News, sports and entertainment for Richland Parish, La.

Mary Patricia Littlefield Tharpe

CROWVILLE – Mary Patricia Littlefield Tharpe, 81, of Crowville, died early Tuesday after a lengthy illness.
Services will be Friday, July 7, 2017, at 11 a.m. in the Mulhearn Funeral Home chapel in Winnsboro. Burial will follow at the Crowville Masonic Cemetery under the direction Mulhearn Funeral Home in Winnsboro. Bro. Wayne Ray and Bro. Bobby Burgess will officiate.
Visitation will be from 5–8 p.m. on Thursday at Mulhearn Funeral Home in Winnsboro.
The retired elementary school teacher was an accomplished pianist who encouraged others to strive for and achieve the potential that God intended for them. She often made CDs of her music and gave them to family and friends.
Mrs. Tharpe was born Dec. 20, 1935 in Kilbourne, Louisiana to the late James Philip and Inez Scott Littlefield. She graduated from Kilbourne High School in 1954 and continued her education at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in August 1957.
Her teaching career included stops in Lake Providence, Fiske Union Elementary near Oak Grove, La., Winnsboro Elementary and second grade at Crowville High School. In the early 1980s, she opted to further her career, earning a Master’s Degree from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, La., in 1985. She retired from teaching in May 1988.
While teaching in Lake Providence in early 1958, she met her future husband, Dwain Tharpe of Epps, when she was filling in for a friend, taking up money at the door of a high school basketball game he was officiating. They had a whirlwind courtship and were married July 6, 1958 at the Kilbourne United Methodist Church.
She has been very active in church service, utilizing her God-given musical talent to play the piano for more than 70 years, first at the Kilbourne United Methodist Church and surrounding local churches and then at the Oak Grove United Methodist Church and finally at the Crowville United Methodist Church.
Her husband was named principal of Crowville High School in 1963, a position he held until retirement in 1988. Once her family moved to Crowville, Mrs. Tharpe became the church pianist and musical director, a position she maintained for more than 50 years. She also played for many school-related programs and graduations. She passed along the love of music to all of her children and grandchildren, in addition to the many students that passed through her classrooms.
Her mother, Inez Littlefield, also a church pianist, always reminded her to be true to the calling that God had placed on her life. As with her mother and grandmother before her, she considered her musical talent to be a gift from God.
She is a member of the Louisiana Teachers Association and the Kappa Kappa Iota teachers’ society. She also is a member of the Winnsboro, La. branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution, via her direct descendant William Littlefield II.
Mrs. Tharpe was preceded in death by her husband, Dwain in 2016 and parents, James Philip and Inez Scott Littlefield, both in 2006.
Survivors include her three children: sons Steven Dwain Tharpe and wife Connie of San Antonio, Texas; the Rev. Michael Scott Tharpe and wife Michelle of Kansas City, Missouri; and daughter Cherie Patricia Tharpe Anyan and husband Mark of West Monroe, Louisiana;
Three grandchildren: Kirstie Layne Anyan of West Monroe, Abby Claire Anyan of Monroe, Louisiana; and Michaela Shayne Tharpe of Kansas City, Missouri; Brother Dr. Robert Philip “Bud” Littlefield and wife Janie of Dallas, Texas; sister Terry Jane Littlefield Conrad and husband Marvin of Bastrop, Texas; and sister-in-law Sybil Tharpe Shivers of Monroe, Louisiana; plus numerous loving nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Clayton Collier, Daryl Carson, Tommy Lupo, Scott Parker, Kyle Robbins, Matthew Schriver, James Shirley and Rev. Randy Stephens.
Honorary pallbearers are Kevin Oswell, Nolan Comeaux, Don McDuffie, Roy McDuffie and the men of the Crowville United Methodist Church.
The family would especially like to thank Drs. Mike Sampognaro, Greg Sampognaro, James Smith and St. Francis Medical Center second floor ICU nurses and staff ? especially Taylor, Morgan and Jane ? for their loving care of Mrs. Tharpe.
Donations may be made to the Dwain and Pat Tharpe memorial scholarship fund c/o the Crowville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 30, Crowville, La. 71230.
Online registry/condolences may be made at

The Richland Beacon-News

603 Louisa Street
Rayville, LA 71269
Phone: (318) 728-6467
Fax: (318) 728-5991