Michael Dennis Crupper, 81, of Hesston, died Friday, May 15, 2020. He was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on November 5, 1938, son of Joe and Rhoda (Burk) Crupper.
Mike lived most of his life in Newton, Kansas. He graduated from Newton High School in 1957 and attended Wichita State University before being hired as a switchman for the Santa Fe Railway in 1959.
Mike met Becky Jo Miller on February 3, 1961 at Play-Mor Lanes in Newton. They were married on March 3, 1962, sharing 58 years of marriage together.
Mike was an extremely patriotic American and proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1961-1964. He was first stationed with Kansas City Air Defense in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, followed by two years with Alaska Air Defense in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was stationed at the Nike Hercules “B” missile battery, part of Eielson Air Force Base.
Following Mike’s military service, he and Becky moved back to Newton and Mike returned to work with Santa Fe Railway. He worked as a switchman on the Middle Division before being promoted to Yardmaster in the Sand Creek Yards and later Assistant Trainmaster. Mike retired from the railroad in 2000 after 41 years of service.
Mike and Becky lived, worked and loved living life in Newton. In addition to raising their two children, Michelle and Jason, and being involved in their activities, Mike was involved in many aspects of life in Newton. Mike was a member of Hillcrest Community Foursquare Church where he served in countless capacities ranging from helping build the church building in 1969 to doing building maintenance and lawn care, leading worship and serving as a church elder and council member.
Mike served on the Chisholm Trail Festival steering committee for 9 years, was a member of the American Legion, a Harvey County Republican Precinct Committeeman, a graduate of the Citizen Police Academy and delivered Meals on Wheels for 10 years.
From the time he was in high school, Mike was known for having an immaculate custom or classic car, including his most recent 1996 Corvette. Mike loved being outside whether it was mowing and caring for his lawn, cleaning his cars, playing golf with friends, or playing with his kids and grandkids. He was a huge lifelong fan of the New York Yankees and loved everything baseball, including an amazing ability to remember baseball statistics. He also enjoyed bowling in leagues at Play-Mor Lanes with friends and family members through the years.
Perhaps his greatest love other than his family was his love of travel. Mike traveled to 48 states, visited countless national parks, enjoyed cruises, had the joy of returning to Alaska in 1990, experienced two unforgettable hiking trips to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and enjoyed several trips to Hawaii including a celebration of Mike and Becky’s 45th anniversary with their kids and grandkids.
Mike’s greatest gift to his family was his love of family. Mike loved his life with Becky, celebrating 58 years of marriage this March. Michelle and Jason knew, without question, that their Dad cherished them. When Bruce and Marie each married into the family, they immediately knew how it felt to be loved by Mike. One of the best times of life happened when he became a grandfather and was given the beloved name of “GDad.” GDad’s smiles and laughs were the greatest when he was spending time loving on and laughing with his grandkids! His favorite “hobby” in later years was bragging about and hanging out with Kym, Debyn, Corinne, Gibson and Reece, and most recently enjoying being a great-grandpa to Scarlet.
In 2017, Mike and Becky moved to Showalter Villa Retirement Community in Hesston. Later that year, Mike was diagnosed with and began the fight against Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA) and moved into the Villa Life Center. Mike lived there until he was received into his Savior’s arms on May 15th, celebrating his victory over MSA and rejoicing in an eternity with Christ.
Mike is survived by his wife Becky of Hesston, his daughter Michelle Daise and her husband Bruce of Shawnee, his son Jason Crupper and his wife Marie of Kansas City, Missouri; five grandchildren, Corinne, Gibson and Reece Daise of Shawnee, Debyn Crupper and Kymberlee Crupper both of Kansas City, Missouri; and one great-granddaughter, Scarlet Rohrbough also of Kansas City.
Mike is also survived by his two brothers, Jim Crupper and his wife Judy of Gilbert, Arizona and Phill Crupper and his wife Trudy of Richmond, Texas. He is also survived by his in-laws Dale Miller of Florence, Neil and Melva Miller of Wichita, Sam and Bonnie Miller and Liz Miller, all of Hesston, and by many dear cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents and his stepfather Glen Thomas.
The family will have a private graveside service with military honors at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton. Due to current limitations, it will be necessary for a memorial service and celebration of Mike’s life to be scheduled at a future date that will be announced by the family this summer.
Public viewing following social distancing protocols is Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Petersen Family Funeral Home, 215 North Main, Newton. A memorial has been established in Mike’s memory with Hillcrest Community Foursquare Church, P.O. Box 706, Newton, KS 67114 or in care of Petersen’s.