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Roy Thomas Rapp

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Roy Thomas Rapp Obituary
Roy Thomas Rapp, M.D., of 2704 Carnoustie Lane, Quincy, died at home at 11:23 p.m. on Sunday (May 30, 2010). He was 92. Living by his motto "Never Surrender," he managed to overcome often-daunting obstacles to become a highly successful general surgeon and family physician. He received the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians' Distinguished Service Award in 2004. Roy was born on Aug. 8, 1917, in the back room of a small bakery near the corner of Fifth and York Streets, Quincy. He was the only son of Roy Rapp, a talented drummer, and Marie Dwyer Rapp, a spirited Irish girl. Growing up in a loving extended family, Roy would sometimes recall what it was like to be really hungry and grow up with very little. Nevertheless, his family -- themselves often lacking many worldly goods or other advantages that might have made life easier - went to great lengths to help him succeed. Roy graduated from St. Rose Grade School and Quincy College Academy and attended Quincy College. With the encouragement of his science teacher, the Rev. Cornelius Henninger, OFM, Roy began medical school. Previously he had worked at Blessing Hospital's laboratory. A natural born doctor, he often said that once he was admitted to medical school, he never worked a day in his life - that "every minute has been a privilege and a pleasure." As a lifelong musician, during these years Roy helped earn his way by playing the trumpet and drums with various dance bands in Quincy and Chicago, including those of Red Green, Joe Bonansinga, and Carl Landrum. On Sept. 22, 1943, Roy and Lucille Middendorf were married at St. Jarlath Catholic Church in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1944; completed an internship at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, in 1945; and completed a residency at the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospital, Chicago, in 1946. He later completed a surgery residency at St. Francis Hospital, Peoria. During World War II, Roy served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He was a first lieutenant. In 1946, Roy began medical practice as a doctor for Eastern Coal Company in Williamson, W. Va., and Stone, Ky. In 1954, the fast-growing family returned to Quincy. Roy established The Rapp Clinic at 921 N. 24th Street. He continued to operate the clinic until retiring in July 2009, completing more than 50 years of practice in the community. Roy was on the staff of Blessing Hospital, and also the former St. Mary Hospital, where he served as president of the medical staff and chairman of the department of surgery. He was board-certified by the American Board of Abdominal Surgery and by the American Board of Family Medicine. He was a member of the Adams County Medical Society, Illinois State Medical Society, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Abdominal Surgery, International College of Surgeons and American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. He also was a life member of the American Federation of Musicians. He was an avid writer and wrote numerous articles and other items, many for medical journals. Roy and his sons, James, Michael and Robert co-authored "Illinois Medical Malpractice: A Guide for the Health Sciences" in 1987. He had many other interests as well, including music, photography, tree farming, gardening, and architecture. He had a great love of books, enjoyed exploring new ideas, and welcomed a good discussion on almost any topic. But his greatest interest was medicine. Survivors include a close friend of 50 years, business manager, and caretaker, Margie Deters Thompson; six children, Michael and his wife, Carolyn, of McLean, Va., John of Honolulu, James and his wife, Martha, of Quincy, Mary Rapp MacBain of Shawnee, Kan., Robert of Hannibal, Mo., and Stephen and his wife, Lisa, of Fall Creek Township. also, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, David, his wife, Kelly, and their son, Nicholas, of Richmond, Va.; Matthew, his wife Anna, and their daughter, Ava, of Burlington, Vt..; Julia of Memphis, Tenn; Geoffrey, his wife, Phoebe, and their daughter, Djeserit, of Toledo; Melissa of Los Angeles; Rebecca St. John, her husband, Kevin, and their children, Benjamin and Elizabeth of Madison, Wis.; Elizabeth Dionne and her husband, Kevin, of St. Peters, Mo., Amy Ruschau and her husband, Benjamin, of Morton; Timothy Roy MacBain of New York City; Michelle MacBain of Shawnee, Kan.; John of St. Louis; James of Seattle, Wash. and Adam of Fall Creek Township. Also, a special goddaughter Annette Middendorf Niekamp of Quincy; surviving sisters-in-law, Betty Dickson of Quincy, Carlene Schmidle of Addison, and Arlene Schwartz of Bloomingdale, and their families; numerous nieces and nephews; and long-time staff and business associates, Harvey Lancaster, Faye Knuffman, Kay Kalberer, and Judy Sparrow. Roy was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille, in 2006; his father, who died when Roy was 12; his mother, Marie Dwyer Rapp Wells, and his stepfather, Wayne Wells, who Roy considered his father. SERVICES: 10 a.m. Thursday in Duker and Haugh Funeral Home and Mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Francis Catholic Church, with the Rev. Roy Bauer celebrating the funeral Mass. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. VISITATION: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday in the Duker and Haugh Funeral Home. MEMORIALS: St. Francis Church, St. Peter Church, or Quincy University. ARRANGEMENTS: Duker and Haugh Funeral Home. WEBSITE: www.dukerandhaugh.com. Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com.

Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from June 1 to June 3, 2010
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