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John Toper

John Toper

1926 - 2017

John Toper 90, of Watertown, passed away July 29, 2017 at the Samaritan Medical Center.

John was born August 28, 1926 in Watertown, son of George and Katherine Bachner Toper. In 1944, he graduated from Watertown High School. He married Eleanor Bigness on September 10, 1949 at Asbury United Methodist Church, with the Reverend McClung officiating. Mrs. Toper died February 9, 2017.
From 1943 -1968, he worked as the sales manager in the Dynapower Division at New York Air Brake, taking two years leave to serve in the United States Navy with the amphibious forces in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1944 to 1946.  From 1968-1990 he was Sales Manager of the Industrial Division of Elliot and Hutchins in Malone, NY and General Manager of Bombardier LTD.

John loved spending time with his family and especially with his beloved wife Ellie. He was an avid golfer and in earlier years belonged to the Malone Country Club and later the Watertown Golf Club. His other interests included restoring antique cars, snowmobiling, collecting coins, and working with stained glass.  He was a member of the Free and Accepted Mason's Watertown Lodge number 49, the American Legion Post 61, and a life member of Watertown Elks Lodge 496.

Surviving are a son Jon A. (Catherine) Toper, Amsterdam, NY, two daughters, Jill E. (Timothy) Cook, Webster, NY, Beth E. (William) Maguire, Adams Center, NY,  a brother Martin Toper, Adams Center, two sisters, Willie Delaney, Watertown, Katherine Gregor, Erie, PA, seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. A brother George, three sisters Mary Horeth, Rose Becker, and Hilda Grant, died before him.

Calling hours are from 2:00 - 5:00 pm on Thursday, August 3rd at D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A memorial service will be held immediately following the calling hours with Reverend Paul D. Luisi officiating. A burial with military honors will be held at 9:00 am, August 4th at Brookside Cemetery.  The family requests that contributions be made to Concordia Lutheran Church, 818 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY  13601. Condolences may be made to

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Condolences left by other guests:

Dear Jill, Beth, and Family,
Oh, geesh, I am so very sad to hear of John’s passing.  I take solace though, in thoughts that he and Ellie are together again. Wish I had known them, back in their heydays. It was such a wonderful treat to meet him, and to get to know him a bit, while my Father was at the Summit.  I still didn’t realize that they had worked together so long, at the NYAB.  One funny thing that occurred, was John telling me about running into my Dad, so many times, years later, while shopping, at the local grocery store, and talking at great length, about this that, and everything.  Explained to me, in part, why my Father was gone for so long on his grocery shopping expeditions. Sigh…, John was a completely lovely person. Seeing, witnessing his devotion to Ellie, is, just beyond words.  Love him, miss him. God bless, John Keenan

By John Keenan on 08 05, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Dear Jill and Beth and family,
I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was truly a very special man.
My family so loved getting to know John and Ellie at the Summit. My dad was on the same floor as Ellie. We discovered that your dad and my dad ( Jack Keenan) were old friends from the AirBrake.  Your dad’s kind nature and his obvious love and devotion to Ellie made a great impression on my family. We had lots of laughs with John in the midst of hard times, listening to Mitch Miller and other oldies. He was a joy to be around and I know he made a difference in the lives of other summit residents with his kindness. 
My mom also got to meet your dad while she was at the Summit Assisted Living. . She found out that it was your dad who was the reason my dad was often late to dinner in the 90’s: jack would run into John at the Super Duper and get involved in lengthy reminiscences!
My mom left the summit and came to live with me in Rochester last fall. She also sends her condolences and remembers your dad fondly. I am sure John is at peace, reunited with his beloved Ellie. I know it is such a hard loss for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Sincerely, Karen Keenan

By Karen Keenan on 08 04, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Beth, Jill & Jon,  So very sorry for your loss. As you know you, your parents were very special people to me and my whole family. Great neighbors. Remembering many laughs with him and your mother. They will both be missed! Sending hugs and support. Lynn

By Lynn (Robert) DeBarr on 08 03, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

  If you fellows were as close in heart as in appearance, this much be a very difficult time.  Our sympathy and prayers for you and fam & friends.

By Bob and Marsha H on 08 02, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Jill, Jon, & Beth - My sincere condolences on the loss of your father.  We lived next door to you on Webster St. Malone and our parents Whitey & Dorothy Robert loved visiting with your Dad & Mom.  May knowing how much they meant to all who knew your Dad comfort you at this time. Prayers and thoughts are with you.

By Sandy (Robert) Bruno on 08 02, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

  RIP Uncle John .  We will all miss you .  Say hi to Aunt Ellie for all of us .

By Glen Grant on 08 02, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

My parents were friends of John & Ellie’s & I knew Jon back when I tended bar at the Franklin. John & Ellie were always nice to us & we were welcome in their home. Jon was always a friendly guy & the old gang had a lot of fun times. We were all neighbors on Webster St. & those were good days.
I extend my sincere condolences to the whole family. I know how hard it is to lose your parents & you lost yours so close together. This has been a tough year for you.

By John Dora on 08 01, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Jill, Jon, Beth and families

We were so sorry to hear of John’s passing.
We had a lot of good memories at their house in Malone.
We will miss him.
Betty and Jerry

By Betty and Jerry LaHart on 08 01, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Ellie and Family,

I had the pleasure of spending time with John and his wife Ellie at Sam Keep Home as his nutrition counselor. We shared a Roanoke Va connection. He loved his family and spoke of them daily.  He was a lovely man with a wonderful family. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

By Linda M. LaRock on 08 01, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

My sincere sympathy to all.  May God give you the strength you need to see you thru .My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

By Connie Sly on 07 31, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

I am so grateful I had the chance to meet John. Immediately we became friends at a very difficult time. I will never forget the way he cared for Ellie, with so much compassion and love. There are few people that show that kind of love. He was always a gentlemen through and through and I will always appreciate him keeping an eye on my mom when I was away. Heaven has definitely gained an angle. I will never forget him. Rest in peace John.

Love Joyce

By Joyce Wilder on 07 31, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Jill, Jon and Beth,

Shocked to hear of your father’s passing.  My deepest condolences to all of you.
Many years of great memories with your family,
I’m sure he is happy to now be with your Mom.

Thoughts and prayers to you,


By Cathy DeFranco on 07 31, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

I just heard about John’s passing.  My deepest sympathy to you all. 
I was planning a trip to Watertown and always stop to see him
I have the most fond memories of he and Ellie.  Our families bonded when they lived in Malone.They were dear friends. 

By Harriet DeFranco on 07 31, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

Your Father was a wonderful man! The love he had for Miss Ellie, w   as amazing, only found in a fairy tale! Both will be missed! Watch for the red cardinals ! Love and prayers to all of you!

By Carol Narrow on 07 31, 2017

Condolences left by other guests:

To Martin - Sorry to hear of your father.  You would not know of my being near Phoenix, AZ.  Health situation brought me here.
Larry is still in Black River, but I have our house in Watertown.  Please say hello to Dolly and know I’m remembering your family in prayer.
Elly Zimmer

By Elly Fyles Zimmer on 07 31, 2017

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