Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mom and Dad's Tribute to Wally Rupp

Our Wally Rupp Memories
(Can't let Wally's passing go by and not post our thoughts. This is long and if you aren't mourning Wally you may choose not to read this.)
We moved in to our first home in 1970. We had 3 three year olds (Mark, Christie and Carrie) and Matthew was 1 1/2 years old. The subdivision was built on the Mackay farm who had sold it to a developer. It was obvious to us new comers that the locals were not to happy to have these starter homes filling up their backyard. But Wally said he didn't like chicken farming anyway but he did get a bit upset when some of the new comers tried to fill in his irrigation ditch. "These stupid kids don't understand water rites"

We were all endeared to those blue eyes and that premature gray hair and it wasn't long before we knew the whole family and learned to love that elegant Gloria and wondering how that Wally ever talked her in to marrying him. It was obvious she adored him but she was always trying to temper that Rupp reputation we kept hearing about.

We had three tricycles for our 3 three year olds and one day all the back wheels went missing,. We couldn't imagine what had happened to those wheels. A few days later two little boys showed up with a old red wagon full of wheels. They were asking if any of the wheels belonged to us. Wally was standing there looking rather fierce as we talked to the kids. Seems someone wanted to build a go cart and needed some wheels. Wally was not smiling one bit.

We were assigned a new home teacher, Wally Rupp. The kids loved Wally throwing them down the stairs and catching their foot just before they sailed off bringing them back to safety. That was only the boys and when the twins tried to get a turn he told them he didn't play with dumb girls. That didn't stop the girls from vieing for his attention and they loved going on "girl hikes" with Wally at girls camp. He still called them dumb girls and they ate it up.

He was the scout master and Mark looked forward to turning 11 yrs old so he couold be a part of the 745 troup. I remember Mark's first 50 miler as he walked out of our circle hauling his backpack over to Wally's. As he walked away from us all we could see were these little legs from the knees down and this huge backpack. I didn't want to let him go but wally assured me he would keep him safe. When he returned we asked him about all the rumors of initiation etc. and all he would say was that it was a great time and he couldn't wait till next time. None of our boys would tell us what went on at the 50 miler. But as far as we knew they always returned safe and sound with an increase in confidence and the ability to solve their own problems.

Once when I worked with the Laurels in "MIA" I was just arriving and 3 boys come blasting out of the church on a dead run. They went right over the hood of Wally's truck jumping into the back with Wally right behind them. Wally leaped into the back of the truck and grabbed those kids by the hair and through them out of the truck telling them he never wanted to see them again (in so many words). Farrell was bishop at the time and the boys came from inactive families. I worried that they would never come to church again but the next week they were back fully engaged in Wally's troop.
The phone rang quite late one Saturday night and when Farrell answered it a voice said, "Where the hell is Moses, I can't find him anywhere." Seems Wally was trying to prepare the lesson for the Deacon's Quorum and was looking for the Book of Moses and couldn't find it.

All of our sons were prepared to be eagle scouts by their Scout Master, Wally. He was organized and if you started with him at age 11 you would have your Eagle by age 14 but you had to work at it. We watched our boys work through those merit badges one at a time, go to classes when Wally told them to get to the library this day for your merit badge class. All 5 of our sons recieved their Eagle because Wally made it a priority for them. He accepted no excuses and we watched as our boys learned what was meant by that Scout Oath. I think Wally always kept an element of fear in those boys but they never doubted that he loved them and would do anything for them.

I was attending a meeting in the boardroom at LDS hospital one day. In came a good friend who was the director of social work. I told him he was looking rather tired was he ok? He said he was the Scout Master for his ward and had just got home from the 50 mile hike and he was tired. I asked him if it was worth it and he said, "Oh yes, it was a great time and just happened to meet the Greatest Scout Master of all time on the trail while we were hiking."
I said, " Oh really, was that Wally Rupp?
He looked at me surprised and said, "Yes, how did you know?
Well, for me Greatest Scout Master and Wally Rupp was a no brainer. He then went on saying he had heard so much about this legendary scout master and he finally got to meet him. It is true Wally was pretty famous.

We heard a rumor once that Wally told his bishop (his brother) to make him the Scout Master and then just leave him alone and not ask him to do anything else. We are so glad that he was the scout master for all our boys.

These last years we could always count on getting a hug every Tuesday morning at the temple from Wally - smiling from ear to ear - always so glad to see us.

We love the Rupp family and have many memories of Wally, Gloria and all 9 of those kids. Great memories, sweet memories, really happy memories. Farrell has some choice memories that he can't necessarily share as he was their bishop and those memories will forever be dear to him.
I will miss my proverbial hug from MY Wally, I can't help shed a a tear as I think of how many of our memories are linked to Wally and the Rupp family.

So Steve,Larry Rupp, Darrell Rupp, Carl,Lyle, Norm, Gordon, Aaron and Gayle Rupp Black we love you. We are sad that we were not there to celebrate his wonderful life. We are in Africa for a season thinking we will never see a flag wave that we won't think of our Wally. You see you have to share him with all of us because we love him too, we will also miss him.
We are so so glad we have had the Rupps in our circle of friends for many years.
Farrell and Marilyn Barlow

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