Henry Lawrence "Larry" Tafe III

October 23, 1936 ~ March 29, 2020 (age 83)
Obituary Image


  Tafe, Henry Lawrence Tafe III (“Larry”), age 83, died peacefully on March 29 after a brief illness.  Larry was a longtime resident of Harwich and Newton Centre, Massachusetts.  Born on October 23, 1936 to Harry and Anna Tafe, Larry grew up in Dorchester and attended Boston Latin School.  Larry once described this experience as the defining opportunity of his life.  Following Latin School, Larry attended Harvard College where he was an active member of the Harvard Glee Club.  Traveling with them to Europe was one of his fondest memories.  Following college, Larry pursued a career in law.  He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1961.  While in law school, Larry married his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Ursula (Looney) Tafe.  Over the coming years, Larry and Ursula were blessed with nine children whom they raised in West Roxbury and Newton Centre, Massachusetts. Larry enjoyed a 45-year career practicing corporate law in Boston, first in the 100 year law firm Herrick and Smith, where he was managing partner. In 1984, he joined the Boston office of Day, Berry & Howard (now Day Pitney) serving on the firm’s Executive Committee. During his career, Larry became an active member of the American Bar Association, traveling throughout the U.S. as a lecturer for the Committee for Negotiated Acquisitions and as Co-Chair of the Asset Acquisition Agreement Task Force.  Never at a loss for words, Larry took full advantage of his time on stage.  Additionally, Larry served as Trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and as Executive Committee member for the Boston Lawyers Group. Larry thoroughly enjoyed the practice of law and, in particular, working alongside his partners and colleagues over the years.  He was a founding member of the Boston Landmarks Commission, served on the Board of the New England Council and the Executive Committee of New England Sports Network (NESN). He was a member of the Harvard Club of Boston and Cape Cod.

     However, it was Larry’s role as “Dad” which truly defined his life.  When not working, Larry attended all of his children’s activities.  He particularly loved walking to the Newton Center ballfield on a summer evening to watch one of his sons pitching or catching a good game.  He spent every minute he could attending their musical performances, baseball, football and hockey games, and traveling to their many colleges.  As life moved forward, Larry thrived on their accomplishments and was always an enthusiastic supporter of their goals and dreams.  The joyful noise of the busy Tafe family home was his greatest pride.

    Larry had a lifelong passion for opera, a gift from his father which Larry passed on to his own children.  The Tafe house was usually filled with the music of the Metropolitan Opera, which Larry unapologetically “shared” with the neighbors.   Larry’s extensive collection of operatic performances was his treasure.  Throughout his life, Larry shared his beautiful Irish tenor voice at many family weddings and special occasions, as the Leader of Song at Sacred Heart Parish in Newton Centre, and as a choir member at Holy Trinity Parish in Harwich where he had also been an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In his later years, Larry reveled in the role of “Grandad”.  He was proud of each of his eleven grandchildren and loved the special moments he shared with each of them.  He followed their journeys and celebrated each of their accomplishments.  Time spent at the Cape with “my guys” brought Larry his greatest joys.  He loved family gatherings with them.  He and Ursula hosted many celebrations, big and small, with family and friends.  Their clambakes were family favorites.  Larry was never happier than when their house was filled with laughter and song, and the excuse to take just one more picture.  An eternal optimist, Larry was a true believer each Spring that “this was the year” for his Red Sox, that Democrats would win the good fight, and that everything would work out in the end. In addition to his wife Ursula, Larry leaves behind his nine children, Anne M. Graw and her husband George of Andover, Elizabeth M. Tafe of Belmont, Ursula C. Tafe of Norwood, H. Lawrence Tafe IV of Cleveland Heights, OH, Edward J. Tafe and his wife Monica Canilang of Mountain View, CA, Sarah Tafe Johnson of Woonsocket, RI, Emily P. Tafe of Providence, RI, John W. Tafe and his wife Nicola of Glasgow, Scotland, and Daniel P. Tafe and his wife Meghan of Long Valley, NJ.  In addition, he leaves his loving grandchildren Samantha, Kimberly and Timothy Johnson, Henry Lawrence V, Owen, Emma, Ayanna, Holly, and Tory Tafe, and Molly and Maggie Graw. Larry also leaves his brothers David M. Tafe and his wife Christine of White Plains, NY and Paul D. Tafe and his wife Joan of Braintree. He is predeceased by his sister Barbara Tafe Grady.  He also leaves behind his cousin Geraldine M. Kennedy of Mansfield, brother-in-law James T. Grady of Rochester, and his brother and sister-in-law Frederick and Anne Paulsen of Belmont, as well as many loving nieces and nephews. Donations may be made in Larry’s memory to the Boston Latin School Association, 27 School Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02108.  Burial will be private due to current restrictions. Family and friends will be invited to a celebration of Larry’s life when these restrictions are lifted.  Arrangements by Robert J. Lawler & Crosby Funeral.



A service summary is not available
© 2022 Robert J. Lawler & Crosby Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility