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Christopher Kupferer

Christopher Kupferer

Friday September 14, 1962 - Friday July 5, 2019
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Obituary

Christopher Kupferer, a newspaper editor whose quick and wicked wit, abundant intelligence and deep caring for colleagues, friends and family was undergirded by a dark and humorous cynicism, died of a heart attack Friday, July 5, 2019, at his home in North Wales, Pa. He was 56.

Mr. Kupferer, who prized absurdity and rose reflexively to mock pretense and hypocrisy of all kinds, found much indeed to laugh about in his more than 30 years in the newspaper industry, and he shared his amusement liberally. He had a robust, infectious laugh that captivated everyone within its reach. He often said that he lived for the laugh. He reveled in exchanging smart, hilarious one-liners and commentary, especially with his two brothers and his colleagues on the news desk. He thrived on wordplay and banter, and he could take it as well as give it.

He was an inveterate reader and lover of arcane facts, and he did the New York Times crossword puzzle daily — in pen.

Mr. Kupferer was born Sept. 14, 1962, to Bruce and Anna Mae Kupferer. He spent his formative years in West Orange, New Jersey, and Millerton, New York, feeding a keen sense of curiosity and developing a passion for words and language. That passion led him to his career in journalism at four newspapers, starting with the Lakeville Journal in northwest Connecticut, followed by the Norwich Bulletin and Danbury News-Times, also in Connecticut, and finally the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for the past 25 years. He began as a reporter, but quickly found his métier on the copy desk, where he employed his considerable talent and knowledge to make mediocre stories good and good stories great. Mr. Kupferer was widely recognized by his colleagues as a peerless wordsmith whose editing approach was equal parts passion and precision.

Mr. Kupferer brought his quest for professional quality to other aspects of his life. He thoroughly enjoyed cooking and would tinker tirelessly to perfect the dishes he concocted, using only the best ingredients, and enthusiastically shared his recipes and cooking tips with friends. His spicy ‘Kupcakes’ (peanut butter and hot green chili sauce on rice cakes) were a hit with his copy desk compatriots.

He loved classical music and Prince, and he was a car guy who did a lot of his own repairs. He had a special affinity for a 1960s-era pale yellow Volvo he acquired as a young man that he dubbed The Egg. He once traveled cross-country in that car, sending back missives from “The Road Worrier.” He also reveled in classic comedies including “The Producers,” and he was a huge fan of Lenny Bruce’s work, which he could quote from at length.

Mr. Kupferer also loved his dogs, among them Ursa, Bella and Samantha, whose sweet demeanors reflected the love and care he showered on them. He had a gruff exterior that covered an equally gruff interior, but he was an extraordinarily warm and kind man nevertheless. For a number of years, he made it a tradition to take out several hundred dollars during Christmastime and hand out twenties to street people downtown.

Chris never married but he had many profound and fulfilling relationships over the course of his life. His friends and family carry heavy hearts alongside indelible memories of his outsize personality — his rich and deeply felt laugh, his scathing asides, his powerful warmth and generosity of spirit.

Mr. Kupferer is survived by his mother, Anna Mae, of Millerton, N.Y.; brothers, Keith and Kurt, their wives, Tara and Jolanta; niece, Katherine and dear friends too numerous to list. He was predeceased by his father, Bruce, and his uncle, Albert.

Calling hours will take place on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home, 37 Park Avenue, Millerton, NY 12546. A Mass of Christian Burial will held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 11am at St. Martin of Tours Parish, St. Mary’s Church, 76 Sharon Road, Lakeville, CT. Reverend M. David Dawson will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery; Cobble Road, Salisbury, CT. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association. To send an online condolence please visit www.conklinfuneralhome.com
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, July 12th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    When
    Friday, July 12th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location
    Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home
    Address
    37 Park Avenue
    MILLERTON, NY 12546
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Friday, July 12th, 2019 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    When
    Friday, July 12th, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Location
    Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home
    Address
    37 Park Avenue
    MILLERTON, NY 12546
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, July 13th, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, July 13th, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    St. Martin of Tours Parish, St. Mary’s Church
    Address
    76 Sharon Road
    LAKEVILLE, CT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Reverand M. David Dawson
  • Interment

    Location
    St. Mary's Cemetery
    Address
    Cobble Road
    SALISBURY, CT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Condolences

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Love, Scott, Jody, Andrew, Meredith and Shane and Kymberly Schwartz, neighbor sent flowers to the family of Christopher Kupferer.
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LM

Lisa Bradley McCormack

Posted at 10:47pm
Mrs. Kupferer, Keith, and Kurt, my family and I are so very sorry for your loss. I graduated from Webutuck with Chris and always enjoyed his kindness and his sharp sense of humor. He was always the guy you did not want to follow when an English teacher asked you to read your essay out loud. He was such a natural and talented writer even then--I'm not surprised he did so well with journalism and editing. We will keep Chris and your family in our prayers.
God bless, Lisa Bradley McCormack
LS

Love, Scott, Jody, Andrew, Meredith and Shane

Posted at 08:28pm
Our thoughts are with you.... xoxo
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Love, Scott, Jody, Andrew, Meredith and Shane purchased flowers for the family of Christopher Kupferer. Send Flowers

SW

Sue Weston

Posted at 09:20am
To give proper credit to that terrific obit of Chris: It was masterminded by his longtime friends and long-ago colleagues Kerri Pedersen and Ken Heidel. Chris would have loved it. Or maybe DOES love it.
SW

Sue Weston

Posted at 02:36pm
OMG that obit is wonderful! Sounds like Chris wrote it himself -- probably speaks to his brothers' similar sense of humor. Wish they'd use the phrase "passed on" and called him "the iconic Kupferer" -- two things that set Chris's hair on fire. As would the exclamation point in my opening line.

Chris and I sat in the same pod in the "new" newsroom at 8th & Market for a coupla years. Back to back. We worked together, laughed together, groused, chuckled, complained, fought, cried, commiserated, strategized, argued together. I mean really argued. (Miriam Tarver, across the barrier, would commented on the Bickersons and having to operate in a hostile work environment.) One spring he and I were obsessed with the eagle cam out of D.C., checking several times a day on the two eaglets, enthralled from hatching to fledging. Grabbed colleagues at desks around us, or just walking by, pulling them in on the magic.

I loved him, the irascible old coot. So stuck in the 70s. So frickin' frugal. So stubborn about how things should be done. Thought he was the boss of me. Set him straight a number of times. Sometimes ferociously, sometimes gently. He brought me flowers once in apology. I will never forget him.
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 06:44pm
With deepest sympathy, love Tracie and Jon
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