Robert Edward Tupa
1925 - 2013
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Tupa, Robert Edward CARSON CITY, NV -- Robert Edward Tupa, known to family and friends as Bob Tupa, was born in Minnesota on June 18, 1925, and passed away on October 13, 2013, in Carson City, Nevada, at the age of 88. In 1949, he met his wife of 64 years, Patricia Lawler. In 1954, they moved to Vista, opening Bob's Burro Farm, Hee Haw Valley in 1957. Bob's Burro Farm was his way of bringing fun and joy to children and families where he touched thousands over two decades, closing it in 1974. He then started Hee Haw Valley Badges which he ran successfully until retirement. In January 2002, Bob returned Minden, NV, to the land he loved, where he spent his final years surrounded by family sharing his lifetime stories. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Patricia Tupa, brother Loren Tupa and sisters Polly Haasser and Sister Paula Jane Tupa, all of Orange County; his children, Kathy Roehr of Reno, NV, Bob Tupa of Smith Valley, NV, Mary Tupa of Petaluma, CA, and John Tupa, Minden, NV; eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and two on the way. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 10 a.m. at St. Gall's Catholic Church followed by interment at Eastside Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Gall's Catholic Church, 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville, NV 89410 or your favorite charity.

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Oct. 16, 2013.
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Eastside Memorial Park
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19 entries
October 19, 2014
in the early 70's I got to know Bob from being his son's teacher. Bob had a real jest for life and a a sense of humor that brought joy to all that knew him. He was truly one of a kind.
Dana Basney
October 21, 2013
I would like to add my name and family to all of those those who grew up in Vista and who still carry many fond memories of Bob, the burros and Hee Haw Valley. I can remember that my parents wondered how he would be able to make a living with this "crazy idea", but he certainly proved them wrong. My children enjoyed visiting there every time we returned to Vista for a visit. Please know that Bob influenced, for the good, so many, many lives. May you all remember the good times and the love you shared.

Coleen Davis Walters
Coleen Davis Walters
October 19, 2013
With deepest sympathy to the Tupa family during your time of grief...God is for you a refuge and strength, a help that is there to be found during difficult times. You can find solace in the fact that our Heavenly Father knows what you are going through. He is "greater than our heart ,and knows all things." (1John 3:20) Continue to rely on him for strength during this difficult time. May God provide you with peace and comfort to endure the days ahead.
For more encouragement go to
TJ Ingram
October 18, 2013
To the Tupa family ~ I grew up in Vista and I have such wonderful memories of taking my kids to Bob's Burro Farms in the early 60's. They loved going there.
I'm sorry for your loss.
Gayle (Hamilton) Fleeup
October 18, 2013
Mention Bob's Burro Farm to old time Vistans and you'll hear: remember when...? What happy memories we have. It was where we took our children on weekend afternoons, a family affair not only for us but for the Tupa's as well. Bob was kind and gentle with our children, a man we have not forgotten. May he rest peacefully in the arms of his savior and may his family continue to be blessed.
Toby and Pat Flanagan
October 17, 2013
To the Tupa family - my prayers and condolences go out to you all. I hope you can take comfort in the many many memories your dad made for north county san diego. Bob Tupa was the first REAL cowboy I ever met. His gentleness with children was amazing. He gave the gift and joy of animals to so many of us. What a guy and what a family!!
Molly McCormick
October 17, 2013
Rest in peace Bob. To the Tupa family just know that your dad touched many of us. My brother and sister and I remember Bob's Burro Farm with such fond memories, it was a routine weekend family outing. You did bring joy to many. We still drive by with happy thoughts.
Kathy Carey
October 17, 2013
So sorry for your loss, we grew up in Vista, Ca, brought my children to Bob's Hee Haw Valley in the early 60's and they had so much fun riding the small burro's and sm. horses. Thank you, moved in 1968 to southern Missouri and have lived here since then. Deanne Howe Kinney
Deanne Kinney
October 16, 2013
So sorry to hear about Bob ww will be thinking of you at the old timers luncheon tomorrow. We will remember the both of you always.

Love Charles and Thelma and the Poorman family.
October 16, 2013
To the Tupa Family~ may you always enjoy the many great memories of Bob, Dad, Grandpa as he gave all us old time Vistatonians great memories at Hee Haw Valley & Burro Farm. Lauri Cunningham-Ray
Lauri Cunningham-Ray
October 16, 2013
RIP Sir. Thank you for creating fun for families and kids. 2 of my friends from birth and my little sister and baby brother enjoyed your place many times over the years when we were all kids, My 2 friends and I are now 49, 48 and 47 and still love to talk about our fun times at Hee Haw Valley! May God watch over your family.
Gina Polanshek
October 16, 2013
Dear family, My family lived in Vista from 1950-1975 we had many parties at the farm. Thank you for all the work and memories. I am very sorry for your lose. Kandee Ward-Sebelius
Kandee Ward-Sebelius
October 16, 2013
I will always remember visiting Pat and Bob and their children at Bob's Burro Farm in Vista, California. It is one of the fondest memories I have from childhood. We will miss you Uncle Bob!
Laure Mandin
October 16, 2013
Dear Tupa Family,
I am sorry for your loss,
Know that your Family touched so may lives my grandfather Dan Lara and Bob are enjoying themselves now.
October 16, 2013
Bob brought years of enjoyment to myself and my brother as we were growing up -- I remember fondly all the times we went out to Bob's Burro Farm and fought over who got to ride "Swaps". What a wonderful legacy Bob has left to the Vista Community.
Carolyn McCord
October 16, 2013
As one of the hundred of children who visited Hee Haw Valley as a child , thank you for the wonderful memories you gave us all. Julie Huntington.
Julie Walker
October 16, 2013
You brought so much joy to the children and their families in Vista. God bless you and grant you a well deserved rest.
Ken Rucker
October 16, 2013
Dear Tupas-I am sitting here in my kitchen remembering the wonderful vacations spent at Hee Haw Valley and Uncle Bob's wonderful ways. As children we so looked forward to these times. Uncle Bob was larger than life to us. He was such a kind, gentle man who always had time for children, and always made us feel like we were special. Dorothy and I will travel to Gardnerville tomorrow, along with Martine and Craig. We are looking forward to seeing you all, and remembering our sweet Uncle Bob.
Monique Mandin-Jones
October 16, 2013
To the family of Bob Tupa. We are very sorry to learn of the passing of Bob.
My family has so many good memories of Bob's Burro Farm and HeeHaw Valley. We
can't pass that area on East Vista Way without a comment about a fun time there and how nice Bob was. He was always so welcoming and interacted with the children as they experienced their pony ride or ran thru the property enjoying the other animals, artifacts and especially the trains.
It was sad when Bob's Burro Farm closed, he was such a part of Vista.
A good and kind man...he is missed.
Cathy Johnson and family
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