John Walter Kuppens, 75, died peacefully on Monday, May 27 at home in Oakdale after years of battling cancer.
He was born in Rice Lake, Wis. to Walter C. Kuppens and Mary C. (Goris) Kuppens who arrived in the U.S.A. in 1922 from Holland. He was the youngest of 11 children. His family settled in southern California in the 1920s, in the towns of Artesia, Duarte, Monrovia and Los Alamitos in the ‘50s. They had tried living in Wisconsin and Florida for a short time after experiencing a large earthquake in Long Beach but then returned after the worst winter ever in Wisconsin. They felt there was no place better than California.
Growing up on the family dairies, Mr. Kuppens became a dairy cattle buyer for his family, then other dairymen in northern California.
In 1957 he married his wife Virginia from Anaheim. They moved from the family dairy in Los Alamitos to Oakdale in 1961, which was known for its rich clover pastures and affordable dairy land. He raised Holstein heifers and springers for years and later added agriculture mechanics and tractor repairs to his expertise. He could figure out and fix almost anything.
Mr. Kuppens was instrumental in founding the Oakdale Baseball Association and coached several little league teams.
He enjoyed camping, fishing, waterskiing, golfing, and barbecuing. While living on the family dairy next to the Los Alamitos race track, he cultivated his love of horseracing, at one time even owned a winning racehorse with a partner. He enjoyed a special vacation to the Kentucky area and attended the Kentucky Derby in 2000. A favorite place to travel to was the ocean and driving up the California and Oregon coasts. He enjoyed golfing in Hawaii and a cruise to Alaska. He especially enjoyed tending the barbecue and having his friends and family around him to enjoy good food and drinks.
The family thanks the doctors, nurses and staff for all their help during his illness, as well as Community Hospice for their excellent care.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Virginia ‘Hot Lips’ Kuppens; children, Kevin (Robyn) Kuppens of Oakdale, Kimberly (Daniel) Kuppens of Modesto; sisters, Katie Konyn of San Bernardino, Mary (John) Boere of Menifee, Johanna (Peter) Van Winden of Napa, Minnie Sandoval of Cypress; grandchildren, Michael (Amanda) Kuppens, Tyler Kuppens, Caleb Kuppens, all of Oakdale, Lisa Kuppens of Modesto; great-granddaughter, Hayley Kuppens of Oakdale.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter C. Kuppens and Mary C. (Goris) Kuppens; brothers, Francis Kuppens, Walter Kuppens, William Kuppens, Peter Kuppens, Herman Kuppens; and sister, Gertrude Kuppens (Dutro).
A Rosary will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 W. F St., Oakdale. Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 10 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1225 Olive St., Oakdale.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in his name to Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
June 5, 2013