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Peter C. Clapp

Peter Charles Clapp, 60, of Ipswich, died December 15th, 2007 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Ipswich, on Jan 18th, 1947, he was the son of the late Meredith and Margaret Clapp.  Raised in Ipswich, Pete was a graduate of Ipswich High School, class of 1965.  After graduation, he entered the Air Force, serving in Vietnam until 1968.  Upon his return home, he worked as a seafood broker for Arne Peterson International in Gloucester, and was a member of the VFW, John T. Heard Lodge, and AmVets.  He met his wife Cheryl in 1972, married in 1974 and made their home and raised their family in Ipswich.  In August of 2006, Peter was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer, and was given a life expectancy of seven months.  Through his determination, incredibly positive attitude, and the loving support of his family and many friends, Pete courageously fought the disease for over sixteen months. 

At the time of his death, Pete was employed by the Ipswich Housing Authority, a job which he loved, and which afforded Pete friendships he truly cherished.  Despite his doctors suggestions of full disability, Pete was determined to continue working each day, refusing to leave his co-workers side.  When the doctors told Pete that he needed a feeding tube, his first thought was whether or not he would be able to crawl under the sinks to help out on the job, as he didn’t want to let his buddies down.  Pete’s positive outlook touched everyone he met.  In fact, everyone noticed Pete’s outgoing, friendly smile, and laid back charm, but few realized that for the past 12 months, Pete was carrying a chemotherapy pump around with him under his shirt, which was administering his cancer treatment.

Hours before he passed, Pete spoke his final words to his family.  Just as Pete lived his life, his final words spoke of the strength of family, and the importance of giving back:  “I’ve had a great life on this earth.  You can’t ask for anything better than that.  If you’re fortunate enough to have that, you have to give back.”

Pete leaves behind his wife of 33 years Cheryl (Krajeski) Clapp, his two daughters, Megan Clapp and Courtney Cummins and her husband James, in-laws John and Jean Krajeski, brother William Clapp, sister Deborah Kmiec, and several nephews and cousins, as well as the much loved family pet, Charlie.  Peter was expecting his first grandchild in March. 

His funeral will be held Wednesday December 19 at 10 am in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Family and friends respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours are Tuesday 4 to 8 pm, with a service by Ipswich VFW Post 1093 at 7 pm.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, GI/GU Oncology, Care of Dr. Peter Enzinger, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA  02155-6084, and/or The Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923.


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