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Roanoke General City News

Posted on: November 9, 2018

Roanoke City Council Selects Tarpley as 2018 Citizen of the Year

On Nov. 9, at the Annual Neighborhoods ‘”Harvesting the Fruits” Potluck Dinner and Neighborhood Partnership Awards Celebration, Roanoke City Council announced the selection of James Hunter Tarpley as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. Tarpley’s nomination cited his character, qualities, and value as a neighbor to the Grandin Village community as qualifications for the award.

Tarpley has lived in the Grandin Village area for the last 30 years, serving his neighborhood in numerous commitments of kindness, care, and thoughtfulness including picking up trash, sweeping sidewalks, watering plants, planting flowers, pulling up weeds, and offering directions to those in need.  He also welcomes and introduces visitors to Grandin Village, and often takes time to converse with residents and friends on the benches in front of the Roanoke Co-op or The Roanoke Ballet Theatre.

One example of his dedication to the community is Tarpley's commitment to care for and oversee the James Tarpley Park and Playground on Memorial Avenue—better known as Mr. Tarpley’s Playground—providing all of the neighborhood’s families with a beautifully landscaped playground.

His keen attention to Grandin Village has earned him countless awards and recognition, including two stars in front of the Grandin Theatre with his name inscribed on them in his honor, a commendation from the City of Roanoke for helping to apprehend a bank robber in 2004, and the Key to the City.

City Council will recognize Tarpley’s unending generosity and community spirit by presenting a Citizen of the Year resolution to him at a Council meeting in December.

For more information about the Citizen of the Year, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 853-2541 or send an email to


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