Sam Chupp, 84, lost his weeks-long battle with COVID-19 on Thursday, July 9 at his home in Sun City West, Arizona.
Born to Amish parents, Levi and Malinda (Wingard) Chupp, in Thomas, Oklahoma, Sam was the oldest of nine siblings. He grew up in the Mennonite Church, mostly in Nappanee, Indiana.
In 1958, he married Pat Schrock, and a few years later, in 1962, they settled in Phoenix, Arizona where they raised four children.
Sam was an active member and respected lay leader of Sunnyslope Mennonite Church in Phoenix his entire adult life. In the years after retiring from his life-long career as a Body Shop Manager at Rudolph / Lou Grubb Chevrolet, Brown & Brown Chevrolet, and Don Sanderson Ford, he became the custodian at Sunnyslope. He tended the grounds, cleaned the facilities, and handled repairs with the same fine-tuned artistry he used to fix auto bodies.
Sam’s wife Pat died of cancer in 1992, and in 1993, he married Donna Steckly, who had lost her first husband to cancer as well. Together they enjoyed golfing and regular game nights with church friends. They recently moved from Peoria to Sun City West in order to live near good friends and relish the golf course right outside their back door.
In his youth, Sam entered 1-W Service (an alternative to military service) volunteering for two years at a state mental health facility in Westville, Indiana.
In his retirement years, Sam resurrected his farm boy roots to raise delicious food in his backyard garden. His garden beds – fertilized with meticulous attention and pride – produced very tasty tomatoes even in the desert heat.
Sam is survived by his wife, Donna of Sun City West; four children and their spouses: Kryss of Chicago, IL; Ron (Lois Meyer) of Goshen, IN; Kim of Glendale, AZ; and Randy (Beth Montgomery) of Phoenix, AZ; five grandchildren: Katrina Price and Natasha Chupp (Glendale, AZ), Jacque Montgomery (Phoenix, AZ), Matthias and Cheyenne Chupp (Goshen, IN); two great grandchildren: Jerry Valdivia Jr. and Kiara Valdivia (Chicago, IL); six siblings: LeRoy (Portland, OR), Mary Lou Martin (Greencastle, PA), Linda Hostetler (Middlebury, IN), Mel (Hagerstown, MD), Dorothy Hoover (Nappanee, IN), and Carol Keener (State Line, PA); and scores of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Levi (1981), mother Malinda (2001), sister Viola Bender (2004), brother Harvey (2015), granddaughter Korissa (2015), and brother-in-law Arlin Martin (2017).
Celebration of Life service pending due to pandemic restrictions. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Sunnyslope Mennonite Church is welcomed.
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