Retired USAF Col. Frederick H. Klopper, 91 , of O'Fallon, Ill., born Oct. 22, 1919, died Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, at Dammert Care Center at The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Ill.
He was born in San Francisco, a third generation Californian. There, he received much of his education and early employment and enlisted in the US Army
Air Corps in June 1942.
He was a retired US Air Force
colonel having served during World War II
in the Pacific with the Twentieth Air Force; during the Korean War
and again during the Vietnamese conflict. His military career included 8 1/2 years in active reserves and 31 years in active duty. His career culminated in assignments as Director of Policy and Programs for the Military Airlift Command (now Air Mobility Command), Vice Wing Commander of 435th MASW, MAC, and finally as director of manpower and organization, MAC. His many decorations include the Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. He was a graduate of several military flying training schools, the Military Assistance Institute, the Industrial College of the Armed Services, and Air War College. Subsequent to his retirement from the US Air Force, he was a field representative and licensed registered agent for ING/Reliastar (previously USLICO Co.) Insurance Company and Washington Square Securities Inc. He was an alumnus of George Washington University, where he received his master's degree. He was a charter member of the Southwest Illinois Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (previously TROA, now MOAA), having served as its founding president for two consecutive terms. He also served as president and treasurer of the Illinois Council of Chapters, MOAA. He served in various capacities with the O'Fallon Lions Club, the Scott Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association and the Eastside Life Underwriters Association. He was a long-time member of the American Security Council Foundation, as well as the American Heritage Foundation. An ardent tennis player, he was a charter member of the St. Clair Tennis Club, and early on, energetically supported programs for junior tennis in Sacramento, Calif. and Rhein Main AB, Germany. He was a parishioner of St. Nicholas Catholic Church and has served on its finance committee. He was a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans
organizations, and a strong supporter of the 315th Bomb Wing (VH) Association. He contributed many hours as a Red Cross volunteer to the Dermatology Clinic in the USAF Medical Center, Scott AFB.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Margaret Mary, nee Norton, Klopper; his second wife, Mary, nee Fekete, Klopper; parents, Frederic and Mary, nee Matthews, Klopper; and sisters, Mary C. Klopper and Katherine M. Nulty.
Surviving are his sons, Frederick John (Donna) Klopper of Woodruff, S.C., and Robert Norton Klopper of Freeburg, Ill.; daughter, Marilynn Kay (John) Whitener of Lake St. Louis, Mo.; brother, John M. (Sheila J.) Klopper of San Jose, Calif. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Frederick John Klopper Jr., Ashlie Klopper, Christopher Klopper, Andrew M Whitener, Alexandra M. Klopper and Shannon M. Whitener; and two great-grandchildren, David Frederick Klopper and Cameron John Klopper.
Special thanks to dear friends and neighbors, Judy and Lowell Christenson, and other neighbors whose friendship added life to his days, Phil and Johnnie Goodwin, Dale and Crystal Yonker, and Father Bill Hitpas. The caring kindness of Bill Tasker and Diane Macalusco and family, his tennis compatriots, as well as the overwhelming support of the team at Dammert Care Center and Hospice of Southern Illinois are much appreciated.
Memorials may be made to The Apartment Community, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 726 Community Dr., Belleville, Ill. 62223 or to the Scholarship Fund, Military Officers Association of America, 201 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va. 22314. Condolences may be extended to the family by visiting www.wfh-ofallon.com
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, at Wolfersberger Funeral Home, 102 W. Washington St., O'Fallon, Ill. The family will also receive friends from 10:30 to 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in O'Fallon, Ill.
Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at the church with the Rev. William J. Hitpas presiding. Interment with full military honors will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
WOLFERSBERGER FUNERAL HOME, O'Fallon, Ill.