‘The Angel of Grandin Village’ dinner fundraiser aims to keep James Tarpley’s legacy alive

The fundraiser sold out of food within one hour of the event start and raised around $1,800

James Tarpley, also known as the 'Angel of Grandin,' was well-loved among the Grandin community of Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. – The Grandin community is wanting to make some improvements to Tarpley Park, named after James Tarpley, a man truly loved in the community for his willingness to give to others.

On Monday, the Raleigh Court Neighborhood Association teamed up with The Village Grill to host a dinner fundraiser to raise money for park improvements.

Improvements include replacing the current playset with a new one, repainting the playhouses, and adding new mulch to the playground.

Nathan Webster, owner of The Village Grill, said fundraising is imperative to help maintain the park.

“Doing fundraising nights is crucial to the upkeep and development of this park. And to keep that Tarpley spirit alive that we all love here in Grandin,” Webster said.

The Tarpley spirit ... an idea business owners in the area carry with them after Tarpley passed away in 2019.

Susan Lipes, owner of 7/11 in Grandin Village, met Tarpley over 30 years ago and still remembers the first time he stayed in her store.

“I had to work until midnight one night and he said I’m going to stay the whole night with you. And he stayed the whole night with me while I was working. And he did stuff like that all the time,” Lipes said.

It was the random acts of kindness Tarpley displayed that led to him being remembered in the community.

“You can see his picture on the wall. And more people come up to me and say that picture looks so real. Then they pass it, they’re always waving to it. It’s just ... everybody really does miss him,” Lipes said.

A mural and a park carrying his name are just a couple of things reminding people in the community about the legacy of James Tarpley.

Tarpley himself enjoyed the park named after him.

“He used to always sit in there. That was his place. He’d sit there and make sure nobody would come that he didn’t like,” Lipes said.

Someone that Tarpley didn’t like was a rare occasion in a neighborhood like Grandin, where the community is close-knit.

To find out more information about James Tarpley and his legacy, you can visit the Historic Grandin Village website.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.