Johan at Pennsic 34, August 2005
| Master Johan von Traubenberg, aka
John Kasper, died on October 24, 2005. He had been working at a
construction site on October 11 when he fell about 25 feet to a gravel
surface. As anyone who knew him would expect, the fall broke about
10-12 bones but did not kill him or even seem to cause life-threatening
injuries. There was no damage to his spine, and only minimal
bruising to a couple of internal organs, so a radiologist friend who
looked at the x-rays and CT scans figured he'd make a full
recovery As Johan said while recuperating in the hospital
"It's all mechanical stuff. That will heal."
On Saturday, October 15 his blood oxygenation levels plummeted and
they found some small blood clots in his lungs, but they inserted a
filter into his vena cava (the vein that returns blood from the legs to
the heart) and he improved. Less than a week later they were talking
about discharging him to a nursing facility where he could heal for a
while before beginning rehab.
On Monday, October 24 around 3:00 pm, I was in his hospital room,
helping a physical therapist get him into a sitting position and rubbing
his back with lotion, when he became dizzy and keeled back over onto the
bed. A team of doctors rushed in and I was sent to the waiting
area. About 20 minutes later his doctor came out and found
me. Before he said a word, I knew by the expression on his face
that my adoring husband, love of my life and best friend was gone.
The preliminary diagnosis for cause of
death was multiple large blood clots blocking the arteries in his
lungs. I'm told a full report may not be available until early
|Both Pittsburgh newspapers
ran news obituaries on Johan. Both have minor inaccuracies, but
they're not bad. Here are the links if you would like to read
Johan's funeral in Pittsburgh was held on Friday, October 28th.
Click on the link to see the program that I created for the
service. When I showed a draft copy to his mother, I was afraid
she wouldn't like the photo because of the smart-aleck expression on his
face. She looked at it for a moment and said "He sure looks
ornery, doesn't he?" I said yeah, and she said "Well,
that's alright." Everyone at the funeral who spoke to me said
they liked it - they all said "That's him."
At the funeral there were speakers from each area of Johan's life -
the engineering community; Kentucky
Avenue School, where our children are students and which
he worked so hard to renovate for the past three summers, and the
Society for Creative Anachronism. You can click on a link below to
read each of these eulogies.
Tunde, Engineer II, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.
John hired Tunde, who is originally from Nigeria, when he was
heading up the PWSA Engineering Department.
Eugene Mazza, P.E., Mazza
Engineering. Gene worked with John on various projects for the
PWSA and mentored him when he started his own business. Gene
also read a message from Rulison Evans of the
engineering firm Gannett-Fleming, who worked with John on design
and construction of the Highland #1 Membrane Filtration plant.
Scattaregia, upper school teacher, Kentucky Avenue School.
Bill worked side by side with us on renovations to the school, and
taught our older son math last year.
kindergarten teacher, Kentucky Avenue School. Judy also helped
with renovations. She had both of our children in her
kindergarten class and currently teaches our older son piano.
Steven Jensen, aka THL
Leifr Hjalmsson. Leifr was Johan's protege in the SCA.
He and his lady, THL Hrefna in Heppna Thorgrimsdottir, live just
down the block from us and are some of our closest friends. They
stayed with me through the terrible days right after Johan died and
I know they will always be there for me.
Marion Kee, aka Mistress
Marian Greenleaf. Marian lives in Seattle now but used to live
in Pittsburgh / the Debatable Lands. She's been a friend to
both of us for about 25 years. Marian also read a remembrance
by Johan's college roommate, Andrew
Kobayashi, aka Master Kobayashi Yutaka.
Click here to see pictures of
some projects John worked on, as well as links to newspaper articles
about some of them:
John's family also held a
funeral for him in his home town of Marysville, OH, where he is buried
in the cemetery of St. John's Lutheran Church.
A high school friend, Scott
Underwood, read Andrew Kobayashi's remembrance, and Scoutmaster John
Eufinger reminisced about John's days as an Eagle Scout in Troop
101. John's cousin Dale Scheiderer played organ during
the funeral, with trumpet accompaniment by Derrick and Darin Hurst, sons of friends Keith and Patty
Hurst. Derrick and Darin played Taps at the burial while members of a local
scout troop stood as honor guard. Pallbearers included high school
friends Jeff Spencer and Danny Daum, nephew Christopher Lake, John
Eufinger and Dale Scheiderer.
If you would like to honor Johan's memory,
please send a donation to the school that he worked so hard on: Kentucky Avenue
School, 5701 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15232.
Her Highness, Tessa, Princess of AEthelmearc,
has promised to hold a wake for Johan in the AEthelmearc Royal Camp at Pennsic
35. I'll post the date and time here once they're determined,
and I assume it will appear in the Pennsic schedule at the appropriate
And just because everyone keeps asking, the
kids and I are doing ok. Johan had life insurance, and a vast
horde of friends who have made sure that I have every kind of help I
Except, of course, for his loving arms around
me... and I know they would give me that, too, if only they could.
Last updated 11/02/2005
These pages were created by Master Johan's wife Baroness Arianna of Wynthrope and mirrored with her permission. The original can be found here.