John M. Clapp, 85, of Sayre, passed away May 12, 2023 following a brief illness.
Born in Greenfield, MA, on July 31, 1937, John was the son of the late Harold M. and Marion C. Clapp. He was a graduate of Greenfield High School, and Mount Hermon Preparatory School, Northfield, MA. He also earned an advanced Mechanical Engineering degree, as well as a degree in Math and Physics from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, and Elmira College, Elmira, NY, respectively. He was employed by Ingersoll-Rand, Athens, PA for 38 years where he held the distinguished honor of holding the most Patents in the history of the company. In 1995, John was awarded the Star Inventor Award at the Circle of Excellence gala and was feted at The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, as a major contributor to the Patent Program. He is the named inventor of 21 patents and is the sole inventor on fourteen of said patents. Mr. Clapp was also extremely active in International Competition of F1B rubber-powered, hi-tech model airplanes and won the coveted America's Cup in 2003. He proudly was inducted into the National Free Flight Hall of Fame in 2016. Upon retiring from Ingersoll-Rand in March of 1996, he owned FAI Model Supply. In April of 1993, John was recognized in the Wall Street Journal as the "single supplier in the world" of a highly sought-after world-class flying product known as Tan II rubber.
John and his wife, Sally, also loved adventure and were frequent world travelers. He also had a penchant for fast cars and at the time of his marriage, owned an Austin-Healey and years later, several Corvettes.
Locally, John served as a highly esteemed mentor and advisor to the Athens Area Science Olympiad team for 20 years, specializing in The Wright Stuff model airplane competition. He was also a Round Top Park Committee Chairman, Athens Township, for 22 years, and often served on the church council of St. John Lutheran Church, and held the office of President for a total of 12 years. John was an enthusiastic member of the Athens Area High School Blue and White Club and guided as President for 3 years. He was also a member of the local chapter of the International Management Council, where he was nominated for Manager of the Year.
John is survived by his adoring wife, Sally Seibel Clapp, at home. They were married at St. John Lutheran Church, Sayre, PA, 64 years ago. Also surviving are daughter and son-in-law, Cathy C. and Lenny J. Pientka of Sayre, PA; daughter, Cheryl A. Bernhard of Surfside Beach, SC; sister-in-law, Sandra S. Ramstrom (Lee Ramstrom, deceased), Topsham, ME; niece, Deborah R. Johnson (Randy), Arrowsic, ME; and nephew, Mark E. Ramstrom, Columbia, MD.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased in death by his in-laws, Martin A. and Helen E. Seibel of Sayre, PA, and brother-in-law, Lee W. Ramstrom of Topsham, ME.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11am at St. John Lutheran Church, 207 S. Hopkins St. Sayre, Pennsylvania on Monday, May 22, with the service to follow at 11am. Interment will take place at a later date.
Those wishing to donate in John's memory are asked to consider St. John Lutheran Church, Sayre, PA or Athens Area Science Olympiad, Athens Area High School, 401 W. Frederick St., Athens, PA 18810.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of The Thomas Cremation and Funeral Service, 1297 Elmira St., Sayre, Pa. Thos wishing to leave a sympathy message for John’s family may do so at thomascremationfuneralservice.com
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St. Johns Lutheran Church
207 S. Hopkins St., Sayre PA 18840
Athens Area Science Olympiad
Athens Area High School 401 W. Frederick St., Athens PA 18810