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

  • Mary and family,
    We were shocked to hear that Joe has passed away. We know that Joe is in the arms of the Lord and knows no more pain. Our sympathy and prayers go up for you and your family.

  • Mary I am so sorry for your loss. Such a good man. May God be with you and the family
    Teresa Staley

  • What a sad day for our town of Mount Gilead we lost a great man Joe Hupfer.I met Joe a few years ago and he was always kind and I loved how he was with kids that came into the store.My grandaughter really liked going in to see Mr.Joe as she said.Rip Joe!

  • So SORRY to hear this. I didn’t know him that well but Bobby and Tony went fishing a lot. Good memories of the boys. RIP Joe.

  • We are so sorry for your loss , Joe will be missed, our prayers are with the family

    Your friends Barb and Rick Moore

  • Mary and Tony I am so saddened by your loss. I have always enjoyed “coffee with the boys” and he was the life of the party. Always with a story or a joke. His pride in his family was evident. I know your loss can not be soften with words, but know that in our community Joe was a great one and we all will mourn his loss. I will miss him.

  • We are all so shocked & so sorry about Joe’s passing. He always made us feel so welcome going into his store. This was my Grand daughters favorite store. R.I. P Joe

  • Mary
    We were so sorry to hear about Joe
    He was a great guy
    He sang at my wedding 38 years ago and his voice was awesome.
    Thinking of you and Tony at your time of sorrow
    Dave and Alice Willeke

  • Mike and I are so sorry to hear of your beloved loss of Joe. May God hold you and your family in the palm of His hands during these sadden times.

  • Joe always greeted us with a smile and his sense of humor. Our community has lost a wonderful individual. Prayers for everyone!

  • Mary
    Our prayers are with you and Tony. Let us know what we can do to help.
    Tom and Dianne Connell

  • Joe was a very special guy. He always knew how to make a person smile. Very sorry for your loss.

    Jessica Babbs

  • Will miss his visits at Whetstone Industries. Praying for peace as only God can give at this time.

  • Our Community has lost a wonderful friend and honest businessman. We will miss your warm smile.

  • Mary and family. We are so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. Our prayers are with you. Darrell and Rosemary.

  • My first boss and one of the finest people I have ever gotten to know! He taught me more about life and responsibility then anyone I have ever met! RIP Joe, we will see you again someday!

  • Mary, Tony, Tiff and Mason:

    We are saddened by your loss of Joe. He was so good to my parents, helping them out doing yard work or whatever else they needed. He was such a good neighbor, always willing to help others. May the Lord comfort you all during this difficult time.

  • So sorry to for your loss. In addition to being a wonderful neighbor, Joe was so kind and such a special person to Kate and, later, Kelsey. He will be missed.
    Bob, Sue, Kate, and Kelsey Snyder

  • Mary, Tony & family, so sorry for your loss. May God give you peace at this difficult time. Dottie Cooper McAvoy

  • Joe was our “chimney man”. The kids loved it when he showed up. He also taught them the art of oohing and aawing at the local fireworks……. which they will never forget. That was many years ago. He will be missed.

    Thinking of you at this difficult time,
    Barb and Dave Patterson

  • So shocked to hear I’ve lost one of my favorite people going way back. We’ve lost a bright light in our world. I will miss him, his smile and his spirit. My condolences go
    out to his family.
    Jan Mccain

  • MARY, TONY, TIFFANY , and the Kids,
    We are so saddened by your loss. We have known Joe for the past 40 years as he
    painted our house when we first bought it, and we knew him from C & D when he bought his cars from us. His kind words and his smile will truly be missed
    Our deepest sympathy and prayers are with you . RIP my friend

    Thinking of you all,

    Dan & Terri Tobin

  • Ann, Mary, Tony and family: I’m so sorry to hear of Joe’s death. Always felt so close to all of you. I send my deepest sympathy and am praying for all of you.

  • Mary,Tony,Tiffani & boys,
    So sorry for your loss. Joe always asked how our kids were and wanted to know about their families, whenever I was in the store. I will miss him coming to sing at Trinity church during the summer. He had a wonderful gift sharing his singing with others. With Sympathy, Bruce& Cheryl Young

  • We were so saddened to hear of Joe’s passing. Our prayers to you all during this sad time.

    Jim and Karen Gillespie

  • Mary, Tony, Ann and family. Keeping you in my prayers. Please let me know if I can be of help.

  • Great man! You will be missed Joe! From all the umpiring you did when I was playing to the chimneys you swept to all the painting you did to all the unique items I needed that you always had in the store! Always good walking in and knowing you’d be there! Mary and Tony…you’re in my thoughts and prayers for strength and peace.

  • Dear Mary, I am very sorry to hear of your loss; I have such fond memories of Joe when I lived in Mt. Gilead and attended First Baptist…that wonderful smile, always sharing words of encouragement, being genuinely interested in my teaching and studies…and of course, making faces at us from the choir loft. Sending sweet blessings and sincere sympathy. Jan

  • So sorry to hear of Joe’s passing, our thoughts and prayers are with you. So sorry we can not attend, we are out of town.

  • Joe will truly be missed. He was always friendly and helpful in the store. We will miss seeing him downtown. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • This news came as such a shock! I guess that explains why the hardware store was dark on Saturday morning as I drove by. Joe helped with advice on so many projects we did to keep up our old farm, and there is probably no room in the house that hasn’t benefited from his patient wisdom. After I had the opportunity to perform at First Baptist Church one Sunday, Joe would always greet me as “Mt. Gilead’s greatest living violinist!” It was nice to share the bond of music and to enjoy the special connection you get when you support small town businesses and business people that care about the community. May God Bless the family as you go about your days without Joe, and may you be comforted in the hope we have in our Savior. Dina Snow

  • I often ran into “Joe’s” for some needed item to put together or repair a project and he always helped me out. We talked about how he should start lending library and advertise that he stocked everything anyone needed. After reading the condolences, I’m so sorry that I never heard him sing except with the Baptist Brothers. What a loss to our community!

  • Dear Mary and Family: So sorry to hear of the death of Joe. You all have my deepest sympathy. He has probably already volunteered to direct an angelic choir! Joe is one of those people that any time I think of him it brings a smile.

  • My prayers for your family. I loved going into the store where Joe would always joke with my kids, encouraging them to make Christmas ornaments out of mice! He also gave them stink bombs and always tootsie rolls! One of my daughters favorite me memories was Joe giving us a tour of upstairs over the store and telling her the history the community definitely lost a “good” one. We’ll miss you Joe!

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. Joe was such a kind, caring man. My thoughts and prayers are with you for strength and peace.

  • Mary and Tony,
    So very sorry for your loss. Deepest sympathy to you. His spirit will live on in our community. We both enjoyed conversations with him at Sames and Cook.
    Tom and Jane

  • Mary and Tony,
    We are so sorry for your loss. The wonderful comments above should comfort your heard. Our condolences.

    Pat and Grove Rinehart

  • So very sorry to hear of Joes passing.
    We met Joe and Mary through our real estate business many many years ago. He has been a good man and a good freind for many years. Joe was always kind and friendly to Bob and I, no matter how busy he was. We will surely miss him but know that he is with his Heavenly Father.
    Prayers for Mary as well as Joe’s dear family.
    ❤ May God bring peace and comfort.

  • Was shocked to have heard about Joe’s passing this past Sunday, January 1st. Joe was a friend whom I will miss. He and I had numerous discussions and I discovered him to be kind and generous. May the entire family sense the Presence of the Holy Spirit in these days of mourning.

    Pastor TJ McNew
    Fresh Faith Community Church of the Nazarene

  • Mary our thoughts and prayers are with you at such a sad time. Love to you, Tony and Ann and all the family. So very sorry. Let me know if there is anything we can do. Bonnie and Jerry Ashbrook

  • I am so sorry for your loss! I grew up with Joe (and his family – brother Jack was one of my closest friends) at St. Pauls Cathedral in Fond du Lac. His parents and mine were dear friends. I was pleased & surprised to see Joe a few years ago when he was in FDL for his high school union… Wonderful chance to reminisce.
    Nan (Capelle) Kalk

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Joe from working at the Marengo Hardware when Joe was taking care of Rivercliff Cemetery and doing chimney sweeping. He was one of our favorite customers. We always had a good laugh about something when he came in. Prayers are with you and your family.

  • Mary & Family:

    So sorry to learn of Joe’s passing. Certainly was glad he was able to make our class 50th reunion. He sure added a “Special Touch” He will be deeply missed.

    With our thoughts and prayers.

    Larry & Carol Merrill
    Goodrich Class of 1960

  • To Mary, Tony, Tiffany and family,

    I just wanted to express my heartfelt condolences to the entire Hupfer family..

    Joe was such a fixture in the Mt. Gilead community, it will be strange not seeing him around town and certainly not having his help when we need to find that “right” part for the various home repair projects. There are also many fond memories for many of us of Joe from all the time we used to spend hanging around the Ice Cream shop back in the day…..

    He will be missed by many!

  • Joe was the guy that could hit the high notes that I could never quite reach that’s why he was the guy in 1st chair trumpet & I was in 2nd chair. It was always great jamming with Joe in pep band at the Fondy Cardinals basketball games. He is now with those Saints going marching in.

    My condolences to the family.

  • I can’t find the words to express the sadness I feel over the loss of Joe. He was a big brother to me at a time I really needed one. I will always remember the long talks we had and the good advice he gave me and the good times we shared. The memories we shared will keep our friendship alive forever.