John Francis Klapp was born on August 21, 1945, in Hannibal, Missouri to Francis J. and Anna May (Huling) Klapp. He was raised in LaGrange, Illinois where he attended St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. In 1963, he graduated from St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois as a National Merit Scholar. John received his bachelor's degree in biology from Loyola University, Evanston, Illinois in 1969. In 1970 John was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam as a Staff Sergeant and artilleryman. After his service, he studied chemistry at the University of North Dakota where he met his bride and lifelong best friend, DeeAnn (Smith). He owned and operated an auto mechanic shop in Saint Thomas, North Dakota. John worked as a parochial school teacher and mechanic supporting his young family as DeeAnn attended seminary in the Chicago area.
When his family moved to Iowa in 1985 to embark on ministry, John continued to teach science and volunteered in various community organizations. He also had a passion for collecting antique automobiles, enjoying long family road trips, and working on his cars with his children. After decades as an educator, John returned to college to pursue a second career as an electrician and happily retired from the United States Post Office in 2012.
Although John was an avid enthusiast of classic cars and devouring books, his true calling was loving others and helping those in need. He was a devout Catholic and an ordained member of the Franciscan Order. John was active in supporting those recovering from addiction when he lived in Iowa and also on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota.
John went to his eternal reward on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the age of 71 years, eight months and 26 days.
John's precious wife, Reverend Doctor DeeAnn, and parents preceded him in passing. He is survived by his sister, Charlotte Peterson and brother, Joseph Klapp. He will be remembered by his four children, Christopher Klapp, Rev. Anna Thoreson (Rev. Robert), Charlotte Czerny (Dillon), and Drew Klapp. John's legacy also includes five grandchildren; Michael, Alexander, Nathaniel, Elijah, and Sarah, along with cousins and friends who will miss him dearly.