Earthman Baytown Funeral Home

3919 Garth Road, Baytown, TX


James Lee Tharp

September 18, 1946September 5, 2019

CELEBRATION OF LIFE – JAMES LEE THARP September 18, 1946 - September 5, 2019

James (Jim) Lee Tharp went home to be with his father September 5, 2019, surrounded by his loving family after a courageous fight with cancer. Jim was born September 18, 1946 in Detroit Michigan to parents Earl Tharp and Connie Hayes Tharp. Jim moved to Anaheim California in 1963 where he joined the United States Marine Corp and then completed his High School education. Shortly after his high school graduation he received his orders to be deployed to Vietnam where he fought for his country for 13 months and then returned home to complete his service.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents Earl and Connie Tharp, his grandson Christian Tharp and his wife Karen Napier Tharp of 22 years. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Vivian Midkiff Tharp, Six children and their spouses; Angela and Kelly Corbell; Darrin and Lori Tharp; James and Jenny Tharp; Heidi and Rick Damon; Jeremy and Amanda Tharp and Mandy and Tom Wren. Fourteen Grandchildren, Three Great Grandchildren and two more little blessings coming in the months ahead. Brothers and Sister; Jerry Tharp, Terry Tharp, Gilbert Tharp and Mary Koll and many more Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends.

Jim moved to Texas with wife Karen in 1967 and soon after he began a 34-year career as a Houston Fire Fighter. Jim had a special love for softball. He played softball all through life and after retirement joined a Senior Softball league where he played all over the U.S. for many years. He played and coached on several teams winning National Titles. He himself has received multiple All Tourney and MVP awards throughout his softball career. Jim was inducted into the Texas Senior Softball Player Hall of Fame on August 29, 2014. Softball became his ministry. He made a point to share God’s word, pray with teams before and after games and helped many players find salvation through Christ.

Jim had a great love for hunting as well. He enjoyed the great outdoors and marveling God’s creation of animals and beautiful scenery from Colorado to Texas. Hunting was serious business to Jim, but pranks and fun was always a part of the hunt. So many lasting memories were made with his family and friends over the years.

Jim’s legacy is a special one! His passion in life was to serve GOD and do for others. He touched so many hearts and made friends everywhere he went, the memories are endless. He never met a stranger and if you were a waitress in a restaurant and had the privilege of serving him, he made your day with tips, kindness and words of encouragement. He loved his family beyond words! There was nothing he wouldn’t do to see them through the hard times of life. Family gatherings were always filled with words of wisdom from his heart and he always found a way to keep his children in check. He was not at all shy about the truth of life. He was a warrior and a man of God. One of the questions he made a point to ask whether you were a stranger, a friend or family, “Do You Know, That You Know, That You Know”? This led him to the real question. Do you know where you will spend eternity? We can rejoice in the fact that Jim knew, that he knew, that he knew!


  • Darrin Tharp
  • James Tharp
  • Jeremy Tharp
  • Kelly Corbell
  • Rick Damon
  • Tom Wren
  • Greg Thomas
  • Leonard Morgan


  • Visitation Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, September 12, 2019
  • Committal Service Thursday, September 12, 2019


James Lee Tharp

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carolyn Dahlquist

September 13, 2019

Thinking of all the Tharps with deepest sympathy.
I have such fond memories of the Tharps I taught at Carver-Jones Elementary.
Your 5th grade teacher,
Carolyn Dahlquist

Donna and Tom Wren

September 12, 2019

It was a privilege to know Jim as part of our daughter in law, Mandy's family. He was a good family man. Our prayers are being lifted to God for his wife, Vivian, and his grown children.

Gary Monacy

September 11, 2019

Jim and Me came into the Baytown Senior together 23 years ago and played every where in Tournaments for almost 30 years ,,,,,A great Friend and a great Christian ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Lester Tyra

September 11, 2019

The Tharp Family,
I'll always remember your Dad as a friend and Brother Fire Fighter. His quick wit and humor, along with his smile will always be remembered. I think of all the "softball tournaments" he participated in and won for HPFFA Local 341 and the passion he had for the game. Your Dad was a terrific person, fearless firefighter and caring friend, Thank You for sharing him with us.

Former Fire Chief Lester Tyra

Mary Koll

September 9, 2019

My memories of Jim are all so beautiful. He was our family hero from the time I was a toddler. One time Jim came home from Vietnam to visit and he loaded my brother and I into our little wagon and on a very hot Michigan day pulled us all the way to the A&W engaging us in what must have seemed to him like very boring conversation since we were very young, and bought us the best root beer I’ve had - even since. What I came to understand later in life about that memory and others involving Jim is that just having Jim home and having him put so much effort into that visit had everything to do with how sweet every part of that memory is. When Jim was home everything felt safe and I knew even when I was very tiny, that he would stand strong and he would always care about his family. That never changed. His family grew over the years and his depth of love has created solid roots in each of his beautiful faithful children. As I look back, I see God’s love and patience in Jim’s life and I see why God chose him to be so many people’s hero. I thank God for allowing Jim to be my forever loving brother. He is deeply missed but I know he has entered into his reward because he was faithful.

Danny Jr. Boaz

September 7, 2019

Jim was a great man & we would always greet each other with “Semper Fi”. I’m going to miss him bringing Christmas lunch to Boaz Export, as he would do every year. He would always bring enough food for at least 15 of us employees, “The Judge”, and Denise. There’s no doubt where Jim is right now as I type this. I really admired Jim’s passion for God and his boldness to share the good news. He was a role model. We men need to look at the way Jim lived his life and served his God and try to measure up, as best we can. You did it right Brother...Semper Fi!

Lynn Neely

September 6, 2019

Jim was a great man and loved by so many that knew him. God bless you and may you Rest In Peace. Prayers of comfort for his family.

Daniel Groberg

September 6, 2019

Praying for the entire family. Was a friend and competitor with one of his sons. James was a great father and I enjoyed playing against and with his son.

RIP and prayers to his family.