John Mathew Haupt, age 93, of Le Sueur, formerly of Winsted, passed away Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Minneapolis.
A Memorial Mass and celebration of John’s life is planned for Saturday, June 18 at 11 a.m. at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in Le Sueur. There will be visitation at the church prior to the Mass, beginning at 9 a.m. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Le Sueur, with military honors.
Memorials preferred to Le Sueur Rotary Club or Le Sueur Hospice Program.
Arrangements are with Kolden Funeral Services, Le Sueur.
John was born Sept. 5, 1922, on the family farm, to Nicholas and Frances (Biehl) Haupt.
He attended Arlington schools and St. John’s University in Collegeville. Before his senior year, in 1943, he left to join the US Navy, where he served as a lieutenant junior grade in both the Atlantic and Pacific aboard Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 616.
While waiting to ship out from New Orleans in late 1943, John purchased an engagement ring for his sweetheart, Janet Lucille Dvorak, the only daughter of Wenceslaus “Jim” and Sophia (Rynda) Dvorak of Montgomery. He sent it to Janet’s father, asking for her hand in marriage, and they married Aug. 3, 1946.
John graduated from Saint John’s in June 1947, one day before the birth of his first son, Gregory.
John taught history at Huntley High School (Huntley, MN) and coached the Huntley basketball team from 1947 to 1950.
In 1950, John and Janet made the decision to leave teaching for the Green Giant Company in Watertown. This led to subsequent Green Giant assignments in Winsted, Blue Earth, and Le Sueur, all in southern Minnesota; and Rosendale and, finally, Ripon, in eastern Wisconsin.
A highlight of John’s coaching avocation in Winsted was when his Holy Trinity High School basketball team placed fourth in the state in the Catholic High School Tournament in 1952.
Le Sueur and the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant were home for 11 years. He was plant superintendent there for five years, and then transferred to eastern Wisconsin where, after retiring from plant superintendent duties at Rosendale and Ripon, he served 12 years as Ripon’s mayor.
In 1996, he and Janet returned to Le Sueur to be nearer family and to play bridge with old friends.
John was a dedicated Catholic and an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He contributed to his communities on many levels, including more than 30 years of hospice volunteer service in Le Sueur and Ripon. He was a proud Rotary Club member and leader in two communities, and cared tenderly for Janet in Le Sueur until her death in 2002, from progressive supranuclear palsy.
John is survived by his sons, Gregory Haupt (Cara Beames), Steven (Eva), and Richard (partner Heidi Blackburn); daughters Mary (Doug Rabe), Patricia Haupt (partner Jim Wygle), and Margaret Haupt (Tom Herrera); Australian “AFS daughter” Jill Campbell L’Estrange (Tim); granddaughters Elise Haupt (Reed Delapp), Beth Haupt and great-grandson Alex, and Nora Robinson (Reed); as well as grandsons Anthony Haupt (partner Michelle Chait) and Jonathan Haupt (Sarianna).
He is further survived by Haupt and Dvorak nieces and nephews, as well as brothers-in-law Robert Dvorak and Earl Dvorak; and sisters-in-law Carolyn Dvorak and Mercedes Dvorak.
In addition to his wife, Janet, John was preceded in death by brothers Francis and Joseph; and sister Bernice (Nix).