John Wayne Whipps will always be remembered in the hearts of his family. For his sincere and unselfish acts of kindness, his genuine caring and generous character and his love he shared as a husband, dad, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend to many. At the young age of 48, John left his world on March 13, 2015, due to complications from a head injury sustained from a fall on November 9, 2014.
A time of gathering will honor and celebrate John’s life on Friday, March 20 from 4-7 pm, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation, 104 West First Street, Jordan and one hour prior to the mass at church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, March 21 at 11 am, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church 313 East Second Street, Jordan, MN. Father Timothy Yanta will preside. John’s urn bearers will be Jamie Karl, Bob Liebhard, Shawn O’Hern, and Steve Radermacher.
John was born on August 17, 1966 in New Prague, MN. Weighing over eleven pounds, parents Wayne and Diane (Pelarski) Whipps welcomed the second of their two children to their Jordan home. John lived life working hard, playing hard and to its fullest potential. As a little boy, John enjoyed spending quiet days at home, but as John grew older, that changed. He and best friend, Shawn O’Hern took a fond interest in the outdoors, especially trapping small game animals. Becoming a top notch trapper in the area, John took his earnings and proudly bought his first car. During his high school years, John was a talented defensive end for the Jordan High School football team. John still holds the record for the most quarterback sacks in a season for Jordan High School. In 1983, he and his teammates won the state championship and recently had gathered at a 30th anniversary football reunion. In 1984, John graduated from Jordan High School.
John was an expert handyman, and he had a wealth of knowledge regarding building construction, plumbing, heating, and electrical. His first job was at Sandin Construction and then he went to school for tool and die, after which he worked for 16 plus years at Empak, a plastic-part manufacturer for the semi-conductor industry, where he eventually became plant manager. Also during this time, using his carpentry skills, John built himself a beautiful home with the help of his family and some of his friends. In 2003, John left Empak and worked various jobs. The past several years, John worked as a property manager for his Aunt, Cindy Bongard, and her daughter, Terra.
An avid outdoorsman, John was envied by most of Scott County deer hunters. He always managed to shoot flawless bucks. Watching the deer in his back yard, John would name the deer and say who would be his next prize trophy; Virgil and Wally were a few of the named bucks. In 2012, John and his wife Mary were awarded the Minnesota Outstanding Conservationist of the Year and top conservationists for Scott Soil and Water Conservation District. John had a natural affinity for older people, with whom he would visit and spend time listening to their stories. John was also a good storyteller himself with a keen sense of humor and a talent for mimicry. And if anyone needed help, John was always willing to offer advice or use his skills to fix whatever it was that needed fixing.
John’s biggest passion in life was his family. He met the love of his life, Mary Butler, and John instantly became a mentor to Mary’s daughter, Rebecca, and loved her as his own. In 2003, John and Mary welcomed a daughter, Hayley into the family. Hayley was born prematurely at 26.5 weeks and spent her first two months in the hospital. John was the at-home parent during Hayley’s first years of life, and he enjoyed this time spent with his daughter. On July 15, 2005, John and Mary were married at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing. John was a very involved and loving father to Rebecca and Hayley. He took them to the store, drove them around on the ATV, and built an incredible playhouse in their backyard. John also enjoyed time spent visiting his parents, sister and brother-in-law, and his mother-in-law Audrey Butler (who preceded him in death in July 2014).
Left to honor John’s life and mourn the death are his wife, Mary; daughters, Rebecca Wiseman and Hayley Whipps; parents, Wayne and Diane Whipps; sister, Tammy (Kevin) Hartman; niece and nephew Ashley (fiancé Josh Malz) and Brian Hartman; sister-in-law, Teresa Butler, and nephew Riley Worden; other loving relatives and his many friends.
Preceded in death and there to welcome John to heaven are his grandparents, Elmer and Agnes Whipps and David and Frances Pelarski.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home and Cremation, Jordan Chapel, proudly served and cared for the Whipps family. www.ballardsunderfuneral.comPrint Obituary & Condolences