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Remembering Joseph R. Tarby, Jr.

Joseph Tarby Jr., father of Joseph Tarby III and former President’s Award recipient of the WBA has passed away. The following article from the Daily Times Chronicle details the outstanding character and commitment to community that Mr. Tarby exemplified throughout his life:

Joseph R. Tarby Jr. honored with President’s Award
By JIM HAGGERTY news@woburnonline.com

WOBURN — Accolades were everywhere as officers and members of the Woburn Business Association hailed Woburn icon Joseph R. Tarby Jr. during ceremonies at the Holiday Inn Select where he received the annual President’s Award from the WBA.

Accompanied by family and friends, Tarby was given high praise by WBA President Joseph F. Ciulla, who reminisced about Coach Tarby in his younger days in Woburn’s Pop Warner football program.

In accepting the award, a taken-back Tarby said, “This is one of the best things have ever happened to me in life except my wife Barbara.”

“I have always enjoyed working with the kids in the city,” said Tarby at another juncture.

He was accompanied to the event with his two sons, Joseph Tarby III and his wife Debbie and Richard Tarby and his wife Sharon, along with a daughter Gail (Tarby) Prizio and her husband Joe. The Tarby family was seated at special table and was called forth to the podium by Ciulla and Executive Director Paul Meaney.

Among those in attendance was Independent governor’s candidate Christy Mihos and his running mate, John Sullivan of Winchester.

Tarby, who was born on July 12, 1926 in Everett, played during his high school years, He played on many fine Everett football teams in the early forties before going off to World War II.

In September 1950 Tarby got married to his late wife Barbara and settled down in Everett to raise a family. In 1956 Tarby, Barbara and family moved to Woburn and soon after his three children (Joe III, Gail and Richard) became active in sports, Soon thereafter, Joe Tarby’s legacy in Woburn sports began.

Coach Tarby has been coaching for the past 45 years at the Midget level in the Woburn Pop Warner Football Program. During his tenure as a football coach, the Woburn Trojan Midgets have been crowned Middlesex League Champions 15 times. The Trojan “A” Team has been perennial play-off contender and under his guidance, the Woburn Pop Warner program has been a dominant force in the EMASS Football Conference and continues to be the role model for many programs in the state.

Coach Tarby also has been a very active member of the Woburn program since joining the program along with his late wife Barbara, in 1962. Mr. Tarby has helped guide the program to great heights acting as President since 1973 and has helped the Woburn program become one of the most respected programs in the state. “His hard work and dedication has touched the life’s of thousands of the young men and women in the Woburn and Winchester Community and has continually helped supply the Woburn High School Football Program through the years with the many fine athletes that have graced our High School football field” noted Ciulla.

Tarby also has been a board member of the EMASS Football Conference for the past 25 years and had been the Middlesex League president along with being a former EMass Football Conference President for 10 years. In the 70’s, Coach Tarby was on staff and served as a football coach and instructor at Annand Colombo’s, Camp Monomoy in East Brewster on Cape Cod..

Football was not Tarby’s only ambition early on. Coach Tarby was also one of the founding fathers of Woburn Youth Hockey along with being a longtime Bantam Coach before retiring from the program in 1971. Tarby also played hockey for many years in the semi-pro Mayflower League before staying with his calling in Woburn Football. The Mayflower League, he son Joe reminisced, was based at the Boston Skating Club just off the Charles River, and included many Woburn-area skaters like Johnny Day and Joe Brown Sr., as well as the well-known Cleary brothers, who later coached at Harvard, UMass. Lowell and the U.S. Military Academy.

During the 60’s to the early 70’s, Coach Tarby was also a very active member of the Woburn Little League program and was a very successful manager with the Major League White Sox for many years.

“Tarby has been a resident of Woburn for the past 50 years and continues to be an important part in helping to give hundreds of youth of our city a goal in their life each year,” said Ciulla.

Woburn Pop Warner Trojans from 1980

Front Row, left: Coach Tarby
Front Row, right (#11): Executive Director Michael Meaney