Pat was 13 (in 1942), they relocated to Ridgecrest, then a very small community of approximately 30 families.
Pat and his family played an important role in the early development of this budding community, which experienced a population explosion when the Navy came in 1943. Services of all kinds were needed. Helping to provide these services quickly became the hub of Pat’s and the Tharp family’s lives. Later in his life, he spent the spring and summer months in Lake Almanor, Calif., and more recently in Florence, Ore.; but always wintered in Ridgecrest where he managed his business interests.
Pat attended Inyokern Grade School and Burroughs High School. He served in the Army during the Korean War from Dec. 1950-Sept. 1952. The war took its toll on the soldiers who fought on the historic bitter conflict on “Heartbreak Ridge.” After his service in the Army, he returned home and met his bride, Betty Jean Pickett.
They were married Oct. 16, 1953, and raised their four children in Ridgecrest. Together they worked hard to establish several successful independent businesses in furniture and clothing— Pat and Roy’s, Patrick’s Home Furnishings, Patrick’s Menswear, Town and Country, The Emporium, The Male Box and Me Too for Gals. The Male Box and Me Too for Gals became a small chain of stores with locations in Ridgecrest, Lancaster, Bakersfield and Palmdale, Calif. While Pat ended his career as a retail business owner in 2000, he maintained and managed his commercial and private real-estate interests until the final months of his life.
Pat not only played a major role in the business life of Ridgecrest, but he also served the community in other ways. He was involved in several churches in the area. As a devoted member of Immanuel Baptist Church for many years, he led his family to participate. He was faithful in attendance and giving. Whenever a financial project was adopted, he was always one of the leaders insuring its success. He was especially key in building, furnishing and decorating the worship center on Graaf Street. He was also a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club and a past president.
While always thankful for the opportunity to spend most of his life in Ridgecrest, Pat had a deep love for the beauty of nature and was privileged to travel to many areas of the United States and other parts of the world. Though he enjoyed the unique features of other areas, especially during the hot summer months, he loved coming back to his desert home.
Pat is survived and will be greatly missed by Jo, his loving wife of 16 years; his daughter Patsy McNulty (Tim) and grandsons Micah and Titus; his son Gary (Kimberly) and grandchildren Casey Ann (Jeremy) and Clay; his daughter Diana Regier (Angus) and grandchildren Leah, Ian, and Logan; and his son Don (Sheri) and grandchildren Malachi, Chloe, and Olivia.
Pat is also survived by his six brothers and sisters, Patricia (Farris), James W., Lyndle, Bobby, Judy (Wells), and Yvonne (Parcher), their spouses and his many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Betty of 41 years, parents Cletus and Edith Tharp, niece Cathy Tharp, and brothers-in-law, Fred Farris and Archie Wells.
Pat’s children, who all live out of the area, would like to thank all the family and friends who were so supportive to Dad and Jo during his final months of decline. They were our hands, feet, and hearts when we
couldn’t be there. We are especially grateful to Dad’s sister Yvonne and her family for their unfailing dedication, to the certified nursing sssistants who were a vital part of Dad’s support team and to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Hospice Service.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the California Baptist Foundation, 7120 N Whitney Ave, Fresno CA 93720 or Senior Services of IWV, 417 W. Drummond Ave., Ridgecrest CA. 93555.
Submitted by the family of Patrick TharpStory First Published: 2013-04-03