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John "Jack" Happ Sr. '50 June 7, 2021 10:21 AM updated: June 7, 2021 10:22 AM

John Henry Happ, Sr.
November 4, 1922 - May 18, 2021

John Happ, Sr. Graveside Service Friday, May 21, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

John Henry Happ, Sr., known as “Jack,” to his family and friends, went to be with his Savior and his wife of 71 years, Ann on May 18, 2021. John was predeceased by his parents William Peter Happ and Mathilda Preisel Happ and was the youngest of 12 children who all predeceased him.

John was born in the hospital at Evanston, Illinois on November 4, 1922 and raised in Winnetka, Illinois graduating from New Trier High School and attended Northwestern University until he enlisted in the Army during WWII. He was a member of the 10th Mountain Division, 126th Mountain Engineer Battalion, Company B, and saw combat in Northern Italy, being awarded an EAME Campaign Medial with 2 Bronze Stars.

While stationed in Texas before being deployed to Italy, John met his wife Ann Michelle (nee Crow), in Austin, Texas and they were married on November 21, 1944.

He is survived by his son, Col. John Henry Happ, Jr. (USAF Retired), wife Carol Ann Happ, (nee Lucas) of College Station, Texas, son, Gregory W. Happ and wife Susan Anne Happ, (nee Gerbasi) of Medina, grandson, John Henry Happ, III, wife Nellie, and great-grandson, John Henry Happ, IV, of Spring, Texas. He is also survived by his many nephews, nieces, great nephews, and great nieces.

Upon his return from Italy and after WWII ended, he entered Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College (now Texas A&M University) and graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree in Entomology with a minor in Apiculture. John’s career after college led him into both public service and private business. Upon graduation from Texas A&M he served with the West Texas Plains Health Unit overseeing the installation and securing the public water system for Brownfield, Texas. In 1954, he left public service to join his brother-in-law, Johnny Crow, of Austin, Texas to jointly run the well-known Tower Restaurant and Bowling Alley in downtown Austin. While in Austin he maintained two commercial honeybee apiaries.

John returned to public service in 1958 to join the Texas State Health Department, serving as Senior Sanitarian for Galveston, Texas.

John, while in grade school, became interested in keeping honeybees. He subscribed to Gleanings In Bee Culture, an international magazine published by the A. I. Root Co. of Medina, Ohio. He was once caught reading Gleanings in class. Upon all his classmates laughing, his teacher, holding up the magazine, stated to the class they should not laugh because someday John might become editor of the magazine because of his love of beekeeping. His teacher’s prediction was fulfilled when John was offered the editorship of Gleanings in 1959, he accepted and moved his family to Medina from Galveston. “Jack” became a world authority on beekeeping and remained Gleaning’s editor until 1972.

Utilizing his degree in Entomology, John formed the Professional Insect Control Company serving Medina County. In 1980, Jack desired to re-enter public service and ran for the office of Medina County Commissioner. John was elected and served three consecutive terms. During his tenure, he participated in many advancements that helped usher the County into its successful growth with sewer and water serving much of the county.

Besides managing Professional Insect Control Co., John co-owned Gallery Blue Art Gallery of Medina with his wife Ann. “Gallery Blue” located on West Liberty Street from 1973 to 1994 represented many of Northern Ohio’s finest representational artists. After retiring in 1994, John and Ann moved to a three-acre home in Medina where John and Ann kept several hives of honeybees and annually extracted honey which they shared with their friends and family.

While at Texas A&M he served as captain of the fencing team and was awarded a varsity letter in the sport. John had a life-long love of classical music. During his adolescent years he learned to play the violin and in his late sixties he learned to play the cello, joining, and playing in a string quartet. He loved animals whether his beloved horse Nanette, he raised and trained while in high school, his recent rescue ponies, Nanette and Wild Honey and his faithful Sheltie, Willie.

John’s 98 plus years were full of his interests: music, photography, carpentry, art, picture framing, amateur radio, and his love of keeping bees. But the true love of his life was his war bride, Ann, who he adored and shared his life and interests until her death in 2016. He was proud that his sons and his grandson became “Aggies” graduating from Texas A&M and that his great grandson has elected Texas A&M University for his college education.

John was admired for his expertise in Apiculture, combat service, public service, and his love of family. He added much to his family and those who were fortunate to know him.

The family will hold a private graveside service with military honors at Spring Grove Cemetery in Medina.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donation in John’s memory be made to Texas A&M University Former Students Association.

Godspeed John, a courageous American patriot and member of the “Greatest Generation.”

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