Parker E. “Gene” Tupin - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Parker E. “Gene” Tupin

November 9, 1927 - January 16, 2024

Parker E. “Gene” Tupin, aged 96, of Newark, DE, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

Born in Dallas, TX on November 9, 1927, he was the son of the late Parker E. and Louise (Zeibel) Tupin. Gene was raised in Ambridge, PA, where he assisted his grandmother with her chicken farm and vegetable gardens. He graduated from Ambridge Senior High School.

Gene followed his uncle to Pennsylvania State University, and while there, in addition to working, he pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity where he made lifelong friends. During his time at Penn State, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed at Ft Knox. Upon his discharge from the Army, Gene returned to Penn State and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. He spent his summers working at American Bridge Company and joined the Advanced Air Force ROTC.

During his time at Penn State, Gene met Sara Jane App when she and her friends needed a fourth for bridge one evening. They were married on June 16, 1951, at Grace Lutheran Church, Wyndmoor, PA. After they married, they spent many enjoyable evenings playing bridge with friends and their children.

He served in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX and Kessler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS and Ellington AFB., Houston, TX. While at Kessler, Gene used his free time to develop a passion for making furniture. He started with a coffee table and 2 end tables for the living room.

In March 1952, after his discharge from the Air Force, they moved to Newark, DE where Gene accepted a job as an Electrical Engineer at the Chrysler Tank Plant. They settled in Newark, joined St. Paul’s, and became active in this new Lutheran congregation.

When the Chrysler Tank plant closed, Gene started his own business, Tupco Electronics Company, in a building at the old New Castle Co Air Base. Several years later he was hired by Chrysler Auto Assembly Plant. There Gene held several positions in Engineering and Quality Control.

During these years, he served on the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce and City of Newark Revenue Sharing Committee.

Gene leaves a legacy of life-long learning, obtaining his MBA from University of DE later in life, (and proud of his connections to UD). He also taught management courses at Wilmington College (University). He attained Professional Engineer status.

After retiring from Chrysler in 1987, Gene was invited to join the Retired Men’s Luncheon Club. He served as chair and member of the Executive Committee for many years. Gene also became an officer in DE Section ASQC. He helped initiate the “State of Delaware Quality Award in Honor of Bill Gore.” To be given by the ‘Delaware Quality Consortium’ of which he was secretary. Gene became an instructor for DuPont for their SPC program and traveled to give seminars/training across the country. He returned several times as a consultant at Chrysler on different projects.

When they purchased a 50-year-old 3 story house, Gene undertook many of the renovations himself that were needed to make the house livable for the family.

After the final retirement, he designed and helped build his retirement home, a ranch house in Newark, his adopted community, which he loved and supported. During the house construction, Gene spent every day at the house assisting with the construction.

He served on St Paul’s Church Council and several church committees including Property for many years. Gene was elected Council President three different times. He was the designated delegate to District and Synod meetings. Gene was elected to represent Delaware on the MD Synod Council. While serving on MD-DE Synod Council, he visited every church in the Delaware District. Gene served on both Synod Councils before the merger (LCA) and during the transition to the ELCA.

He was active in Lutheran Brotherhood/Thrivent fraternal organization serving as president of the local chapter. Gene actively supported Lutheran Community Services (assisting with the Walk/Run), Hilltop Neighborhood House (serving as swim competition referee for Hilltop Superstars), and Lutheran Campus Ministry at UD (organized several clean-up day events and provided lasagna meals for students).

He was an active member in Masonic Lodge. He regularly attended Masonic meetings until he was unable to go and down the steps at the Temple.

After his retirement, Gene walked daily at UD STAR Campus (formerly Chrysler Administration Building), where the mural showing him at Physical Therapy is displayed.

His hobbies included photography, gardening, woodworking (he built several pieces of furniture) beekeeping, sailing, cooking, and traveling. Gene enjoyed house maintenance projects.

He also was an excellent cook. Frequently being in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey and Saturday evening dinners. Eventually, Gene took over the daily cooking. He enjoyed traveling and planning trips. Gene took the family on several cross-country road trips, visiting friends, historical sites, and national parks along the way.

In later years he visited Texas to get acquainted with his Tupin cousins. For several years we spent Thanksgiving in FL, alternating staying with Nancy, Joan, and Ed. Gene assisted Nancy and Paul with their neighborhood ‘Toy Parade’. He was proud to have taken a cruise to Alaska with Jane, Joan, and David when he was 91.

In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by his sister, Juanita; and his wife, Sara Jane App Tupin. He is survived by his children, Edward, Jane, Nancy (Paul), and Joan (David); and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 5 pm until 6:45 pm on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a Masonic Service will begin at 6:45 pm. A second visitation will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 701 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19713, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am. A committal service will follow in the chapel of Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Paul’s Lutheran Church, at the address listed above or online by clicking here, or to the ‘Tupin Family Fund for Physical Therapy’, Development & Alumni Relations, University of Delaware, 83 E. Main St, 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716-2128.


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5 Condolences for Parker E. “Gene” Tupin

  • So sorry to hear this, but from reading it sounds like he had a full and interesting life.

  • Ed, I am thinking of you and wishing you peace during these difficult days. Your dad was amazing

  • I am saddened by the loss of a wonderful man. I’m so glad I got to know him and hear some of his favorite stories. He will be missed by many. Prayers continue for this sweet family.

  • What a wonderful father and role model. He set a perfect example of how we should live our lives. He made a difference in this world and will be sincerely missed by all. Love and prayers for the family.

  • Oh, sincere condolences to you all! Mr. Turpin was certainly a man of great spirit. May peace be with you.
    Mary Boord and Amanda Boord McGrady