In Memory

Thomas "Hooper" Zuppke - Class Of 1994

Thomas S. Zuppke

Thomas S. Zuppke

DUNCAN, Okla. - Thomas S. Zuppke, 69, of Duncan, Okla., died Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the home he shared with his loving wife and caretaker, Rena. Tom had many physical problems in the past few years.

Tom was born Tuesday, July 11, 1944, in Chicago, the youngest child of four born to Stanley and Marie Zuppke. The family moved to a farm on Lincoln Avenue in 1946, then to their home on Red Arrow Highway in 1951, both in Lincoln Township.

Tom attended Stewart Elementary School and was a proud graduate of Lakeshore High School in 1962, after being a standout athlete in many sports. He was inducted into the Lakeshore Hall of Fame in 2009. He attended Kent State University in Ohio on a full-ride football scholarship, graduating with a B.S. in biophysics. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and later tried out for the Dallas Cowboys. He received a master's degree in airport management later in life.

Most of Tom's working life was spent in aviation. Retired from the military, Tom was very proud that he served his country as a captain in the United States Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot and in the Army Reserve. He worked in Kuwait during the second Gulf War, and later as a civilian flight simulator instructor for the military. He was a member of American Legion Post 568, Stevensville. He and his wife maintained an animal rescue sanctuary for the past 10 years.

Besides his wife, Rena, survivors include his two daughters: Cherise Goel of Minneapolis; and Christina Schwind of Boulder, Colo.; his son, Tom, of Virginia Beach, Va.; four granddaughters; one grandson; his sisters: Janet Schaefer and Marilyn (Tom) Kubath of Stevensville; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Ted.

Per his request, cremation has taken place. Interment will take place in Michigan at a later date. A memorial service will be held in Duncan, Okla. Tom, also known as Hooper or Swede, will be missed by his family and his many friends from school, the military and around the world.