Obituary: Darrel Clapper
May 8, 2023
Darrel E. Clapper passed away on Sunday, April 16, 2023, at the Western Horizons Care Center in Hettinger, N.D., at the age of 85.
Cremation has taken place and a graveside service will be held at a later date in Carrington, N.D.
Darrel Eugene Clapper was born on July 28, 1937, to Robert and Lydia Clapper, Carrington, N.D., the eldest of two sons. Darrel was joined seven years later by one brother, Roger. Darrel was raised on a farm and attended school in Carrington.
He was united in marriage on July 30, 1954, to Patsy Ann Duursma and they made their first home in Carrington where Darrel worked for the O and M Elevator. Their family quickly expanded with the addition of Dennis, Debra, Teresa and rounding out this final four ... Jeff.
Richard and Kay Kuske were lifelong friends whose friendship flourished throughout the years as young newlyweds with growing families. This friendship and that of their children was a treasure throughout the years. While working for O and M Elevator, the Clapper Family lived in many North Dakota towns: Parshall, New England, Balfour and Reeder. After moving to Reeder, Darrel managed the O and M Elevator which later became Southwest Grain.
After many years with O and M, he began work for Wagner Brothers Construction, Reeder; owned and operated by Tom and Andy Wagner. Darrel was a finish blade operator for fifteen plus years with the Wagner Brothers. This work would take him to many locals in North and South Dakota, but his family continued to make their home in Reeder where his children graduated.
Darrel and Patsy then moved to Denver, Colo., and he worked for Ames Construction and Bemas Construction in various states while residing in suburbs of Denver. Darrel was a dedicated employee, always making sure his job was done well.
Darrel and Patsy then took a leap of faith and purchased a home in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo. Patsy was only able to make her home here for one year; succumbing to breast cancer in 2003.
Darrel's son, Jeff, worked in various jobs in the Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs area and upon Patsy's passing, lived with Darrel to honor a promise made to her to care for Darrel. A promise he faithfully kept until his father's passing. Never ones to back down from a challenge, Darrel and Jeff later purchased and managed a bar and restaurant in Granby, Colo.
After ten years in the restaurant business, they sold the Wagon Wheel Bar and Restaurant and eventually moved back to Reeder in June, 2022, (the place considered home), due to Darrel's declining health.
Darrel was a man of many talents. He was a self taught handyman who could repair or construct anything; a skill he taught his sons well. Darrel was a member of the Reeder Lions, an assistant Boy Scout Leader, a member of the Carrington VFW, and the N.D. National Guard.
His favorite pastimes were camping, hunting, fishing and watching old black and white westerns. He enjoyed an adult beverage with friends and enjoyed visiting with his children's friends.
He loved his many grandchildren and was thankful for his grown grandsons who helped with projects he had at his Hot Sulphur home. He loved his cats: Penny and Penny Two, a cold beer and teasing his family. Young grandchildren would gravitate to Grandpa Darrel's lap and he loved to fill his pocket with treats for them. He lovingly labeled his favorite daughter-in-law, "Sweet Pea" and granddaughter Anna, "Tootsie".
Grieving the loss of this incredible blessing are Dennis Clapper (Sandi) of Bowman and their four sons; Debra Miller (Leo) of Hettinger, one son and daughter; Teresa Wunderlich (Dwight) of Dickinson, four sons and two daughters; and Jeff Clapper of Reeder; Penny Two (his beloved feline); twelve grandchildren; thirty great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Jim Ginsbach; sister-in-laws, Karen Partlow and Patsy Clapper; three nephews; one niece and cousin, Oscar Clapper.
Darrel was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Patsy, his brother Roger, a great granddaughter and nephew, his parents Lydia and Robert Clapper and in-laws Inez and Edward (Shorty) Duursma, brother-in-law, Bob Duursma, and sister-in-law Shirley Ginsbach.
Memorials are suggested to the Carrington Cemetery Association, PO Box 355, Carrington, ND 58421 or your local veterans association. Memorial cards to the family can be mailed to Deb Miller P. O. Box 861 Hettinger ND 58639.
Arrangements by Evanson Jensen Funeral Home, Hettinger, N.D.