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John Joseph Gappa 1927-2013

July 11, 2013
Emmetsburg News

A Mass of Christian Burial for John Joseph "Jack" Gappa of Emmetsburg will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg. The Rev. Clem Currans is the celebrant.

Interment is in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Emmetsburg. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg is in charge of arrangements.

John Joseph Gappa was born July 6, 1927 in Dubuque, and was adopted as a baby, by John Joseph Gappa Sr., and Sarah (Miller). He farmed, and lived in the same location his entire life, where his parents farmed, as early as 1920.

He attended St. Ellen's Catholic Grade School and graduated from Emmetsburg High School.He played the saxophone and clarinet for many years, in the Bob Sackett Band, Dick Dahmstrom Band, as well as Little Cecilia and the Giants Band. He played on the maiden voyage of the Empress on Lake Okoboji. Music was always his hobby, favoring cool jazz.

Surviving are his wife, Marilyn Gappa, and his son, Ward (Pam) Gappa of Arizona, and his grandson, Chad (Lisa) Gappa of Arizona, and great-granddaughter Gail Gappa. Children of Marilyn Gappa are Christopher (Andrea) Conlon and their son from Florida, Donna (Mike) Slevin and their three children from Virginia.

Jack Gappa died Saturday, July 6, 2013, at home, at the age of 86. Jack was preceded in death, by his parents, John Joseph Gappa and Sarah (Miller) Gappa. Jack's paternal grandparents, buried near Whittemore, Mathias Gappa and Catherine (Brass) Gappa had 13 children. Jack's maternal grandparents, Mathias and Roelfke Miller had several children. They are buried in Emmetsburg.

Memorials will go to the Emmetsburg Catholic School, or to the charity of your choice.

Condolences can be left at



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