Gary Arlen Lapo (Coach), 85, of Belleville, Kansas, went to meet the Lord on Friday October 15th, 2021. Gary was born April 8th, 1936 in Concordia, Kansas, the son of Orville and Rosella Lapo. Gary grew up in Concordia and graduated from Concordia High School. While in high school, he was a successful track and football athlete and continued competing in both sports at Kansas Wesleyan University. Gary earned his degree in history and physical education and went on to teach and coach for over 50 years.
On August 31st, 1957, Gary was united in marriage to Beverly Jean Hanson, and just recently they celebrated 64 years together. Gary and Bev were high school sweethearts and shared many fun stories about their early years living in married housing while at the University. Gary and Bev were blessed to have four children: Tari, Bryan, Brad and Brandon.
The richness of Gary’s life was from his family, his community, his students, and athletes. He adored his wife and was a loving dad and granddad. One of his recent greatest pleasures was to watch his grandkids playing sports, dancing, and performing in school programs. You won’t meet a more avid fan of a variety of sports and many family phone conversations revolved around the latest game or how amazing the grandkids performed that day. He loved to teach and coach and was blessed with many years of impacting others through physical education, psychology, history, summer baseball and of course driver’s education. As a coach, he possessed the ability to take his athletes to a level they sometimes didn’t believe was possible. His impact was based on establishing relationships with students and athletes and his belief in their abilities. Many of the drivers on the road today are a result of Gary’s tremendous patience and encouragement in driver’s education. He was known to have some students first display their skills on something safe, like a riding mower before advancing to a car. Another of Gary’s interests involved food, he was a long-time member of St. Edwards Catholic Church and the “Chili Master” of the annual soup supper. He had unique tastes and an adventurous palate for example, his love of radish and butter sandwiches.
Gary had a humble, sincere and caring demeanor and is described as having a heart of gold. He was well known and loved in the community, and he will be greatly missed by all.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Orville (Mutt) and Rosella (Rosie) and grandson Jared Lapo. He is survived by his spouse Beverly, daughter Tari (Terry) Garner, sons Bryan (Judy) Lapo, Brad (Joyce) Lapo, Brandon (Kim) Lapo, 21 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, and sister Sharon Brown.
Visitation will be held at Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home in Belleville, Kansas, on Friday October 22nd, 2021, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, with the Rosary/Vigil Service at 6:30 pm. The family will be greeting friends following the vigil services, at the funeral home.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Edward Catholic Church in Belleville, with burial following at the Belleville City Cemetery. Following the cemetery services, family and friends are invited to a lunch at the Sacred Heart Center in Belleville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to the Gary Lapo Memorial Track and Cross-Country Scholarship and may be sent in care of Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, PO Box 566, Belleville, Kansas, 66935.
Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home assisted the Lapo family with these arrangements, www.tibbettsfischerfuneralhome.com
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