WALPER, John Lee|
John Lee Walper, an extraordinary human being, passed away November 26th in Medford, Oregon, from complications of bladder cancer. He was the oldest of three children born to Harold J. and Jane Walper on December 8, 1935. He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Sandy Simer Walper, daughter Robin of Gunnison, Colorado, and son David and wife Debbie, of Medford. His sister BJ Penansky from Land O'Lakes, Florida survives him, and he is no doubt having a joyous reunion with his sister Patti Allerding, and his mom and dad. He also leaves behind four grandchildren: Katie Walper who's in the Coast Guard, Cody Walper from Gunnison, CO., Alixandra Walper, from Portland, OR., and Mikaylah Walper, from St. Louis, MO.
John had an inerrant moral compass and an uncomplicated, no-holds-barred sense of justice for all. He was a gentle, thoughtful, conscientious human being. He was a loving father and best friend and loyal and generous companion to his wife, Sandy. He was beautiful, inside and outside.
John graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration, and worked with non-profit associations his whole career. Starting out as controller at Adrian College in Michigan, he moved on to the Michigan Education Association, and was ultimately promoted to Associate Director for Business Services. The Walpers moved to Denver as John was hired as Executive Director of the Colorado Education Association. In later years he was the Executive Director of the Arizona education Association and later, business manager at Texas State Teacher's Association. John and Sandy lived 23 years in or near Austin, Texas. After he supposedly retired, he worked part time preparing taxes at Jackson Hewitt. During that time, and thanks to his boss, Pat Howard, he also earned an enrolled agent status by studying four hours a day for a month and passed all four sections of the exam on the first round. Before moving to Medford in early September, he was also volunteered with AARP, helping seniors with their tax returns.
He and Sandy loved to travel. An early "grand" tour of Europe only inspired them to visit more countries and areas like China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Cruises were another one of the highlights of their lives together.
John has indeed moved on, and he did it with grace, serenity and very little pain. The Walper family had a joyous, often laugh-filled early Thanksgiving dinner and as he transitioned, there were three family members whispering in his ears about unconditional love and lightness of being; seeing loved ones and past puppies; and knowing nothing but the joy of freedom from eartly restraints. We were so very blessed and grateful to have him in our lives.
Born into the wisdom, scarred by bliss
Amongst angels and demons
Grew closer and within the space allotted
Taught lessons and losses
Winked and chortled
Said life is the answer to the question
Death wants to ask
Puts his finger in his hot coffee to feel God
Smiles-yes, still there in his front pocket
Sleep, my prince,
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, 2013