Joseph W. Rapp

Joseph W. Rapp

WESTERLO — Joseph W. Rapp, a loving and dedicated family man who liked to laugh, died on April 21, 2014, surrounded by his wife and family, after a courageous battle with lung disease. He was 82.

Mr. Rapp was born in South Berne on Aug. 4, 1931, the son of the late William Rapp and Anna Mayrhofer Rapp.

He graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, and proudly served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955, during the Korean conflict.

“He was very proud of his time in the Navy,” said his granddaughter, Tanya Hannan. “He would go to naval reunions and kept in touch with the people he served with for many years.”

Mr. Rapp worked for National Grid, which was called Niagara Mohawk when he started, for 36 years before retiring.

He loved spending time with his family and watching the grandchildren grow up, wrote his family in a tribute.

“Those who knew Joe could see how much he enjoyed many laughs and good times over the years,” they wrote.

Mrs. Hannan said her grandfather was the life of the party.

“He loved to joke and always wanted to make everyone happy,” she said. “He had always had a positive outlook on life.”

His biggest hobby, especially after his retirement, was traveling with his wife, Alida.

Mrs. Hannan said the couple made trips to France, Germany, and the Caribbean; went on several “windjammer cruises,” sailing on the ocean with big groups of people; and drove around the country, camping in their recreational vehicle.

They also spent their winters in Florida, where Mr. Rapp enjoyed playing tennis and golf.

Mrs. Hannan said her grandfather was the family handyman, remodeling a cabin on Lake Onderdonk, and helping her parents and her brother build their houses.

“He was always happy to help anyone who needed it,” she said.


Mr. Rapp is survived by his wife, Alida (Carl) Rapp; his siblings, Ed Rapp, and Helen Rafferty, and her husband, Ray; his children, William Rapp, and his wife, Diane, Steve Rapp, and his wife, Pam, and Theresa White, and her husband, Ken; his stepchildren, Richard Carl, and his wife, Deb, Barbara Trossbach, and her husband, Dave, and Dennis Carl, and his wife, Wendy; his grandchildren, Ryan Rapp, Rochelle Rapp, Tanya Hannan, and her husband, Sean, Brandon Trossbach, and his wife, Wendy, Andrew Trossbach, Jarrett Carl and Melissa, Gabrielle Carl and Russell, Casey Carl, and Ron Welsh; his great-grandchildren, Hailey Alida Hannan, Levi James Carl, and Caiden James Underwood; and many nieces and nephews.

His brothers, Herman and Arthur Rapp, died before him, as did his sisters, Dottie Roeder, Agnes Sisson, and Josephine Natnacewicz.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 26, at 11 a.m., at the South Berne Congregational Church, 101 Church Road, South Berne. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be made at

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

— Anne Hayden Harwood

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