Kenneth Howard Cupp, age 76 of Mount Vernon, Texas passed away in Sulphur Springs, Texas on Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 2:00 P.M. with Bro. Pepper Puryear officiating at First Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon, Texas. Interment will be at Cypress Cemetery where Military Honors and Masonic rites will be conducted.
Kenneth was born September 21, 1946, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Howard and Bernadine Harper Cupp. His father left the family when Kenneth was very young and his Uncle Boyd and Aunt Florence Harper were a great influence in his formative years and through his life, teaching him about Jesus and hard work.
At the age of 12, he moved to Bear Creek Ranch to live with Patricia’s aunt and uncle, Jim and Mattie Davis, where he learned to break horses and be a farrier after school and during his summers, until he graduated high school in 1964.
After he graduated from Monument Highschool in Colorado Springs, Kenneth took a certification program for electronics with the intention to get into the workforce and after a year of searching, he joined the US Navy. He served his country as a petty officer third class E5 from 1965 to 1970 during the Vietnam era. In 1968, he served aboard the USS Intrepid which is now a museum in New York harbor.
On discharge from the US Navy, he returned to New Mexico to help with his younger brothers and sisters. The next year, he joined his shipmate, Curt Brown, to pursue ranching in Nebraska.
Deciding that they both wanted to pursue further education, he returned to Texas to live with his foster parents, Jim and Mattie Davis, where he attended and graduated from Henderson County Junior College, now known as Trinity Valley in 1976, with two associate degrees: one in ranch management and the other in pre-veterinarian medicine. He was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges.
He married Patricia Davis, that same year, on June 20, 1976, in Harris County, Texas. The couple then moved to the Ucross Ranch near Merriman, Nebraska, where he worked as a ranch hand for 2 years before moving to the Double Hook Ranch, in May of 1978, where he eventually became the ranch manager. All three of his children were born during the period that he and Patricia were in Nebraska.
After the failure of the Nebraska land banks, in 1985, he moved his family to Texas, settling in Malakoff, where he had a temporary job before being hired by Texas Utilities. He was an honor graduate from the Texas Utilities Training School and worked for Texas Utilities in Trinidad before transferring to the Rivercrest Power Plant and then again being transferred to Winfield South, then Winfield North. The company shut coal production from Winfield North and South, eventually closing the plant all together. TXU restructured and rebranded to Luminant Mining, where he went to Thermo mine in Sulphur Springs, as a dozer operator before retiring after 28 years of service in 2013.
The Cupp family moved to Mount Vernon, Texas in 1988, where he quickly became involved in the community. He was involved for many years with youth sports, to ensure that every kid had a chance to play. He was forever helping folks in the community with various needs, and even when he’d come home tired, he’d go back out if someone called.
Kenneth became a member of the Masonic Lodge #691 in 1992, where he has served in various offices, many multiple times. He became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1994. He received the Mason Golden Trowel Award, for his commitment and dedication to the order, which is the highest honor a local lodge can give.
He had been a volunteer of the Mount Vernon Fire Department having served in many different offices. Kenneth could be seen around the community smiling as he volunteered at various events and serving as a first responder. He retired from the Mount Vernon Fire Department as Fire Chief on December 31st, 2021.
Kenneth was honored as Franklin County’s 2018 Man of the Year by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. He was also voted Best Firefighter of 2020 by the readers of the Optic Herald. He was also a member of the First Baptist Church since 1991 where he served in various areas including usher, sound man, and anywhere else he was needed or asked to serve. He regularly attended The Call bible study group. In the fall of 2022, he became involved in Crimestoppers as a board member and most recently was elected the Treasurer. He was also a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed reading Louis Lamour books, listening to Jim Reeves, his favorite actor was Clint Eastwood, movie is A Fist Full of Dollars and book is Josie Wales.
He dedicated his life to the service of others and has been referred to by many as a hero, selfless, genuine, humble, and kind. Some people might say that he was the community clown, but everyone knew he would be there when anyone needed him.
He was preceded in death by his father: Howard Lee Cupp; mother, Bernadine Creager; stepfather, Omer Creager; brother, Gary Cupp; sister, Jaydine McMahan and son-in-law, Gary Gruber.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 46 years, Patricia, daughters; Chandra (Cameron) Senek, and Keri (Lance) Newman; son, Trevor (Lena) Cupp; grandchildren, Czaria Senek, William Senek, Chloe Cupp-Gruber, Couri Gruber, Kenny Gruber, Kevin Gruber, Sydney Newman, and Layton Newman; Great Grandson Tucker Cupp; brothers, Donald Cupp, Michael McMahan; sister, Judy (Daniel) Hilger along with numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Services are entrusted to Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.samharveyfuneralhome.com