Gertrude “Trudy” Van Sickle Clapper

August 16, 1912 ‒ December 20, 2006

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Gertrude “Trudy” Van Sickle Clapper, age 94, of U. S. Route 42 East, Mount Gilead, died on Wednesday afternoon, December 20, 2006, at the Morrow County Hospital following a month long illness.

She was born in Rocky River, Ohio, on August 16, 1912, the daughter of the late F.O. and Elsie (Smith) Van Sickle. Trudy graduated from Cardington High School in the Class of 1931, and Otterbein College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education. She later earned her Master’s degree in rural sociology from The Ohio State University.

She worked as a gym teacher in both Hilliard High School and Mount Gilead High School until she entered the service.

Trudy was a member of the 1st WAVE unit of the U.S. Navy, and a veteran of World War II.

On June 1, 1946, Trudy married her loving husband of over 47 years, Howard W. Clapper, in a family member’s home on south Main Street in Mount Gilead. Together they ran “The Pumpkin Patch,” which originally was a general store, where anything from produce to antiques was sold. Another project they coordinated together was the selling of sheet music all over the world by catalog mail. Trudy was Howard’s “secretary extraordinaire.”

With an overwhelmingly caring heart, Trudy would dedicate all of her efforts to the causes of her concerns. For the Trinity United Methodist Church, where she was a 50 plus year member, she served the church in nearly every capacity and “did anything that needed done” behind the scenes and was a member of Amazing Grays.

She was a founding member of Meals on Wheels and assisted in coordinating the delivery of meals. For years she was a 4-H leader, and was a member of the Twin Pines Farm Bureau Council.

Always young, Trudy had a unique energy and attitude that she carried through life. Her family would nominate Trudy for almost any award, as she was the best mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, etc., they could ever ask for.

Trudy will be dearly missed by her son Tim (Chris) Clapper of Painesville; a daughter Marty (Ken) Barnett; eight grandchildren Matthew Clapper, Michael (Molly) Clapper, Nathan Clapper, Tracy Barnett, Erin (Daniel) Bullock, and Amy (Jeremy) Barr; two great-grandchildren Meaghan and Mikenzee Clapper; and two brothers Bob (Mary Faye) Van Sickle of Delaware, and Frank (Mary Jane) Van Sickle of Covington, Louisiana.

In addition to her husband and parents, Trudy was preceded in death by two daughters Pat and Pam Clapper.

A family graveside service will be held on Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Rivercliff Cemetery in Mount Gilead.

A celebration of Trudy’s Life Service will follow at 4:00 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church, with Rev. Bruce Hartley officiating, and the family will greet friends for an hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 E. High St., Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at