John R. Harty, 69

John R. Harty, age 69, of New Prague, died peacefully with his family at his side on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis.  John was born on August 28, 1950 in St. Paul, MN to Robert John and Sarah J. (Meyers) Harty.  He attended Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, graduated from Edina High School and received his BA from the University of St. Thomas.  John was teaching religion/German at St. Wenceslaus Catholic School when he met the love of his life, Elaine (Ripperger) Murphy, who was also teaching there.  They were married on June 18, 1977 at Sacred Heart Church in Melcher, IA.  John was a beloved teacher for the remainder of his career, serving for 3 years as principal of St. Wenceslaus, before finally finishing his career at New Prague High School, where he taught German.  He also worked at Ted’s Liquors and Holiday Gas Station; those served to provide him with his “travel fund”.  John traveled extensively throughout Europe and enjoyed southern California and anyplace with a warm, desert-like climate.  John loved everything German, from the language itself, to German TV, reading, culture, and of course, German Beer!  He was a great lover of history and carried a 1900’s guidebook when he traveled in Europe and enjoyed collecting everything German; Ebay was a favorite pastime and provided John with the source of many of his treasures which indulged his sentimental and nostalgic nature.  He loved old cars and many will remember him riding through town on his Vespa.  John was a man of deep faith and served as a mentor to many, adults and kids alike; he was one of a kind in his ability to draw junior high students into an interest in religion that followed them into adulthood.  A man of many talents, during his years at St. Wenceslaus, he also shared his unique sense of humor by writing plays with fellow teachers for school plays.   John thoroughly enjoyed retirement and loved to play a game of cribbage or chess with a friend and hit the lake to fish.  His greatest joy, however, came in the time spent with his grandchildren.  He never missed any activity that they were in.  His rye sense of humor and the twinkle in his eye accompanied by a slightly crooked grin and one of his many hats atop his head will be missed by so many.

 John is survived by his loving wife, Elaine; daughters, Gretchen (Garrett) Ykema of New Prague, Danielle “Dani” Harty (Katja Kroeger) of San Clemente, CA; grandchildren, Drew & Audrey; sister, Susan (Roger) Kuick of Menomonie Falls, WI; nephew, Kyle Kuick.  He is preceded in death by his parents.

 Private family services will be held.  Memorials preferred to St. Wenceslaus School attention Kim Doyle – John Harty Memorial Fund. bruzekfuneralhome.com

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