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George Laverne Rapp died peacefully at Cannon Rivers Senior Living on Sunday, November 15, 2020, at the age of 102 years.
He was born at home in Cannon Falls Township on May 11, 1918. He was the 7th out of 12 children born to Axel and Olga (Nordquist) Rapp. He attended country school where he had many adventures with his siblings and friends. He had a gleam in his eye, a boyish grin, and he was always game to join in on a joke or prank.
After finishing school, he began working for farmers in the area. He was 24 when he joined the army in 1942. His basic training was at Fort Lawton, Washington. After basic training he stationed in Juneau, Alaska as a baker for a year. He was then stationed in Excursion Inlet, Alaska, where he was a truck driver, a ship cargo unloader, and an M.P. (Military Police) until the end of the war. His best story is when he met Ingrid Bergman at a USO show in Alaska, she was drawn to his Nordic twang and could tell he was from Minnesota.
On December 26, 1948, George and Clarise had their first date. Clarise was urged to drive, even though she had never driven before. She attempted to pass a vehicle and ended up off the road near a trestle on Old Highway 52. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the date must have been a success because George and Clarise were married 2 years later on June 24, 1950.
When first married, they lived in rural Cannon Falls, and George worked at building silos at that time. In 1960 they moved to town and bought their house on the east side of Cannon Falls.
George then went to work at Minnesota Malting, where he was employed for 23 years. After retirement from the Malt House, he worked at the Cannon Falls Beacon on “Shopper” duty for another 30 years. He again retired at the age of 95. The elderly gentlemen who worked on the Shopper were affectionately called “The Boys in the Basement”.
In 2001, George received the honor of being asked to be the Grand Marshall of the 4th of July Parade in Cannon Falls. His family thought it was great, but it was not easy to feel deserving for a humble guy like George. He did enjoy the parade and the recognition he received for working at the Cannon Valley Fairgrounds.
George lost the love of his life on September 2, 2018. He sold his house on the east side in June of 2019 and moved into Cannon Rivers Senior Living. He liked living there and always commented on the great care he received. He enjoyed the food because it lacked onions.
George credits his long and healthy life to crossword puzzles, his daily snorts of whiskey-water, Minnesota Twins baseball, the weekly card playing with his brothers and friends, and all the wonderful meals that Clarise made for him through the years.
George was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Clarise; great-grandson, Samuel Krogseng; his parents, Axel and Olga Rapp; brothers, Henry, Conrad, Arnold, Raymond, Marvin, Virgil, and LeRoy; sisters, Clara (Raymond Samuelson), Rosella (Virgil Holm), Doris (Eldridge Banks), and Lucille (Milton Callstrom); brothers-in-law, Darrell, Ronald, Donald, Merlin, and Lloyd Larson; sisters-in-law, Carol (Paul Fox) and Darlene Hines; and his mother and father-in-law, Florence and Thomas Larson. He is survived by six children, Sandra (James Jesse), David (Bonnie) Rapp, Sheri (Greg Johnson), Julie (Mike Regenscheid), Dan Rapp and Mike (Bonnie) Rapp; 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 3+ great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Doris (Virgil) Rapp, Katherine Miller, Jean Larson, and Sharon Johnson; brothers-in-law, Gordon Larson and Richard Larson; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
A private family graveside service with military honors will be held at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Cemetery, Cannon Falls. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Memorials are preferred to VFW Nelson Scofield Post #4452 and Brighton Hospice.
If you would like to send a card for the family, please mail to: The Family of George Rapp, c/o Lundberg Funeral Home, 5839 Hwy 19 Blvd, Cannon Falls MN 55009.