The Minneapolis educator is remembered for his calm and poise and dedication to public service.
DeLapp also promoted girls' sports as a board member of the Minnesota State High School League and hired the Minneapolis School District's first black assistant principal, Richard Green. Green later become the district's superintendent.
DeLapp's dedication to public service inspired two of his four children to become principals and the other two to work in health care.
"His life commitment of serving others made a major difference when we thought about career paths," said his son, Steve DeLapp, principal at Clara Barton Open School in Minneapolis.
DeLapp was born in Luverne, Minn., and graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul. His Luverne high school basketball team played in the state tournament and he was on his college team. He also played about a half-dozen games for the University of Minnesota when he was a graduate student before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
DeLapp was hired as a teacher and basketball coach at Henry High School in Minneapolis. His 1954 team defeated the two-time state champion Hopkins in the regional tournament. Team members carried DeLapp off the court on their shoulders, his son said. Many of those players attended his funeral last week.
He was assistant principal at Henry before being named the first principal at Susan B. Anthony Junior High School in Minneapolis in 1958. During the racial unrest of the mid-1960s, DeLapp was assigned to North High School. His son said people told him his father was highly respected by the black community.
"He had such calm and poise that people always said he was the right administrator because he could really bring people together," his son said.
DeLapp served as principal at Washburn through the 1970s, as that school also went through demographic changes and experienced some racial tensions, his son said. He retired in 1979.
He was active at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington and played golf until he was 84.
DeLapp was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Ruth.
In addition to his son, he is survived by three daughters, Jane Harris of Los Angeles, Dianne Otto of Shakopee and Barbara DeLapp of Minneapolis. Services have been held.
David Chanen • 612-673-4465