Former University of La Verne student, employee and Board of Trustees member Bev Rupel died Nov. 21 at the age of 78 from pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease.
She was a student at the University for two years, before meeting and marrying Milan Rupel. He helped build the Ben Hines Field and supported ULV baseball significantly prior to his death in 1997.
As an active member of the University and community, Mrs. Rupel volunteered frequently in the music department and the La Verne Church of the Brethren. She also loved gardening and was one of the founding leaders of the church’s Peace and Carrots Community Garden.
Bob Dyer, ULV Trustee, was very close to the Rupels. They went to the same church together and started a breakfast group for La Verne alumni to gather on Saturdays.
“Bev was quite a garden,” Dyer said. “She was a model citizen, always willing to help.”
Jacki Gingrich, a friend who was a part of the breakfast groups, said Rupel was known for her love of flowers and loved volunteering, because she felt a strong tie to the University.
Rupel was on the Board of Trustees for two terms in the 1990s. She was also a secretary for the education department and an usher at commencement ceremonies.
Church of the Brethren minister Susan Boyle, who will lead her funeral, said Rupel was a member of the church for most of her adult life.
“She was really generous with her time and energy,” Boyle said.
Al Clark, professor of humanities and Church of the Brethren board chairman, knew her for many years.
“Nothing was too small for her to do,” Clark said. “I remember one time seeing her refinishing the wood on the stairwells of Founders Hall. Another time she offered a room in her own home to a Fulbright scholar from the Netherlands. She was happy, cheerful, concerned and always willing to pitch in and help whenever help was needed.”
Rupel lived in La Verne and is survived by two sons, J and Kent Rupel. She also had a daughter Jane who died of cerebral aneurysm in 2013.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 18 at the Church of the Brethren. Instead of sending flowers in her honor, her family requested for donations to the Garden.
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