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John Rapp Jr.

MOUNT CARROLL – The Honorable John W. “Jack” Rapp Jr., of Mount Carroll, was born Dec. 12, 1940, in Oak Park, the son of John W. and Eileen (Barry) Rapp Sr. He departed this life surrounded by family and friends on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, at Tidewell Hospice House, Sarasota, Fla.

On July 3, 1965, he married Mary Kathleen Janco. From that union five children were born, Mark, Julie, Matthew, Martin, and Maura. Jack graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1962, and Loyola School of Law in 1965. He and Mary moved to Mount Carroll, where he practiced law, she taught school, and they raised their family.

Jack was a partner in the law firm of Eaton, Leemon, and Rapp, until his election as a circuit judge in 1970.

Elected the youngest judge, at the age of 29, he served 31years in many capacities: chief judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit for 16 years; chairman of the Conference of Chief Judges of Illinois for 10 years; a member of the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board for 4 years; and as a justice of the Appellate Court for 3. He retired from the judiciary in November 2001.

Jack served in several volunteer positions in his community and his church.

He was chairman of Jo-Carroll (Savanna Army Depot) Local Redevelopment Authority; a trustee and volunteer fireman of Mount Carroll Fire Protection District; a member of the board of Ferguson Cancer Center, Freeport; past president, vice president, and treasurer of Timber Lake Playhouse; chairman of the review board of Attorney’s Registration and Disciplinary Commission; chairman of the review board of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford; and lieutenant of North Central Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

He was a fourth degree member of Knights of Columbus.

Jack also was a lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and a member of the finance council of his parish, St. John and St. Catherine in Mount Carroll.

He thoroughly enjoyed life with his wife and best friend, Mary, his children, and his grandchildren.

He was especially thankful for the friends and associates with whom he shared his time on earth.

Jack is survived by his wife, Mary; his three sons, Mark (Tammy) of Greeley, Colo., Matthew (Mindy) of German Town Hills, and Martin (Amy) of Mount Carroll; his grandchildren, Sydney, John W. Rapp III, Leslie, Emma, Colton, and Hayley; and his two sisters, Denise Bryant of Lombard and Suellen (Byron) Brayton of Plainfield.

His parents and two daughters, Julie and Maura, preceded him in death.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Savanna, with Bishop Thomas Doran as celebrant. Private family burial will be at St. Wendelin Catholic Cemetery, Shannon. 

Visitation (wake) will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Sts. John and Catherine Catholic Church, Mount Carroll, with a rosary service at 2:30 p.m.

Memorials may be given in Jack’s memory for his dear charities.

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