Rev. Paul L. Lupkes ’50

Rev. Paul L. Lupkes ’50, 89, passed away at Bella Vista Nursing Home on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

A resident of Rapid City for 39 years, he was well-known in Rapid City and West River as a minister, professor, chaplain. He was born Jan. 21, 1927 on a farm in Iowa to John and Grace Lupkes, one of eight children. He was proud of his Low-German heritage and often stated he grew up with “no running water and no electricity.”

His education began in a one-room school house in Bear-Grove, Iowa; graduated in Dumont, IA high school in 1945.  He was prepared to enter the US Army when news came that his brother George was killed 4-16-45 in WWII, and Paul was then exempt to become a soldier. He wanted to prepare for the ministry, so chose Hope College, Western Theo. Seminary in Holland, MI., Christian Theo. Sem., IN; graduated in 1953.

While in Holland, he met and married Gladys Buurma ‘56, June 19, 1953. Together they ministered in churches as pastor and wife in Willow Lake, SD, Waterloo, IA, Indianapolis, IN and Denver, CO.  Always innovative in the early 70; she became pastor of the Church of the Rockies Drive-in Ministry, Westminster, CO.  His Aunt Tena often said, “Who could imagine that little shy boy could become who he is now?” He was invited to become Campus Minister (UMHE) at SDSMT, Rapid City, august, 1977.  He earned a D.Min degree at McCormick Theo. Seminary in Chicago in 1989 and was made Assoc. Prof. at SDSMT where he taught several religion classes; he retired in 2004.

He was known affectionately as “Pastor Paul of Palmerton Hall.” He served as Chaplain at Fort Meade’s VA Hospital; and was asked to “fill the pulpit” in many area churches and retirement homes.  He loved gardening and wood-working; he was quite a writer and printed many sermon-booklets called “Glimpses.”  He usually carried a pocket full of jokes to hand out to friends and/or strangers.

Paul and Gladys were married for 63 years, and have a family of four children: Janet Lupkes ’56 (Gus ’76) Lukow of Frederick, MD; Debra Lupkes ’78 (Randy) Eisenbeisz, Hayti, SD; Richard (Lisa) Lupkes ’81, Tampa, FL: Sandra Lupkes ’89 (Todd ’88) Eisenbeisz, Brendan Lupkes, Cameron Lupkes, Sydney Lupkes, Matthew LaBaugh, Lindsey LaBaugh, and great-grandson, Thomas Monaco.  Also surviving is a sister, Carol Born: January 21, 1927 Death: May 31, 2016 Schiltz, WI; sisters-in-law,  Beverly Lupkes, Shirley Lupkes, Florence Lupkes, Juliet Lupkes all of Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Grace Lupkes, his brothers, George Lupkes, Arthur Lupkes, Walter Lupkes, LeRoy Lupkes, Merlin Lupkes, sister Lois Meyer.

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