Jeffrey Alan Klapper
September 10, 1943- February 24, 2020
Jeffrey Alan Klapper, age 76, of Prince Frederick, MD, passed away in his home due to complications of cancer on Monday, February 24, 2020.
Born in Lower Merion Township, PA, on September 10, 1943, he was the son of the late Gerhardt Elmer and Dorothy Patricia (Cowie) Klapper. Jeff was the owner of L.J. Cowie Company, the printing and engraving business begun by his late grandfather. He retired in 2007 after 27 years to focus on his family and his community. He was an intense advocate for Calvert County and this world, looking to protect the roads, the history, and the land. His most valuable asset was the love of his family, especially his grandchildren whom he loved deeply and to whom he was eternally loyal.
Jeff had a love of history, conservation and gardening. He combined these loves and his gifts of knowledge and horticulture to be a fierce advocate for the American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) and to preserve the historic Port Republic One-Room Schoolhouse. In 2004, Jeff began working at the ACLT to clear trails, build trails, a barn and a raft to safely cross Parker’s Creek. In 2011, Jeff was the recipient of Ralph Dwan Memorial Conservation Award for the launching of the Double Oak Farm CSA in 2010. The CSA is his most significant contribution to the ACLT, a flourishing organic one-acre community garden plot which he started from dry earth and still thrives today.
Jeff’s love of all things nature took him on many cross-country camping adventures. He saw National Parks from the Northeast to the Northwest. His most remembered trip was to Bryce Canyon, UT. With a voracious appetite for knowledge, he was always reading and learning about trees, flowers, science, poets, authors and music. If you needed to know a fact about something in history, Jeff would have the answer. If you needed to know a line from a song, Jeff would sing it and tell you the history of what it was about and, thankfully, his own memory of why that song had meaning to him. If your house or car or tractor needed a repair, he’d know how to fix it and would have built or found the parts to make it right. He was an endlessly devoted man who believed that preserving his community was worth the fight and was a tireless supporter to anyone who shared his commitment to that goal. He was strong, strong-willed, bright, loving, selfless and brave. Jeff focused his life in retirement on building protections for nature and his community and, through that, created a family much larger than those who loved him at home.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, David Windwalker; his sister, Linda Gubbine; and his son, Christopher Klapper. Jeff is survived by his wife of 32 years, Nancy Klapper; son, Matthew Klapper of Lusby, MD; daughter-in-law, Belinda Klapper; daughter, Elizabeth (Klapper) Deutch of South Lyon, MI; son-in-law Steven Deutch; step-daughter, Parran Collery of Broomes Island, MD; step-son, Alexander Collery of Upper Marlboro, MD; daughter-in-law Mary Chamberlain; grandchildren, Calvin and Connor Klapper, Owen and Ethan Collery, Margaret Klapper, and Sophie Deutch; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A service and celebration for family and friends will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2020, at the Prince Frederick Volunteer Rescue Squad, 755 Solomons Island Road S, Prince Frederick, MD 20678, where we will honor Jeff and share our stories of his amazing life. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jeff’s memory to the American Chestnut Land Trust, 676 Double Oak Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678.