Arthur Tappen Soper, 89, of New Canaan, died Wednesday, Nov. 15 at his home.
Born in Manhattan to Leslie Bliss Soper and Talia Fairchild Soper, he resided in Bronxville, N.Y., Kusnacht, Switzerland, and Lyme, Conn., before moving to New Canaan in 2018.
Tappen attended Trinity School in Manhattan, was a member of Lawrenceville School’s class of 1952, and Princeton University’s class of 1956, where he was in the Air Force ROTC and a member of Cottage Club.
After Princeton he was stationed in Bainbridge, Ga. and was part of the one of the first class of pilots to have their primary training on the T-37 jets. It was in Bainbridge where he met the love of his life, Susan Brown. After finishing up his Airforce commitment as an air traffic controller in Greenland, Susan and Tappen were married in September of 1960 and moved to Bronxville.
He spent his entire career with The Bankers Trust Company. In 1979 the bank sent him to Switzerland where he spent the next 13 years as Managing Director and General Manager of Bankers Trust AG, the bank’s Zurich, and Geneva’s offices. His tenure in Switzerland afforded Susan and Tappen an opportunity to travel all over the world and make great friends with his international clients.
Demonstrating a lifelong belief in helping others, Tappen served as chairman of the Board of Governors for Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, N.Y., chairman of the Board for Andrus Home in Yonkers, N.Y., and while in Lyme he worked alongside his neighbors for the Pleasant Valley Association and Lyme Public Library.
Retiring from Bankers Trust AG in 1992, Tappen became a private investor and pursued his lifelong passion for flying. He purchased his beloved Mooney, a single-engine aircraft, in 1994 and eventually flew to 49 of 50 U.S. states. While his Mooney could not hold enough fuel to get him to Hawaii, he did pilot a small plane over the island of Maui while on vacation one year and was proud to say that he took off and landed in all 50 states. In June 1996 Tappen flew his plane across the country in one day, taking off near Southport, N.C. at dawn and landing in San Diego at sunset.
Tappen was devoted to his family and instilled the importance of hard work, honesty and love of country. His earliest memory was hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the radio from his family’s apartment on 88th Street in Manhattan. A gentleman to the end, he was loved and respected by all who met him.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Susan, daughter Laura (Scott) Budd of Norwalk, and son Benjamin (Marilyn) of Southington, as well as grandchildren Hunter, Davis and Caroline Budd.
Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the National World War II Museum.