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Eric Tappenden

2019 Markham Honouree

Eric Tappenden is the owner of Chapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Centre in Markham, which he founded in 1999. Chapel Ridge, well known for their integrity and caring service, is now the largest funeral home in the GTA. They’ve received numerous awards for quality of service and business excellence.

Eric is recognized throughout York Region for his generosity and service. He is a past Board Chair of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Markhaven Foundation, Markham Theatre Board, Markham Prayer Breakfast, Markham Board of Trade, and past Vice Chair of Bereaved Families of Ontario – York Region.

As a long-time Rotarian, Eric was awarded their Paul Harris Fellow Award for community service. He received the Anthony Roman Award as Businessman of the Year in 2005 from the Markham Board of Trade, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award (2002), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award (2012), and the YMCA Peace Medallion in 2010.

Raised on the biblical notion that it is always better to be a giver, Eric’s life is a testament to this. It is simple. If one is lonely, you will find you are less lonely if you take the initiative to help others. Another beautiful thing happens too—relationships develop, and in giving you get so much in return in purpose, friendship, and support.

One of the principles he’s always expressed to fellow volunteers and board members is that their collective pledge should be “not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.” This means that not everyone has the same capacity to give, yet if we all give 100% of what we can, the cause we are working for will achieve its goals.

Eric is currently Co-Chair of York Regional Police Appreciation Committee, which raises over $150,000 a year to provide the YRP with funds for education, equipment, and youth programs not covered by the publicly-funded budget. He is also a member of the Board of Governors for Markham Stouffville Hospital and the York Region Character Community Council.

Eric is a regular speaker to seniors and church groups, and he and his family are long-time members and leaders at Springvale Church in Stouffville. Eric and Susanne have been married for forty-one years and have three grown children and two grandchildren. They are especially moved to continue supporting organizations that minister to the whole person, serving one’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs.

We often think of York Region as an affluent group of communities, but there are lots of families who are in dire straits because of illness, loss of a job, or other personal difficulty. He thoughtfully asks, “How can we make a difference by being the light for others in an increasingly unkind and dark world?”


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