Richard (Dick) Earl Rupp Sr.

Richard (Dick) Earl Rupp Sr. peacefully passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Facility in Milwaukee, with beloved family by his side. Born on June 18, 1931, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Joseph Rupp and Mary Helen Rupp (Hedges), Dick’s life was marked by steadfast dedication, unwavering service, and enduring interests and passions. Dick was a graduate of Fond du Lac High in 1949, and his strong sense of duty led him to enlist in the United States Air Force in 1951. Serving his country during the Korean War as a crew chief on jet fighters, he displayed remarkable commitment, courage, and mechanical prowess. In recognition of his service, Dick embarked on the Honor Flight on April 16, 2016. He took advantage of the GI Bill to further his education at Oshkosh State Teachers College. His career path then led him to Fond du Lac Stone, where he excelled in sales until 1973. Subsequently, Dick joined Northern Aluminum Foundry Company (NAFCO), where he rose to the position of General Manager of their light pole fabrication division, a role he held until his well-earned retirement. On July 6, 1957, Dick married Judy Mathwig in Fond du Lac, and together they built their home in Eden, Wisconsin, nestled close to their friends and family. In addition to his professional pursuits, Dick’s life was enriched by a diverse range of interests. He had a deep love for hunting, fishing, delving into history, especially the Old West, and devoting time to his beloved collection of cars and motorcycles. His enduring passion for firearms and WWII-era history established him as a local authority on these subjects. Furthermore, he derived immense joy from exploring trails with his dependable Ranger. Dick was not just a collector but also a skilled craftsman, known for crafting cherished items from leather and earning a reputation for his knack for repairing anything that crossed his path.

A dedicated member of various organizations, Dick was a lifelong member of the Elk’s Club in Fond du Lac, a member of DAV, and an active participant in the Wisconsin Sports Car Club and Fond du Lac Sports Car Club. His love for British sports cars was evident through his remarkable 70-year ownership of his original 1953 MG, a prized possession that remained a constant companion throughout the years. Dick’s dream of owning the car led him to save a $1,000 down payment while overseas, and he fulfilled his dream of acquiring the car after completing his service.

Dick was known for his great sense of humor, which remained a constant companion until his final days. He proudly displayed distinctive quirks, such as his remarkable collection of jackets (with many pockets) and a home adorned with a diverse array of Native American and other historical artifacts. Furthermore, he had a fondness for engraving dates and initials onto nearly every one of his belongings. In addition to these quirks, he possessed a unique interest for equipping ATVs, lawnmowers, bicycles, and various machinery with concealed spare tool kits, revealing his resourcefulness and roots as a mechanic in the Air Force. Dick’s love of cars and machines extended to racing at Road America starting at age 67, creating lasting memories for himself and those around him. His passion for life was mirrored in his devotion to his family, and he leaves behind his loving wife Judy and their three children, Rick (Janice), Becky (Brent), and Randy (Tracy), along with grandchildren Emily Wellskopf (Dan), Adam Rupp (Anjali), Tess Leander

(Brandon), Allie Rosenblatt (Ben), Andi Merbach (Alex), Peter Floyd, and Ella Rupp. Dick’s legacy further lives on through his great-grandchildren: August Wellskopf, Rani Rupp, Zara Rupp, Edison Leander, Vale Leander, Mila Rosenblatt, Oscar Rosenblatt, Lucy Rosenblatt, Theo Merbach, and Willa Merbach. Richard (Dick) Earl Rupp Sr. is predeceased by his parents, siblings, and great-granddaughter Marlowe Grace.

A funeral service to celebrate his life will be held at Zacherl Funeral Home, 875 E Division St, Fond du Lac, on Thursday, January 25. Visitation will start at 10:00 am, and the service is at 11:30 am.