John G. Rupple

John G. Rupple, known for many years for his fantastic grounds, gardens, kindness and generosity, left us on April 6 to join Jesus in paradise; looking forward to the new creation gardens that await all who trusted in Him.

John was born on June 10, 1926, to George W. and Anna K. (nee Patterson) Rupple. George married Anna after her first husband, Frank King, and third child, Donald, died in an accidental drowning in the Wolf River. John was the only child born to George and Anna.

John taught his children the value of hard work and perseverance, having earned the rank of Eagle Scout, enlisting in the Army Air Corps at the age of 17, being called up a year later to train as a fighter pilot. Unfortunately, he was never able to go into active combat as the war came to an end and the diminished need for pilots.

John followed his father into the dairy business after completing his degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison and went to work for McDonald Dairy in Flint, Michigan, serving there for over two decades. He always spoke fondly of Mr. McDonald, his mentor and employer over those years.

After the passing of his father on Christmas Day in 1969, John was asked to take over a fledgling business that his father and some other partners had just gotten off the ground. That business, started in Oconto in 1970, Wisconsin Film and Bag (WF&B), nearly failed due to the 1970s oil embargo and crisis as polyethylene, the basis of the bags, is an oil-based product.

John’s tenacity, hard work and perseverance not only carried WF&B through the oil crisis, but led to decades of employment in Oconto and later in Shawano when the business was moved to a newly built facility in 1983. John retired from WF&B and sold it to a venture capital group after 21 years of leadership. The business continues successful operation, now owned by Novolex.

John’s generosity and service has been experienced by organizations like Shawano National/Valley/M&I Bank (now BMO Harris Bank), Shawano Hospital, the Mielke Foundation, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, the Shawano Gun Club, UW-Green Bay, Ducks Unlimited and the Bay Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America, among others, where he served as a board member or a significant contributor.

John was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther (“Tess”) Rupple; his second wife, Lois (“Roz”) Rupple; his sons, Jeffery, Mark and John Rupple; and his grandson, John Newton.

John is survived by his oldest daughter, Beth Wilson, Lansing, Illinois; son, Paul (Andrea) Rupple, Winfield, Illinois; and youngest daughter, Lisa (Brad) Muller, Bellevue. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

John enjoyed traveling with his first wife, Tess, and later with his second wife, Roz, especially to places with natural beauty. One of his favorite experiences was working on a float for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have his alma mater playing the game.

Another of his adventurous trips was taken on Sept. 14, 2016, with his daughter, Lisa, as they traveled to Washington D.C. for the Old Glory Honor Flight. It was a hot day, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees, but it was a great way to honor his desire to serve his country in one of its most perilous moments. The rest of the family also got to tune into the live-stream and catch a glimpse of Dad at the World War II Memorial and then to welcome him back as they arrived at the Appleton airport that same evening.

John’s love of gardening and gardens reflects being created in God’s image, where God imprinted his image on the first humans in the Garden of Eden and who promised that those who follow and trust Him will live forever in a newly created earth described as a greater garden with trees of life that produce fruit every month, with Jesus as the master gardener. John is now enjoying the gardener and looking forward to the new garden.

Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral. Military honors will be conducted at the church following the service.