News From Terre Haute, Indiana


February 11, 2014

John Irving Apgar

TERRE HAUTE — John Irving Apgar, 80, of Terre Haute, died 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, and grandchildren, Michaela, Julianna, and Grayson Ehm and Christi Gelder, and granddaughters, Sofie and Tessa Drollinger 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 U.S. Army in France, he began a 36-year career with JC 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 on and leading many boards including 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 Colonel, 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 and 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 include 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 Community Theatre or Vigo County Historical Society. He loved being on stage or backstage at 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 1996-98.

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

Visitation will be 4:30 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at Community Theatre of Terre Haute, 1431 S. 25th St. A Celebration of Life, a gathering of family and friends, will follow at 6 p.m. Saturday, with drinks and appetizers, then tributes and toasts to John at 7 p.m., followed by a party with buffet dinner and refreshments celebrating the life and times of John Apgar.

The family requests 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. Online condolences may be made at:

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