News From Terre Haute, Indiana


January 6, 2014

John Irving Apgar

TERRE HAUTE — John Apgar, 80, of Terre Haute, died Saturday morning, Jan. 4, 2014. He was born in Johnson City, N.Y., in 1933, to Jane Kline and Merle Apgar. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Mary Steele Apgar; and his beloved parents-in-law, Jane and Ken Hazledine. Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Peggy Hazledine Apgar, and family: Meg and Randy Ehm; grandchildren Michaela, Julianna and Grayson Ehm; and Christi Gelder; and granddaughters Sofie and Tessa Dollinger Gelder.

John received a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University in 1955, where he was an active member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the rowing club. Following a tour of duty as a quartermaster in the Army in France, he began a 36-year career with J.C. Penney, where he received several awards (Golden Rule Store, 21 Club and the 1983 Chairman’s Award of Excellence). His career started in Washington, D.C.; and continued through Alexandria, Va.; Winchester, Va.; Louisville, Ky.; and Champaign, Ill.; to the Terre Haute store in 1978, until he retired in 1994.

In Terre Haute, John totally embraced community service, serving and leading many boards including the Rotary, United Way (campaign chairman), Family Service Association, Rose-Hulman board of associates, Union Hospital, Trees Inc., Junior Achievement (Project Business teacher), Chamber of Commerce, Vigo County Public Library board of trustees, Leadership Terre Haute class of 1979-80 and Community Theatre of Terre Haute.

Awards include 1968 Kentucky Col.; 1981 Community Theatre – Order of the Mummy; 1984 Chamber of Commerce — Terre Award, non-manufacturing; 1982 Leadership Terre Haute – Alumni Community Service Award; 1986 Community Theatre Angel, 1991 and 1998 Best All Round Guy, and 1997 Community Theatre Golden Service Award; 1999 Arts Illiana’s “Bravo the Arts” — Volunteer Service Award; 2000 Trees Inc. Green and Growing Award; 2005 Kiwanis Club — Handclasp Award; and Rotary international — Paul Harris Fellow.

Other activities included DECA, Vigo County Historical Society life member, the Vigo County Historical Society’s History Living program and Fowler Park Pioneer Days. He was always a good sport, willing to dress up in vintage costumes for the Community Theatre or Vigo County Historical Society. He loved being on stage or backstage at the Community Theatre. One of John’s proudest achievements was as the chairman of the successful campaign to raise $1.3 million to remodel the Community Theatre of Terre Haute in 1996 to 1998.

His passions included family, camping, canoeing, hiking, traveling the world, puttering around Apgar Acres, set-building or any project at the Community Theatre, and hosting Apgar parties.

Plans are being made for a celebration of life in February at the Community Theatre of Terre Haute.

The family requests that donations be made to the Community Theatre of Terre Haute Memorial Fund, 1431 S. 25th St., Terre Haute, IN 47803.

Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 N. 13th St., was entrusted with local arrangements.


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