John R., age 92, of Scottsdale, AZ, formerly of Oradell, NJ passed away February 28, 2014, following a brief illness. John grew up in Owatonna, MN, the son of Anthony and Margaret Claesgens. He attended the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul before enlisting in the US Navy
where he served as a WWII
pilot in the Pacific. In June of 1944, John and Dorthea Popelka were married and together they raised five children. John was a career pilot for the Olin Corporation and upon his retirement in 1981, they moved to Scottsdale. John leaves three sons, Michael (Jane) Claesgens of Park Ridge, New Jersey; Thomas (Dona) Claesgens of Fort Lee, New Jersey; Robert Claesgens of Phoenix, AZ; and one daughter, Susan Lewis of Bethlehem, CT. Survivors include his granddaughter Christine (Daniel) DeTitta, grandsons Kevin Claesgens and Charles Watt and great grandson Jameson DeTitta. He leaves a sister Dorthy Anne Claesgens of Owatonna. He was predeceased by Dorthea (2005), his wife of 62 years and his eldest son Charles (2010). John and Dorthea were members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Oradell and then St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Scottsdale. John left this earth with grace and dignity after living a long and joyful life. A memorial service was held in Scottsdale. Burial was private.