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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John W. Tapper, Dies

Fr. Tapper was Pastor Emeritus of St. Ansgar Parish in Hanover Park, Ill.

Chicago, IL (June 4, 2018) – Rev. John W. Tapper, pastor emeritus of St. Ansgar Parish in Hanover Park, Ill., passed away on May 20, 2018. He was 82 years old.

Fr. Tapper was born on March 9, 1936 in Chicago. He attended St. Genevieve School in Chicago, and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. He earned a bachelor of Sacred Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., in 1959.

Fr. Tapper was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1961, by Albert Cardinal Meyer, Archbishop of Chicago, and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Priscilla in Chicago on May 7 of the same year.

After ordination to priesthood, Fr. Tapper served the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes from 1961 through 1980: Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, Ill., Santa Maria del Popolo Parish in Mundelein, Ill., and St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Zurich, Ill.

Subsequently, Fr. Tapper served as associate pastor at St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish in Prospect Heights, Ill., St. Ansgar Parish in Hanover Park, Ill., and St. Cecilia Parish in Mt. Prospect, Ill. In 2006, he was bestowed the title of pastor emeritus. 

Rev. Thomas Dore, pastor emeritus of St. Giles parish in Oak Park, Ill., remembers his classmate as a great priest with a love for photography and an active role even in retirement.

“I admired him very much,” said Rev. William Kenneally, pastor emeritus of St. Gertrude parish on Glenwood Avenue in Chicago and one of Fr. Tapper’s 12 classmates. According to Fr. Kenneally, Fr. Tapper (or “Doc,” as his classmates would also call him) was a shy, bright and devoted priest. 

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 9 a.m. at Divine Savior Catholic Church at 6700 Main Street in Downers Grove, Ill. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will be the main celebrant.