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Allen "Burt" Shupps

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Allen "Burt" Shupps Obituary
Allen "Burt" Shupps

Allen "Burt" Shupps, lover of sports, family and storytelling, has died of natural causes in his 104th year. Burt was the son of Eastern European immigrants who left Czarist Russia to escape religious persecution. His family initially settled in Winnipeg, Canada, where Burt was born. Burt's father, Moishe, earned his living by providing moving services in a horse-drawn carriage. Although Burt had several siblings, all but one died in childhood. The family moved to Detroit, Michigan, to join extended family when Burt was still a young boy. Tragically, Burt's mother was struck by a car and killed when Burt was 15. Despite the family's extremely modest means, Burt's older sister, Dora, persuaded him to attend college, where he earned a degree in pharmacy. Notwithstanding his degree, Burt resorted to buying burnt-out radio tubes for a penny a piece and selling them for two cents to a rejuvenator during the Great Depression. It was during this time that Burt developed his conviction that money must be saved for tough times. It was also around this time that he met his wife of 64 years, Hilda Weinstein. Burt and Hilda had two children, whom they brought to Redondo Beach, California, in 1945 to join relatives who had left the Midwest for a better climate. Burt did not continue as a pharmacist after he left Michigan, opting instead to help run the family hotel, offer driving lessons, and eventually sell insurance in the South Bay. He also served as the first president of Temple Menorah, the oldest synagogue in the South Bay. After raising his own family, Burt became a great teacher and guardian to his grandchildren, whose lives he significantly shaped. Burt tricked death at the age of 92, when his heart failed and he underwent a triple bypass and aortic valve transplant. A testament to his robust constitution, Burt was the oldest patient on whom his surgeons had ever attempted such a procedure. The next day, Burt was awake and offering lessons in history and economics to anyone who would listen. For the past 11 years, Burt has watched new family members come into the world, has buried others, and has remained engaged, curious, occasionally defiant and, above all, independent in thought and spirit. Burt's bungalow home is one of the last remaining on his quiet but much-developed street in South Redondo. Burt is survived by his loving children, Charles and Judith; his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, numerous nephews, nieces, friends and admirers. A Memorial Service is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5th at 12:00 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinella Ave. Los Angeles. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Dec. 4, 2012
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