William Tapply, former Worcester Magazine columnist, passed away last week at the age of 69. As a writer, Tapply was prolific and poignant, in his dozens of novels as well as in his thousands of non-fiction works and magazine articles. As a person, Tapply was a gentleman and an inspiration for younger writers through his professorship at Clark University.
Tapply was a true outdoorsman, and nature loomed large in his mystery novels, as well as in his frequent outdoors columns for Worcester Magazine in the mid-1990s. Tapply also followed in his father’s footsteps as a Field and Stream contributing editor. He was also an adamant defender of hunters’ rights, and thus a frequent lightning rod for Worcester Magazine letter writers in the early 1990s. But most of all, Tapply was a teacher, a writer whose “The Elements of Mystery Fiction: Writing a Modern Whodundit,” became a writing class standard, and a man who dedicated his life to passing on what he knew.