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Gerald DeEsten Tupper

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Gerald DeEsten Tupper Obituary
Tupper, Gerald DeEsten
Gerald DeEsten Tupper, 80, of Peoria, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2011 after a lengthy battle with leukemia. He was the second oldest of five children born to the late Eleanor and Alphonso Tupper in Hamilton, Ohio. He was a successful attorney, husband and father, and above all, a humanitarian. Throughout his long life, he was always an optimist, hard working, and driven. He put himself through college at Michigan State University, served as an officer and a paratrooper in the Army, and then graduated from law school at the University of Michigan. He moved with a trailer, his wife and three young children across the country in 1958 and started his law practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Through the years, Jerry immersed himself in various community organizations such as Kiwanis and the Maryvale Chamber of Commerce, and in his church playing guitar at the folk mass at OLPH in Glendale and at various care facilities. The ordination of his brother, Dr. Luke Tupper, as a Franciscan missionary, was an unforeseen event that changed Jerry's life dramatically. In order to support his brother's work in the jungles along the Amazon River in Brazil, Jerry, his family, dear friends and associates formed the non-profit, non-denominational organization Esperanca, Inc. (Hope, in Portuguese) on the bottom level of his law office. Through generous donations of time, money, services, and medical supplies Esperanca has grown into a multi-million dollar charity still serving the poor in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Mexico some 40 years later. Jerry, along with his wife Barbara, lived a full life of family, friends, charity, and travel and he will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him. Gerald is survived by his wife of 57 years Barbara and his five children Suzanne Johnson (Bob), David Tupper, Kathleen Braley, Sherry Baker (Steve), Debbie Stratton (Kurt), 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Caroline Florescu of Michigan and his brother David Tupper of Florida. He was preceded in death by his two brothers Fr. John Tupper and Fr. Luke Tupper and his grandson Ryan Braley. A memorial mass will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 10 am at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 6180 W. Utopia, Glendale, AZ. Internment will occur the following day at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, Arizona at 11:00 AM. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to his beloved charity, Esperanca, 1911 W. Earll Drive, Phoenix, Arizona 85015 or on-line at Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Published in The Arizona Republic from July 3 to July 6, 2011
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