Mary Rupel, a loving and devoted friend, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, has been greatly loved by all who have been fortunate to know her. She passed on to the loving arms of her Lord on June 20, 2020 after living a full life dedicated to the Church, her family and all those around her. She was a blessing to everyone she met. Her intelligence, grace and love shone brightly in a heart that was very humble.
Mary Elizabeth Tamplen was born February 22, 1925, in Margaret, Texas, to Luther and Eura Mae Tamplen. Spending most of her childhood on the family farms near Margaret and Crowell, Texas, she was the eldest of five children in a family full of love and service to others. During her sophomore year at Crowell High School, she was Texas Girls State Champion in Declamation.
She graduated from Crowell High School in 1942 and then attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She became a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps and proudly served her country during World War II, graduating from the Lubbock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1946 as a Registered Nurse. She is registered as a member of the Women in Military Service at the America Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. During her service as a nurse, she met Lawrence Quinby Rupel, a lieutenant in the United States Army. They married on September 5, 1946 and had two beautiful children, Rosemarie and Larry. However, Mary’s husband, Lawrence, died on November 28, 1948 from leukemia.
A few years later she married Maurice E. Rupel and raised a family of six children in both Texas and Colorado while serving as a volunteer and leader for her Catholic parish and for several organizations including the Girl Scouts, nursing homes and the American Cancer Society.
She is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Maurice, three daughters and their husbands: Rosemarie and Gary Hirsch, Kay Bloedorn, and Anne and Mark DeMaria, PhD; and her two younger sons and their wives: Patrick and Norma Rupel, and Raymond Rupel, D.O. and Joanne Vitanza, M.D. She is also survived by two sisters, Mildred Speer and Virginia Whatley, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her parents, two brothers, one son, the Reverend Lawrence Rupel, and two grandsons preceded her in death.
“Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says! Now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.” Revelation 14:13.