Ronald “Ron” Shupe was born on September 26, 1942 Lamb Memorial Hospital in Denver, Colorado to his parents, Franklin L. Shupe and Eunice E. (Profitt) Shupe. He passed away on August 10, 2017 at Sanford Palliative Care in Fargo, North Dakota in the company of loved ones.
Ron grew up in Denver and attended elementary school at Rocky Mountain Christian School, Kepner Middle School and West Denver High School all in Denver. Growing up, Ron was fortunate that his oldest brother (Frank Jr.) was a school teacher who had the summers off. From the time he was about 8 years old, through his 14th year, Ron spent every summer with Frank and his family at an old cabin near Fairplay, CO. Mornings were for chores, but afternoons, were free to fish and just wander the mountains. From that experience grew his lifelong love of the outdoors and wildlife.
Following high school he briefly attended Abilene Christian University in Texas and by mutual consent dropped out. He graduated from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and was immediately hired as a Wildlife Refuge Manager by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). While still in high school Ron enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and Tech Sargent in 1968. Ron worked for the FWS as a field refuge manager for the first half of his career. He concurrently had a Federal Wildlife Law Enforcement Commission with the full police powers of the Federal Government.
He was married for the first time to Sheila Ann Caldwell in 1963. During the first half of his career he served as a refuge manager at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Nebraska, Charles M. Russell NWR in Montana, Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico and at the Audubon NWR Complex in North Dakota, his final field station with the FWS. In 1976, he was selected as a NWR Assistant Supervisor and moved his family to the Regional Office located in Denver, CO. Ron was promoted to refuge Supervisor and by the time of his retirement, was the Deputy Regional Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Denver with responsibilities for the eight state Mountain-Prairie Region. He married Barbara (Laumb) Hoflen on October 11, 1997 in Berthold, ND. At the time of his retirement in 2007, he and Barbara had moved from Denver to Bismarck, ND to be closer to her family.
Ron did complete some post graduate work at Utah State University. In addition to his Law Enforcement Credentials, he was a certified wild land fire fighter and a Myers-Briggs Instructor. Ron worked for the FWS for 38 years and 9 months. He had a life membership in the North Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society, including a few years as the Chairman of the Energy Committee. He was also a longtime member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association including a stent as the President of the Bismarck Chapter of NARFE.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; son, Kevin (Deana) and their children; daughter, Robin (Craig) and their children; step-son Bill (Melissa) and their children; step-daughter, Liz (Jason) and their children; and brother, John. Other survivors include nieces Bobbi and Karen and their families (children of his oldest brother, Frank); niece, Debby (Dean) and their children; nephew, George Jr. (Diane) and their families (children of his oldest sister Hettie); nephew, Franky (Robin) and their family (the child of his youngest sister Pat); special “uncle,” Harold; and mother-in-law Joan Laumb, brothers-in-law Tom (Cindy) and their families and Greg (Linda) and their families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his oldest brother, Frank; and sisters, Pat and Hettie.