VERMILION — City officials were in shock after learning about the death of former Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member John Rupert on Wednesday morning.
Sandy Coe, executive director of the board, said the community lost a great man who was at the board’s meeting last Thursday.
“You could always count on John because he’d always be there, but now it’s going to be strange now that he’s not going to be there,” she said.
Rupert, 72, of Vermilion, died Wednesday at Mercy Regional Medical Center after a sudden illness. He served nearly 30 years on the Vermilion chamber.
He was born Oct. 14, 1946, in Delphos and had been a Vermilion resident for the past 29 years. Rupert graduated from the University of Akron with a doctorate in polymer chemistry, working as polymer chemist for companies including Goodyear, Union Carbide, BASF and Monsanto before he switched to working for the community.
In 1990, he became a financial adviser at the Edward Jones investment company branch in Vermilion.
He was a past president of the Vermilion chamber and a former member of the Vermillion Rotary and the Lucy Idol Center.
He enjoyed gardening and watching nature in his backyard, and he was a voracious reader. Coe said he was a kind, generous and brilliant man.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Dianne Rupert; his sons, Christopher and Matthew Rupert; his grandchildren, Nina, Cheyenne, Aliyah and Maverick; his brothers, Dan, Bill and Jim Rupert; and his sisters, Rita Neate, Jeanne Schram, Cook Truman, Betty Baer and Mary Jo Looser.
The family will receive friends Saturday from 2 p.m. until the time of a memorial service at 5 p.m. at Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South St., Vermilion.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Lucy Idol Center for the Handicapped at P.O. Box 162, Vermilion, OH 44089.
Online condolences may be made at www.riddlefuneralhome.com.