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Robert Hugh Rupkey


1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Robert Hugh Rupkey Obituary
July 21, 1922 - January 18, 2017 Robert "Bob" Hugh Rupkey, 94, of Manhattan Beach, California passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 18, 2017 at home after a short illness. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 21, 1922, the son of Fritz and Hazel (Hanes) Rupkey. Growing up in the Great Depression never changed his fundamental optimism about life. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Jean Rupkey, also of Manhattan Beach. They were married in 1949 at the Chapel at the University of Chicago where Jean was in school. He is also survived by his son, Christopher, (wife Claire), of Summit, New Jersey, and three grandsons, William, Andrew and Julian Rupkey all residing in New Jersey. He has a sister Helen Roberta Rupkey living in Waterford, Connecticut. Bob's studies at Purdue University were interrupted by his 4 years of service in the Pacific as a Naval Aviator during World War II. He enlisted as he thought it would be fun, adventurous, dangerous, and a chance to see other places. He was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded upon take off from Iwo Jima, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism as co-pilot of a Patrol Bomber Plane in Patrol Bombing Squadron 106 in operations against enemy forces from February-May 1945. He was active in squadron reunions for many years up until relatively recently. He was the last surviving member of his PB4Y-2 Privateer plane crew. Bob graduated finally from Purdue in 1949 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He joined the burgeoning aerospace community in Southern California, and retired from Northrop Grumman in 1986 taking his own advice to "Make Sure to Smell the Flowers along the Way." He made many contributions to the Manhattan Beach Community over the years. He served in leadership positions in local Cub Scout and Boy Scout chapters. An avid craftsman and artist, he made stained-glass panels and lamps, and sold his imaginative artistic woodcraft creations at local craft fairs. He helped organize the farmers market and community garden. The family will have a sitting on Thursday, January 26 from 2 to 4pm at the family home for Bob's many friends and acquaintances. Send the family messages and share memories at [email protected]
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24, 2017
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