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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 16, 2019

4/30/2019 7:30:00 AM
Michael R. Clapper

Michael R. Clapper, 70, of the King Veterans Home and a former Rhinelander resident, passed away on Friday, April 26, 2019 in King. Mike was born in Rhinelander, on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1948, the son of Raymond and Delphine (Seaman) Clapper. He was a 1966 graduate of Rhinelander High School. Upon completing high school, Mike enlisted in the United States Navy serving his country from 1967 until 1972. He was stationed in Morocco, North Africa on the U.S.S. Seattle (AOE-3). He returned to Rhinelander in 1972 and was employed with various businesses in the area. Mike was employed with the United States Navy at the Boca Chica Naval Base in Key West, Florida for 11 years. He returned to Rhinelander in 1991 and was employed in the area. In 2015 Mike moved to the Veterans Home in King. Mike had a passion for music and played drums for various bands but will mostly be remembered for playing the drums with Denny Bloom and the Sideman Band every weekend at Leo's Lair in downtown Rhinelander. While living in Florida, Mike volunteered with off shore power boat racing. He was a past member of the Lions Club in Florida. Throughout his life, Mike had real passion for automobiles.

He will be dearly missed by his children: Justin Clapper of Rhinelander, Jessie Clapper (Jason Cady) of Two Rivers, Tara (Kevin) Tessmann of Bundy; three grandchildren: Jorgen (Paige) Tessmann, Gage Lindberg and Maddy Cady; one great-grandson, Jaxton Tessmann; two stepchildren, Michelle (Tim) Zeske of Crivitz and Bart (Carol) Musil of Woodbury, Minn. Also surviving are nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Delphine Clapper; one brother, Ted, and by five sisters, Carmen, Laurie, Gail, Geri and Carol. The Celebration of Mike's Life will take place on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service conducted by Chaplain Wayne Schwanke of the Veterans Home in King. Immediately following the memorial service there will be a procession to Forest Home cemetery where a committal service will be held and where military honors will be conducted by the Ray Rousseau V.F.W. Post 3143, Rhinelander and two representatives from the United States Navy.

Our dad lived life to make people laugh and smile. Mike's children would like to thank the staff and residents at the Veterans Home in King for the care, compassion and love they provided Mike, especially Dennis Kroll for his kindness and being a good buddy.

Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343.

You are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Article comment by: don combs

Mike was a classmate and a friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Thank you Mike for your service and friendship.

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