John Robert Kupfer
John Robert Kupfer
  • July 29, 1932 - June 11, 2014
  • Kansas City, Missouri

Share This Obituary

John Robert Kupfer, of Kansas City, Missouri died Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at the age of 81 in Adrian, Missouri at the Adrian Manor Health and Rehabilitation Facility under the care of his loving niece Liz Chancellor and Crossroads Hospice. John was born July 29, 1932 to Fred Henry Kupfer and Elizabeth Fleischli Kupfer in Kansas City, Missouri. John is preceded in death by his parents, and siblings: Henry Fredrick Kupfer, Anna (Schatzi) Neese, and Pauline Elizabeth Clifton, his wife of 48 years, Bonnie Jeanne Kupfer (married July 29, 1961) and their two children Fred and infant John Christian. John’s early schooling was at Bennington Elementary and Raytown High School. He received a B.A. Business degree major and Horticulture minor at Kansas State University in 1955. John remained a passionate Kansas Wildcat thru out his life with a “Wildcat” emblazed on many items in his apparel and followed KSTATE sports diligently. John was an avid member and supporter of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. John returned from college and in partnership with his brother Henry purchased the Kupfer Carnation Farm, Kansas City, Missouri from their father, quickly increasing the business volume. Growing carnations and poinsettia flowers were the farm’s specialty. During this time, because of John’s intense interest in history and politics, he became active and then Chairman of the Jackson County Young Republicans and eventually the Executive Director of the Jackson County Republican Committee in 1968. John’s public relation and administrative skills, dedication as a public servant, and business background served him well in his next life phase as Director, Office of Field Services, Kansas City Region, Department of Commerce for the next 22 1/2 years. During John’s tenure at the Department of Commerce, he received many accolades from area businesses, the International Trade Club of Kansas City, and was appointed a member of the SBA Regional Advisory Council.

John’s generous community spirit and his legacy are evident by diversity of organizations he supported with his time and skills. John is a lifetime member of the Raytown Historical Society, St. Peter’s Church of Christ, Friends of the Kaw, Shriners, Masonic Lodge and the Kansas City Swiss Society. John’s Swiss heritage was of great importance to him. His last trip to Europe in May of 2010 was blessed with conversations with Swiss family members he had kept in contact with his entire life. John would often lapse in Swiss-German words easily as he told stories, particularly when “teaching” young American relatives about Switzerland. John’s quiet demeanor encouraged listeners to lean forward and listen to what he had to say. His sunny frequent saying, “okie dokie,” mischievous smile, his readiness to try new adventures and his always gentlemanly manners will be missed by his nieces, Connie Adams of Southwest City, Missouri, Liz Chancellor of Adrian , Missouri, and nephews Lee Kupfer of Cleveland, Missouri, Don Neese of Kansas City, Missouri and Jim Neese of Olathe, Kansas, their spouses and extended families. The family is especially thankful for John’s special friend Patsy June Pierce, of Lenexa, Kansas who was instrumental in keeping him happy and comfortable his last years of life.

A “Celebration of John’s Life” is scheduled for 11:00 AM, Wednesday June 18, at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ located at 700 East 110 Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The family will welcome friends after the service. Donations honoring John can be made to: The Raytown Historical Society Museum, 9705 East 63rd Street, Raytown, Missouri, 64133, and the Friends of the Kaw, PO Box 1612, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.