Klaus Tappe

Klaus Tappe

May 5, 1955 - November 4, 2019
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Klaus Tappe

Born May 5, 1955 in Blomberg, Germany, late of Ann Arbor, Michigan, passed away Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, after a long illness.

Klaus was a dearly beloved professor of German who taught all levels of German at almost every institution of higher learning in Ann Arbor and the Detroit Metro area. Literally thousands of former students will mourn his passing. Simply go to and you will find no end of praise.

Klaus began his German teaching career in Ann Arbor in 1980 first to study French and then later German. For many years he was the director of the Max Kade Haus and helped many University of Michigan undergrads advance in their study of German and acquire near native proficiency. He was always willing and able to sit and counsel a student whenever and wherever they needed it.

Klaus advanced in his study of Germanic Languages and Literatures to the ABD level and became a full-time professor at Eastern Michigan University, where he led the Summer in Graz Austria program, accompanying groups of eager German learners to Graz, Austria yearly.
He was very active in extracurricular activities, attending many workshops, and seminars always seeking ways to make the teaching of German, fun, easier and more effective. Klaus learned much and always practiced what he preached.

Klaus was active in the Ann Arbor and Detroit communities, engaging in many social and civic activities too numerous to mention. He also led a Friday night meeting of international students that went on for many years welcoming international students and helping to integrate them into the Ann Arbor and Detroit communities. This same international group met and played soccer every Saturday for many years. Klaus was still getting out to play soccer when he became ill and kept playing as long as he could.

Klaus is survived by his sister Elke (Peter) Fischer, nephews, Robin and Tim Fischer, niece Anna Fischer, and brother Uwe Tappe, nephews Mike and Daniel Tappe. He was preceded in death by his parents, Irene and Friedhelm Tappe.

Klaus’s remains will return to Germany, where his sister Elke will inter them with his parents

A Memorial service is planned for November 17, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Banfield’s Bar and Grill, 3140 Packard Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

German Translation Below:

Klaus Tappe, geboren am 5. Mai 1955 in Blomberg, Deutschland und verstorben in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, entschlief am 4. Nov. 2019 nach einer langen Krankheit.

Klaus war ein sehr beliebter Deutschlehrer, der alle Stufen Deutsch an fast jeder höheren Bildungseinrichtung in Ann Arbor und Groß-Detroit unterrichtet hat. Buchstäblich Tausende ehemaliger Studenten werden um ihn trauern. Schauen Sie bei nach, und Sie werden nur Lob finden.

Klaus begann seine Ausbildung als Lehrer in Ann Arbor im Jahre 1980. Erst studierte er Französisch und später Deutsch. Er war lange Jahre Direktor des Max-Kade-Hauses und half vielen Studenten bei ihrem Deutschstudium, so dass sie schließlich fast perfekt Deutsch sprechen konnten. Er nahm sich immer die Zeit, Studenten zu helfen, wann immer sie Hilfe benötigten.

Klaus absolvierte weiterführende Studien im Bereich Germanische Sprachen und Literatur und erwarb den ABD-Abschluss. Er bekam eine Vollzeitstelle als Lehrer an der Eastern Michigan University, wo er das „Summer in Graz/Austria“-Programm leitete und jedes Jahr eifrig Deutsch lernende Studenten nach Graz/Österreich begleitete.

Er wirkte ebenfalls bei außerschulischen Aktivitäten mit und nahm an vielen Workshops und Seminaren teil. Er versuchte immer, so Deutsch zu unterrichten, dass die Stunden unterhaltsam, unkompliziert und für die Studenten effektiv waren. Klaus selbst lernte viel und praktizierte immer das, was er lehrte.

Klaus war aktiv in den Communities von Ann Arbor und Detroit, und machte bei zahllosen gesellschaftlichen Aktivitäten mit. Er leitete jahrelang die Freitagabendgruppe, wo internationale Studenten zusammenkommen und ihnen dabei geholfen wird, sich in der neuen Umgebung wohlzufühlen. Diese internationale Gruppe trifft sich auch jeden Dienstag und Samstag zum Fußballspielen. Klaus spielte immer noch Fußball als er krank wurde, und er spielte weiter so lange es ging.

Klaus hinterlässt seine Schwester Elke mit Ehemann Peter Fischer, die Neffen Robin und Tim Fischer, die Nichte Anna Fischer und seinen Bruder Uwe Tappe und die Neffen Mike und Daniel Tappe. Seine Eltern Irene and Friedhelm Tappe verstarben vor ihm.

Die sterblichen Überreste von Klaus werden nach Deutschland gebracht, wo sie im Grab seiner Eltern beigesetzt werden.

Eine Gedenkfeier findet statt am 17. November 2019 von 17 – 19 Uhr bei Banfield’s Bar and Grill, 3140 Packard Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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Holger Briel

Posted at 11:54pm
I remember Klaus from many years ago when I was an MA student at UoM. He was always kind and willing to lend a helping hand.
RIP my friend.

Professor Holger Briel

Holger Briel

Posted at 11:54pm
I remember Klaus from many years ago when I was an MA student at UoM. He was always kind and willing to lend a helping hand.
RIP my friend.

Professor Holger Briel

Uwe Rieken

Posted at 06:38am
n loving memory of Klaus Tappe,

As former head of Goethe-Institut Ann Arbor it was always a pleasure to cooperate with Klaus supporting German language teaching in the area,
I remember being always committed to our task,
eager and engaged! He will be missed!

Uwe Rieken
Germany/ 79219 Staufen/ Bötzenstraße 55

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