John (Giovanni) Rapa (October 10, 1922–February 4, 2019)
John Rapa, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather died at home on Monday, February 4, listening to Frank Sinatra with his children and granddaughter by his side.
Self-made and self-reliant, John was born in Chicago and raised in the inner city of New York during the Great Depression where he learned many useful skills that he would carry through his life, including teaming up with his siblings to find food for his family, “hitching” a ride on the subway and getting caught only once, and mastering the art of recognizing authentic Italian food and good wine.
At 17, after his graduation from high school, John enlisted in the United States Coast Guard during World War II where he served on the USS Sheboygan as a Seaman First Class for four years. It was during this time John met his first and only love, Muriel Carver, under a large elm tree in the Bath Park. Shortly after, they were married in Maine, moved to New York, and started a family. John’s military experience and raising a family were, in his words, his proudest accomplishments.
John moved his family to MI upon learning about the influx of jobs in the car industry from his brothers. There, he honed his skills to become a respected electrician at GM. In 1964, John came through on his promise to move Muriel back to her home state, Maine. For the next 25 years, he worked for the FAA as a master electrician, earning many awards for his dedicated service and exceptional skills.
Known as a Jack of all trades, John excelled at almost everything he pursued. He had an inherent knack for repairing anything, including every Ford he ever owned, and there were many. “Puddering” in his garage was one of his favorite escapes from the six boisterous children he was more than obliged to assist in creating. Moving fast, however, was not John’s strong suit, with the exception of driving a car, and so Muriel lovingly referred to him as the “cow’s tail” in most situations and held on for dear life when they sped past anyone who dared pass them on the highway.
John relished the good things in life, including music, travel, cooking (preferably Italian), food and wine, family, and friends. He was admired for his unwavering patience, endless generosity, joy of fun and laughter, reliability, and ability to light up the room.
John’s greatest legacy is reflected in his family and many friendships. His time spent at the Plant Home and his friends with Honor Flight Maine most likely created some of his fondest memories. John leaves behind his children: Jeanne Dolliver and her partner Mike Sullivan, Joan MacDonald and her husband Thomas, Michael Rapa and his wife Gail, Stephen Rapa and his wife Allison, Rosalie Mulligan and her husband Brian, Susan Sinibaldi and her husband Joseph, 19 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and his beloved sister Helen Govenor, all who adored him. He is predeceased by four brothers, Joseph, Paul, Frank, and Edward.
John’s family will hold a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at All Saints Parish, St. Mary’s Church in Bath. A life celebration at the Plant Home will follow immediately.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to either the Plant Home, 1 Washington St., Bath Me, 04530, or Honor Flight Maine, PO Box 1770, Portland, Me 04104.
To share your thoughts and condolences with the family, please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com