Willie Edd Rupert(1943 - 2013)

Willie Edd Rupert 1943 - 2013 Willie Edd Rupert was born in Woodland, Mississippi, on March 1, 1943 the second of five children to Eddie and Lou Ella Rupert. The family established residency in Bakersfield, CA in November 1949. He graduated from Monterey Bay Academy and was drafted into the Army on December 2, 1964 during the Vietnam War. Willie was stationed in Korea. Because of his love for children he wanted to adopt a child while stationed there. He was honorably discharged September 12, 1966 in Fort Louis, Washington. Willie obtained an A.S. degree in Fire Science from Bakersfield College. He became a Firefighter with the Kern County Fire Department in 1973 retiring in 1998 as an Engineer. He was a dedicated, faithful worker at Bakersfield Southside Seventh Day Adventist Church for almost 60 years. Every June 13th he would call his mother and ask her how old they were because that is the date of their baptism. He served as the Junior Sabbath School teacher, Deacon, Pathfinder leader, and Central California Conference Area 5 Coordinator. It was at church where he met and married Shirley Rupert on June 30, 1968 and raised four children. Willie was a hard working man's man and built every home his family resided in. Although a man of few words his life spoke volumes. He had a dry sense of humor. He was a regular blood donor. He enjoyed photography and listening to Mahalia Jackson. Willie despised waste. After retirement, he enjoyed spending time working on his cattle ranch, traveling with friends and family, running (18) marathons and spending time with his grandchildren. In 2004, Willie was injured while caring for his cattle. His healthy lifestyle and serving others ended on April 26, 2013 after a long illness. He leaves his loving wife of 45 years, Shirley Rupert; mother, Lou Ella Brown; daughter, Yolanda Baxter-Cole (Marq); son, Nathan Tucker (Denise); brothers, Frank Rupert (Katherine); Thomas "TC" Rupert (Ursula); sister, Ella Rupert; grandchildren, Briana Tucker, Cori Tucker-Price (Alton), Paige Tucker, Blake and Brandon Baxter (Miranda); David Baxter (father of Blake and Brandon); great-grandchildren, Brandon Jr., Mykel Baxter and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his son, Virgil Tucker; daughter, Donna Rupert; brother, James; and father, Eddie Rupert. When praying Willie always thanked God for the opportunity to work and earn an honest living. "But as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord." Although we'll miss him we have peace knowing he's resting in God. Viewing and services will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park. The viewing will be on Wednesday, May 1st from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Funeral services will be on Thursday, May 2nd at 10 a.m. with Interment immediately following at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 9101 Kern Canyon Road in Bakersfield, CA. www.bakersfield.com/obits

Funeral Home

Hillcrest Memorial Park
9101 Kern Canyon Road Bakersfield, CA 93306
(661) 366-5766

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Apr. 30, 2013