LeRoy William “Roy” Rupert of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 7:27 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019 at the Pine Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stevensville, Michigan following a brief illness, having attained the remarkable age of 101 years.
He was born on October 13, 1917 in Niles to Raymond and Minnie Bertha (Block) Rupert. He was graduated from Niles High School in 1936, and attended engineering courses at the University of Notre Dame. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943, using his engineering aptitude to serve as an aviation metalsmith, and was Honorably Discharged as a Veteran of World War II. Back in Niles, he was employed as a manufacturing engineer for forty-eight years at the former Niles plant of Tyler Refrigeration, retiring in 1985. In retirement, he provided engineering services to Bangor Cooler Company in Hartford, Michigan.
Roy was a member of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Niles. He enjoyed hunting and fishing locally, including fishing on Lakes Michigan and Erie from his boat, “Roy’s Joy”. He enjoyed personally maintaining and landscaping his front yard to golf course precision. He adopted his faithful yellow lab, “Buff” from a shelter and they were inseparable, sharing a special relationship.
On October 3, 1941 in Niles he married the former Jane Adeline Bixby with whom he celebrated the remarkable fifty-ninth anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on November 25, 2000. They were also sadly preceded in death by their son, Robert “Butch” Rupert who died in 1966 as a victim of a motor vehicle accident while attending college in Texas. He was also preceded in death by a beloved aunt and uncle, Herbert and Eleanor Block, and by Jane’s siblings, Ruth Covington, Carl Bixby, and Paul Bixby, and a nephew, Dan Bixby.
Roy is survived by his cousin, William Block and great-nephew, Bryan (& Jennifer) Bixby who had all worked together to provide his care. Also surviving are nieces and nephews including Paul (& Patricia) Bixby, Carl (& Karen) Bixby, Janet Ann (& George) Shafer, Mary (& David) Hand, and Patricia (Mrs. Dan) Bixby; and many other relatives for whom he was “Uncle Roy”.
The funeral service for LeRoy Rupert will be held at Noon on Monday, March 11, 2019 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore Street in Niles with the Rev. Joseph T. Liss of the church officiating. Committal will follow at Mission Hills, and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the United States Navy Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan.
The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the church. Contributions in memory of Roy Rupert may be made to Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, https://www.stpaulsniles.org. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.
Saint Paul's Lutheran Church
1340 Sycamore Street, Niles MI 49120