John A. Sleeper

After They Are Gone

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let's draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let's help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

By Joanna Fuchs

Guest Book

John Sleeper

1948 - 2018

A man is not dead until he is forgotten. Go in peace and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.


John A. Sleeper

Boston, Massachusetts



Silver Star
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Sergeant
Battalion: 1st Reconnaissance Battalion
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant John A. Sleeper (MCSN: 2249559), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company C, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 30 January 1968, Sergeant Sleeper was Patrol Leader of a twelve-man long range reconnaissance team assigned a reconnaissance and surveillance mission in the mountainous area of the Phu Loc District in an attempt to capture hostile weapons and an enemy prisoner. Exhibiting exceptional professional ability, he maneuvered his patrol through enemy controlled territory to establish a combination harbor site and rally point. Then, moving with three of his men to a point overlooking a well used trail, he established an ambush, employing two claymore mines approximately 150 feet apart on the trail and deploying his men into effective positions where cross-fire could cover the area between the mines. After nearly three hours of waiting, an estimated company-size North Vietnamese Army force carrying unassembled .50 caliber machine guns and rocket launcher tubes was observed approaching the ambush site. Exhibiting outstanding tactical skill and calm presence of mind, Sergeant Sleeper allowed the four-man enemy point to pass the forward claymore mine before detonating it, killing ten North Vietnamese soldiers and destroying numerous weapons and items of equipment. Immediately directing fire against the lead elements, he succeeded in killing the four point men. Delaying briefly to allow the rear portion of the enemy column to move forward, he then detonated the rear mine, causing additional casualties and confusion among the North Vietnamese. In an effort to capture a prisoner of enemy weapons, he quickly moved toward the trail but was halted by extremely heavy hostile small arms fire. Upon observing more enemy troops moving forward, Sergeant Sleeper decided that further action at the ambush site would endanger his small group. Skillfully utilizing hand grenades and covering fire, he maneuvered his men out of the hazardous area and moved them back to the rally point. Demonstrating an extensive knowledge of the tactical employment of supporting arms, Staff Sergeant Sleeper immediately requested fixed wing aircraft and armed helicopter gunship strikes against the enemy, directing their attacks along the trail and other suspected enemy positions around his perimeter. When darkness fell, he directed flare ships in illuminating the area and gunships in attacks against hostile soldiers crawling to within grenade throwing distance of the team's position. Subsequently calling for artillery support, he accurately adjusted fire to within twenty-five meters of his position, successfully repulsing the North Vietnamese attacks. Realizing that his position was untenable against the numerically superior enemy force, he led his men over 1,000 meters through the darkness and over hazardous jungle terrain to a landing zone where a helicopter extracted the reconnaissance team. In large measure due to his bold initiative and outstanding professional skill, he undoubtedly thwarted the attempt of a large North Vietnamese force to attack a Marine unit in the Phu Loc area and accounted for twenty enemy confirmed killed and the destruction of several heavy weapons without sustaining a single friendly casualty. By his superior leadership, steadfast courage and unfaltering devotion to duty, Sergeant Sleeper upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

John Sleeper
1948 - 2018


John A. Sleeper, 70

Lancaster - John A. "Jack" Sleeper, 70, died Thursday, August 9, 2018, in St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, after a brief illness.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy T. (Ciampaglia) Sleeper, with whom he would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on August 24th; three children: John D. Sleeper and his wife, Stephanie, of Leominster, Amy E. Moro and her husband, Keith, of Worcester, and Lori A. Sleeper, and her companion, Jose Machuca, of Lancaster; five adoring grandchildren: Brian Sleeper, USMC, Matthew Sleeper, Juliann Sleeper, Jack Moro, and Travis Moro; two sisters, Susan Masciarelli, wife of the late Cam, and Martha Gause, both of North Carolina; many nieces, nephews, and their families. He was predeceased by his brother, David Sleeper, who died in 2017, and two nephews, Daniel Schmidt, and James Gause.

Jack was born in Clinton, and raised in Lancaster, son of the late Ralph A. and Pauline B. (Bedell) Sleeper. He was a graduate of Nashoba Regional High School, Class of 1965. The following year, Jack enlisted with the US Marine Corps, and was deployed to Vietnam. A proud, humble, and selfless Marine, Jack never spoke openly of his time in combat, but was a highly decorated Veteran, receiving many commendations for acts of heroism in Vietnam, including the Bronze Star with Combat V, the Silver Star, the Navy Commendation with Combat V, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, among others.

From his return home from the Marine Corps in 1969, until his retirement in 2003, Jack worked as a Carpenter for the Local 107.

A member of Immaculate Conception Church, Lancaster, and the American Legion, Jack was a hardworking man, who always put family and friends first. He enjoyed the simple pleasures in life – his daily coffee with Doug, Glen, Vic, and Wes; and his annual reunions with "Charlie Co. First Recon," his USMC Brothers and fellow combat veterans. Above all else, he cherished time spent in the company of his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Jack's funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 from the McNally & Watson Funeral Home, 304 Church St., Clinton, with a Mass at 11:00 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Church, 809 Main St., Lancaster. Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery, Lancaster. Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours at the funeral home on Monday, August 13, 2018, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, 2018

Dear grampie, Hi❤I miss you and love you sooo much!! And you are missed by hundreds I just want you to know I just had a birthday and it was my first without you!! I had a hard day today missing you today was my party ❤I missed you so much and got something of yours a wallet from Alaska it was the best gift you know why cause it was yours! Anyway bye love you❤❤❤❤❤❤❤Love always,
Travis xoxo
Travis Moro

March 10, 2019 | Worcester, MA

Memories cloud with time but I remember Sgt. Sleeper. I served in Company C at the same time but unfortunately I didn't know him well. In fact, didn't know his first name - only Sgt. Sleeper. I recall him being rather mild mannered, perhaps an unusual trait for a warrior. I know in reading his citation for the Silver Star that he saved many lives that day. No higher praise can be said of a fellow Marine. R.I.P Sgt. Sleeper.
William 'Bill' Hill

September 30, 2018 | Moberly, MO

Some are natural leaders. Sgt. John Sleeper was one.
I had the privilege to have had him lead our Marine patrol
with great distinction.

Semper fi, David Mack
David Mack

September 05, 2018 | Colorado Spings, CO

Your legacy of service to family, friends, and country stand as an example to all of us, of what it means to live a life in service to a higher principle . Your memory will live on in those who knew you. You made the world a better place and showed us all that what is most important is not the length of ones life but instead the quality of the life lived. You will be missed by all who knew and loved you. The world has lost one of the good ones. Rest In Peace Jack! 
Condolences to Nancy and the entire Sleeper family. We love you all! 
Love the Harris Family.....
Joanne Harris

August 14, 2018 | Lunenburg, MA | Friend

Dear Nancy, please accept my condolences on your loss. Thinking of you, and your family.
Larry Johnson 

Larry Johnson

August 13, 2018 | Coworker

Dear Jack, Nancy and family,

Godspeed and safe passage, Jack. Your passing has left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. Although you left us way too soon, you were a brother veteran and the best friend a guy could ever hope to have. I will always treasure the myriad memories and all the good times that you, Nancy, Linda and I had together. You were one of the most selfless, even-tempered and nonjudgemental people I have ever known; always there when I needed a helping hand. I am your bud forever and I love you. Peace and solace to you, Nancy. Jack will live in our minds and hearts until we are all together again in the Hereafter. I know that when my turn comes to enter God's Kingdom, Jack will be reaching way, way down to help me over that last hurtle, just like he did for his brother Marines in Vietnam. 

Glen (the "Squid") and Linda

Glen McEntire

August 13, 2018 | Lancaster, MA | Friend

Amy, I am so sorry to hear about your Dads passing. He sounds like he was quite a guy and a real war hero. I hope that all your fond memories will provide you with comfort in this time of sorrow.
Bob Gardner

August 12, 2018 | Ayer, MA | Coworker

so sorry for your loss. Please accept my sympathy to you & your family. I didn't know Jack but have heard that he was a great guy. Stay strong..
Pauline Dillon

August 12, 2018 | HOLDEN, MA | Friend

Our sincere condolences to you ,Nancy, and your family. We remember John at Croyden Street on your Sunday and holiday visits. As long as he remains in our thoughts he will always be near.
Love Louie and Mary Felice

August 12, 2018 | South Dennis, MA | Family

Our sincere condolences to you ,Nancy, and your family. We remember John at Croyden Street on your Sunday and holiday visits. As long as he remains in our thoughts he will always be near.
Love Louie and Mary Felice

August 12, 2018 | South Dennis, MA | Family

My deepest sympathies to John's family. I was privileged to know and serve with John in Charlie Co. 1st Recon Bn. in Vietnam. He was a quiet, confident and reassuring presence . He will be missed by his Marine Brothers.
wayne parker

August 11, 2018 | Galloway, NJ

Nancy, Amy, John D, and Lori and the entire Sleeper Family,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of John. He was quite the man - soft spoken, quiet, competent, and a gets things done / make things happen kind of guy. I served with John in Vietnam as part of the the 1st Recon Bn. Charlie Company, USMC. Know that a part of me has also been lost to this world, but know that you now have John in heaven cheering for each of you to be the best you can be - as he did - and that he is in a much better place. 
Semper Fidelis, Sleeper family,,,,,,and OoRah, John
John F. Smolen, USMC
John Smolen

August 11, 2018 | Aurora, CO | Military

My deepest heart felt condolences to John's family. Although we never knew each other personally, we served in the same unit together in Vietnam. Johns reputation was legendary when I was there. Hero's of this caliber gave us a lot of pride. Semper Fi Sgt Sleeper.
Dan Sweeney 1st Force Recon Bn
Daniel Sweeney

August 11, 2018 | GILBERT, AZ

Keith, Amy and kids, Beth and I are so sad to heat of the loss of Jack. He was the definition of a humble American hero, Semper Fi. I always remember Phil saying what a special person he was. Our condolences to your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Stephen and Beth Moro

August 10, 2018 | Family

Oh Nancy, so very sorry to hear about your husband. May all of your precious memories sustain you during this difficult time. May he Rest In Peace.

Mary Lou Pupecki
Mary Lou Pupecki

August 10, 2018 | Sterling, MA | Friend

Our wonderful friend, we will miss you and will treasure memories of times we spent together.
David and Lois Linville

August 10, 2018 | Henderson, NV | Friend

Message from TERRY G HEFFLE JKAYJRAY@GMAIL.COM January 21st, 2021 1:03 AM,

Subject: John a sleeper

It was my extreme privilege to serve with Sgt.Sleeper in codename "Pearl Chest" Recon Team." He was a true hero and gentleman. I shall never forget him.