Joseph V. ‘Joe’ Hupfer
September 08, 1942 ‒ December 31, 2016
Mount Gilead, Ohio
The Mount Gilead community lost a good man, Joseph V. “Joe” Hupfer, who went to sing with the angels on Saturday, December 31, 2016, following a brief illness. He was 74 years old.
On September 8, 1942, Joe was born in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, the oldest of four children of the late Joseph H. and Evelyn G. (Morrow) Hupfer. He graduated from Goodrich High School in Fond Du Lac, in the class of 1960. Joe furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, WI, until he felt called to go into service during the Vietnam War in 1963.
Upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy, he honed his skill of flying during flight training in Pensacola, Florida, and Alameda, California, earning his wings as a pilot. He also served as an air traffic controller in Jacksonville, Florida, and was director of the Naval choir at the Pensacola and Jacksonville Naval bases. He served his beloved country for six years, until December of 1969.
During his time at the Jacksonville Naval base as choir director, Joe worked closely with their chaplain, LCDR Ronald L. Roberson CHC. Over the holidays, Ron would invite Joe into his home, and Joe and Mary’s relationship blossomed from there. Ron married them on April 3, 1971, at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in California.
After working in outside sales for several years in Garden Grove, California, Joe and Mary relocated to Mount Gilead, Ohio, in May of 1975, to again work with his father-in-law, Ron, who was pastor of the First Baptist Church. Joe became choir director for the church, and he quickly fell in love with the small town and wonderful community of people. Upon accepting the position at the church, Joe also became sexton of Rivercliff Cemetery, where he served for eleven years.
Very entrepreneurial, Joe had a hand in several businesses over the years, including his chimney sweep business, being a self-employed painter, and co-owning both the Capital Theatre and the Garattic storage units. Lastly, but not least was his proudest achievement, owning and operating Joe’s True Value Hardware Store since 1998, after purchasing it from Dick Wiehe. During his nineteen years at the hardware store, he loved working with the people and helping his customers however he could. He often went out of his way to help whenever someone was in a bind. Every day, Joe especially loved the daily banter with his many friends at the shop and kids were always treated to tootsie rolls.
Joe was a man of faith, and was raised Episcopalian, but had been an active member of the First Baptist Church since 1975. Ron had baptized him prior to leaving to serve at another church. Joe served the church as choir director, deacon, and was a member of the board of trustees for several years. Some of the men in the choir decided to try singing together, which resulted in the foundation of The Baptist Brothers. They had continued with various members throughout the years, but Joe, his son Tony, Mike McLain and Gary Counts have served since the beginning. Joe also was a century club member of the Morrow County Republicans. For over 30 years he faithfully visited Whetstone Industries and those in the program.
Extremely intelligent, Joe had an amazing ability to retain everything he read or heard, making him impossible to beat at Trivial Pursuit. He also quickly did crossword puzzles in pen, and answered Alex Trebek’s questions on Jeopardy! before he finished the question. He was a voracious reader, especially enjoying Tom Clancy novels and anything regarding history and the wars fought.
A sports fan, Joe loved attending Mount Gilead High School sporting events and helping in the concession stand whenever he was needed. He also loved his Ohio State Buckeyes, taking his grandsons to games any chance he got. In his younger days, Joe enjoyed bowling in leagues for many years.
Sharing a love for traveling, Joe and Mary enjoyed several adventures during their forty five years of marriage, including a few memorable cruises and trips abroad across Europe.
Anyone who knows Joe, knows he was a character! When you first met him, you would wonder why he was giving you such a hard time, until you realized that was his way of letting you know you were now friends. Though he was stubborn, and very opinionated, behind it all was a genuinely caring man who deeply loved everyone in his community and who would do anything for you.
Joe will be missed by his wife, Mary Hupfer of Mount Gilead; son, Tony (Tiffani) Hupfer of Mount Gilead; three grandsons: Sr Airman Jacob Sturges, Sr Airman Zachary Sturges, and Mason Hupfer; two sisters: Jolynn (Allen) Sheperd of Bandera, TX, and Jaymie (Charles) Chapin of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin; mother-in-law, Ann Roberson of Mount Gilead; sister-in-law, Nita (Rod) Neel; and brother-in-law, David Roberson; and several nieces and nephews.
Including his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his brother and sister-in-law, Jack (Michael) Hupfer; and father-in-law, LCDR Ronald Roberson CHC USN.
His family will greet friends from 2 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, at the First Baptist Church (address below). Services honoring his life will be observed there at 4 p.m., with Pastor Steve Cummins officiating. Military honors provided by VFW Post 8054 and AmVets Post 87 will follow at the church. Burial will take place at a later date in Bryn Zion Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 51 W. High St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338, or to Mary Hupfer, c/o Edward Jones, PO Box 268, Mount Gilead, OH 43338 (for a fund dedicated for his grandchildren’s education).
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Joe’s family and your favorite memories and condolences may be shared by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.