Command Sergeant Major
Pablo “Paul” Tapia

Retired Command Sergeant Major Pablo “Paul” Tapia, age 76, and long-time resident of Colorado Springs, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 12, 2012. Paul was born on May 14, 1936 in El Cerrito, New Mexico to the late Benjamin and Librada Tapia.

Above all, Paul’s passion was his family and his desire to serve his country as a Special Forces Green Beret in the United States Army.

During his 32 year military career, Paul served in locations all around the world including, Asia, Central America, and Vietnam. Along the way, he earned numerous medals for his bravery including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart with two clusters, just to name a few.

After retiring from the Army, Paul continued his commitment to his country and gave over 30 years of civilian duties at the Air Force Academy. He was also an employee at King Soopers for fifteen years.

Paul is survived by his wife of 55 years, Alice Gauna-Tapia; children, Tamara (Brent) Whitman, Frank Tapia, Valerie (Brian-deceased) Renfro, Roberta (Tom) Talmich, Bev (Manuel) Labbe, Jerri Blaise-Wanda, Benjamin Tapia and Pauline Pollack. Paul is also survived by two brothers, three sisters, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Andres and Tobias Tapia and one daughter, Antonia Tapia.

Visitation will be held on Monday, December 17, 2012 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:00am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1830 South Corona Ave., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80905. Interment and full military honors will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Pueblo Riverwalk Veterans Bridge, 101 South Union Ave., Pueblo, CO 81003.

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This Obituary Has 2 Condolences

  1. SgtMaj Tapia was a mentor of mine while at USAFA and gave me my 1st salute in front of Mitchel Hall wearing jungle fatigue shirt and green beret after graduation on 28 may 86. After i handed him a silver dollar, he took his st micheal medal from around his neck and put it on mine. Ive worn it for the last 34 yrs to include flying csar, desert storm, iraq, and afghanistan. I am now retired and would like to get the medal to one of his grandkids in uniform. Sgt Maj Tapia was a good friend and a great soul.

  2. Good morning,
    This message has touched us all as we have read and re-read it this morning. You can imagine the group text amongst his children, of which I am one of his daughters, this morning.

    It was an unexpected reminder of the love our dad had for the armed forces, the Academy and the friendships he developed with several cadets. His medals were special to him and would have only shared it with someone equally special.

    Thank you so much for your kind words that have touched us all including our mother.

    Valerie Leigh Tapia-Renfro

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