Saturday, December 2, 2023

William Rhett ‘Pop’ Taber Jr., 92, Navy veteran who served during World War II

William Rhett 'Pop' Taber Jr.
William Rhett ‘Pop’ Taber Jr.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — William Rhett “Pop” Taber Jr., 92, loving husband to the late Anne Fishburne Taber, was born Aug. 12, 1926, and died Tuesday, July, 16 2019, at his home. He was the son of the late William R. Taber Sr. and Ellie O. Taber.

Pop graduated from Greenville High School in 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and was stationed on the Liberty Ship USS Indian Island (AG 77). He was in the Pacific headed for Japan when both bombs were dropped. President Harry Truman came over the loudspeaker and announced, “the war is over.” The ship was diverted from Japan and navigated through a mined Yangtze River in Shanghai, China.

Pop was a longtime resident of Wrightsville Beach and visited his home their often. He attended Clemson University as a veteran student earning a mechanical engineering degree. In 1957, he married Anne Fishburne, who was also a World War II veteran and college graduate, thanks to the G.I. Bill. They raised seven children and saw them all earn college degrees. Pop worked for Daniel Construction Inc. for over 30 years and retired in 2005.

He was a wonderful father. Throughout his life, Pop reflected selfless love for his family and friends. He was patient, kind, intelligent and humble, which endeared many to him who will miss him, but realize he is with God. He had a lifelong passion for classical music and enjoyed attending the Greenville Symphony performances.

Pop is survived by his sons, William Rhett Taber III, and his wife, Julie, of Raleigh, Robert Fishburne Taber, and his wife, Allison, of Pine Knoll Shores, Paul Kershaw Taber of Wilmington, Patton Andrew Taber of Greenville, South Carolina, and Thomas Neel Taber, and his wife, Deidre, of Greer, South Carolina; daughter, Anne Claiburn Taber of Greenville, South Carolina; 10 grandchildren, Mike Tyndall of Greenville, South Carolina, Kreager and Will Taber of Raleigh, August and Slate Taber of Pine Knoll Shores, Samuel and Andrew Taber of Greenville, South Carolina, and Hannah, Haley and Neel Taber of Greer, South Carolina. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Caroline Taber Tyndall.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, South Carolina, with military honors. A graveside service will be held in Wilmington at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Greenville Symphony Association, 203 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601.

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