A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today for former mayor Ben Tarver, who died Jan. 4 at the age of 63.
The event will feature a mixed color guard from the Pleasanton Police Department and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department.
Benjamin Cook Tarver III was a Bay Area native and graduated from Clayton Valley High School and San Francisco State University. He began his lifelong career in information technology at the Naval Weapons Station in Concord and retired in 2001 from the city of Concord as the director of information technology.
He lived a very active life, playing tennis, golf and rugby as well as scuba diving, water skiing and snow skiing. He made lifelong friends playing soccer in Pleasanton's adult soccer league for 20 years. He also coached youth soccer for many years and organized adult soccer tournaments, drawing teams from all over the state and filling the Pleasanton Sports Park.
Mr. Tarver and his wife Margo moved to Pleasanton in 1974 where they raised their three children. He became active in local politics in 1982 after becoming concerned about the burgeoning growth in Pleasanton. He was a planning commissioner, then was elected to the City Council in 1988, where he served for four years before being elected as Pleasanton's mayor four times from 1992-2000.
He had an infinite love for Pleasanton. During his years as an elected official, his primary focus was to reign in Pleasanton's fast paced growth and preserve open space. He advocated planned progress, taking the current infrastructure into account and forcing developers to pay their own way rather than the taxpayer.
In addition, he spearheaded and helped to successfully pass measures that put a cap on residential development, protected the ridgelands against residential development and actively supported the development of an adjoining city and East Bay Regional Park.
He was also an advocate for youth, supporting the development of parks and expanded joint uses for school district and city facilities. He was a champion of "visible government," believing that all voices and viewpoints should be represented. For that reason, he appointed people with opposing viewpoints to boards and commissions.
While serving the city, Mr. Tarver was on the following regional boards, commissions and agencies: Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, president of Alameda County Mayor's Conference, chair of Alameda County Local Area Formation Commission, Tri-Valley Wastewater Authority and the Livermore-Amador Valley Waste Management Agency. He was an active member of the League of California Cities, serving as its chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee and a member of the league's Telecommunications Task Force.
During his years as a resident of Pleasanton, he was a longtime member of the Tulancingo Sister City Association, Pleasanton Blairgowrie Fergus Sister City Organization and the Pleasanton Lions Club. He was named honorary chiefton of the Caladonian Club during the Scottish Games in Pleasanton.
After his retirement from the city of Concord, he divorced his wife Margo, moved to Colorado and married Jeanie. They later moved to Penn Valley, Calif., where he died.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanie; parents, Ben and June Tarver; daughters, Tiffany (Dan) Nakken of Pleasanton and Melanie (Richard) Koontz DeMarchi, of Roseville, Calif.; son, Ben (Angie) Tarver IV of Livermore; grandchildren, Brayden, Isabella, Christian, Jaxon, and DeMarchi; first wife, Margo Tarver; brothers, Ben Hall Tarver of Olympia, Wash., Brooks Tarver of Santa Rosa; and Joe Pfeifer of Jeffersonton, Va., and an aunt, Dorothy Droast Coultrap of Vallejo. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Kent Koontz.
Donations may be made to the National Stroke Association or Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
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