John Piper's Life

John Piper's life was about Y work, about great athletic accomplishments, about raising four successful children, and about his enormous knowledge of firearms. But his influence worked in many other, sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle, ways.

For as long as I can remember he took us children to the Danville Methodist Church every Sunday--where Mother played the organ for something like 35 years.

Dad was always against smoking, and I only remember one occasion (at a party hosted at our home) when there was any beer in the house.

He had a remarkable ability to quickly size up new people and situations which he encountered. He also was comfortable working with and dealing with either the president or the janitor of an organization.

Education was always paramount in his words. I think his journey from a naive, farm kid to become the first Piper to attend and graduate from college helped solidify his appreciation for the benefits of a good education. He backed up his words by example as he obtained a master's degree during the summer breaks from teaching high school. I think he and Mother's most proud parenting fact was getting all four children through college.

There was much, much more which he passed on to those around him. He had an unbelieveably strong work ethic. He had the will and capacity to carry out projects that others could not. He was a competitive person. He was a strong individualist. He could do or fix about anything one might imagine. He could handle money, both from a personal and organizational standpoint, yet he gave of his time without regard to personal gain.

Thank you for reading this tribute. I hope it will inspire you to either contact me about John Piper, or to begin today to collect and publish information about your heros.




Lt. John Piper, USN, April 1944 to April 1946.
June 12, 1935. The wedding of John Russel Piper and Mildred Louise Jollief


Note on the right was likely written by Louzetta Jollief to a guest (possibly Ed & Ethel Piper) to attend the wedding.
I have no idea of the story behind these two photos; I found them in my Mother's photo album. The license plates tell the year of the photos.


The only reason these photos and much of the history of John Piper exists is due to the bookkeeping skills of his wife, Mildred. She was what we call 'a list maker.' She kept daily planners before they became popular. She also kept diaries for most of her life, but I must defer to my sister Janet for these logs.
John Piper's love and knowledge of guns was unsurpassed. He was a sportsman, a collector, a competitive shooter, an NRA officer in Indiana, a sponsor/official of both gun and pistol matches, an expert witness, but mostly a friend to anyone who had a gun-related question. His organizational skills at running a shooting match were outstanding. On many occasions I saw him plus a second referee and myself as a gofer, run an all-day, 50 firing point match.

In his capacity at the YMCA, it is estimated that he taught gun safety to over 10,000 youngsters.


Even after 25 years, we still miss you, and we are constantly reminded of the many ways you continue to influence our lives.


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'This music is 'It's a Wonderful World' (midi).


Site created by Larry L. Piper, Aug. 12, 2002. ©2003. Last updated: Mar. 19, 2003. email me with comments.