The Waco Wild West 100 bicycle tour donated $2,500 to the Episcopal Veterans Fellowship at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin in memoriam of retired Lt. Col. Robert Tarbet Jr.
Tarbet, a Vietnam War veteran and retired Episcopal priest who died earlier this year, is remembered as a leader in the Waco Bicycle Club, said Waco Wild West 100 organizer Jim Igleheart.
Tarbet volunteered to assist and instruct beginning riders preparing for their first 100-mile course by including medical classes on proper hydration, Igleheart said. Tarbet supported the Waco Wild West bicycle tours as either a paramedic, a rider on the 100-mile route, or he helped marked the routes. He also supported mountain bike events and the Tri-Waco event.
Tarbet also repaired bicycles for Waco-area schoolchildren at club bicycle rodeos.
Tarbet was born Nov. 30, 1938, in Dallas. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1962 and served two tours in Vietnam. After the war, he attended Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and was ordained to the priesthood in 1973.
He later returned to the Army as a chaplain and served a tour in Wiesbaden, Germany. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University and continued his Army work as the comptroller of the Army Chaplain School.
After his military career and retirement, Tarbet served churches in Lindale, Marble Falls, Marlin, Mexia and Hamilton. While in Marble Falls, he became a paramedic. He and his wife, Beverly, have lived in McGregor for 16 years, where Bob volunteered with both the McGregor and Crawford EMS.
An adventurer who enjoyed motorcycles and hiking, Tarber learned to scuba dive at age 75.
Beverly, his wife of nearly 54 years, said the counseling provided to her husband through the Episcopal Church after he returned from Vietnam was incredibly helpful to them. Beverly also is activity in ministry, serving at the women’s correctional facility in Gatesville.
Igleheart said presenting the check at the Waco Vietnam Veterans Memorial is particularly appropriate because Bob was a Vietnam veteran and the memorial is near the starting line for the Waco Wild West 100 bike tour. The 32nd annual tour in October was dedicated to Tarbet.
Staff photo — Ken Sury
Gathered for the check presentation at the Waco Vietnam Veterans Memorial are Gary Urban (from left); Beverly Tarbet; John Householder; the Rev. John Wells, a Vietnam veteran and retired rector of Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Waco; Jim Igleheart; Lynn Smith-Henry; the Rev. David Peters, an Iraq War veteran and founder of the Episcopal Veterans Fellowship, who is assistant rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin; Rick Duhrkopf; and Nancy Goodnight.