Obituary: Robert Edward Tupa
June 18, 1925 – October 13, 2013
Robert Edward Tupa, known to family and friends as Bob Tupa, was born in Cedar Lake, Scott County, Minnesota on June 18, 1925, and passed away on October 13, 2013, in Carson City, Nevada at the age of 88. Bob was the son of Robert and Pauline Tupa growing up and working on the family farm in Webster, Minnesota. In 1943, during World War II, Bob left his hometown and headed west. He landed in Minden, NV where he started his cowboy career working on various ranches including the Allerman Ranch, Buckeye Ranch, and Toll Ranch. One of Bob’s favorite stories to tell was while working at the Toll Ranch near Fort Churchill he was fired when he asked the owner Norman Biltz for a raise. At this time, he moved on the YP Ranch near Elko and eventually a ranch near Meeteetse, Wyoming.
In 1947, Bob joined the Marine Corps where he served as a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Camp Mathews. In 1949, while serving on the Marine Detachment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Antietam CV-36 based at Alameda, California, he met his wife of 64 years, Patricia Lawler. Upon discharge from the Corps, Bob and his wife moved to Southern California began their life together. After working various jobs, in 1954, he moved to Vista, California, where he worked as a printer at Camp Pendleton until 1957 when he opened Bob’s Burro Farm, Hee Haw Valley. Bob believed in dreaming big and Hee Haw Valley was the result of that. Bob’s Burro Farm was his way of bringing fun and joy to children and families where he touched thousands over two decades. In 1974, he closed Bob’s Burro Farm and began his next venture of Hee Haw Valley Badges which he ran successfully until retirement. In January 2002, Bob returned Minden, NV, to the land he loved, where he spent his final years surrounded by family sharing his lifetime stories.
Bob was devoted to his Catholic faith which was evident through his entire life, especially in his devotion to his wife and family. Over the 64 years that Bob and Pat were married, they raised four children and always put their family and children’s needs above their own, teaching their children and grandchildren that family was their most valuable possession.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Patricia Tupa; brother, Loren (Sue) Tupa and sister, Polly Haasser and sister, Paula Jane Tupa, all of Orange County; his children, Kathy (Bernie) Roehr of Reno, NV, Bob (Ann) Tupa of Smith Valley, NV, Mary (Doug) Tupa of Petaluma, CA and John (Becky) Tupa, Minden, NV. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and two on the way. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Norbert Tupa.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at 6:30pm on October 16, 2013 at Fitzhenry’s Carson Valley Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10am at St. Gall’s Catholic Church followed by interment at Eastside Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Gall’s Catholic Church 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville, NV 89410 or your favorite charity.