Thief River Falls - Robert G. Kauppila, Thief River Falls, 64, passed away after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), at the Veteran’s Hospital in Fargo, N.D., surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013.
Funeral Services were held Monday, Aug. 12, with Rev. Ale Tulu officiating at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. Interment was held at Finnish Cemetery in Plummer. Military honors were provided by Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post 117 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793. Casket bearers included active and honorary nieces and nephews Lisa Patorti, Jessica Maggard, Aaron Kauppila, Chrissy Vorst, Andrew Kauppila, Davin Kauppila, Amy Christenson, Dan Christenson, Megan Malwitz, Jacob Malwitz and Brandi Malwitz.
Robert “Bob” Kauppila was born on June 26, 1949 in Thief River Falls, the son of Olaf J. and Lila V. (Sironen) Kauppila. Bob was baptized into the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls.
Bob attended school in Thief River Falls and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967; later continuing schooling and working in Minneapolis and Thief River Falls.
On Jan. 24, 1969 Bob entered into service with the United States Army. Bob served in Vietnam in Recon and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) as well as other medals for his service and was Honorably Discharged after two years of active duty. He then worked as a carpenter and contractor in construction in Wyoming for over 35 years; moving back to Minnesota and continuing carpentry for several years until his illness forced him to retire.
He was also a proud and active member of the VFW and was past Post Commander; Military Order of the Cootie; the American Legion; and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles. Bob further belonged to the NRA, and the Carpenters’ Union.
Hunting and fishing were his first love and he also enjoyed participating and watching all sports. Playing and coaching hockey brought him great joy. Bob loved being with family and participating in family events.
Bob is survived by his siblings: Gene Kauppila of Thief River Falls, Janice Rabideaux of Cloquet, Greg Kauppila of Lusby, Md., Gordy (Glenna) Kauppila of Rawlins, Wyo., Sharon (Jim) Baron of Thief River Falls, Gloria (Kevin) Malwitz of Thief River Falls; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; nephew, Bryan Kauppila; nieces, Erica Kauppila and Julia Baron; brother-in-law, Don Rabideaux; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Bob, upon his death made a selfless and precious contribution of his body tissues to the Veterans ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Research Foundation in Boston, Mass., to contribute to the genetic research and a cure for the disease. His family carried out his wishes.
Memorial Donations may be made to The ALS Association Chapter of Minnesota in the name of Robert Kauppila at the following address: 333 North Washington Ave., Suite 105, Minneapolis, MN 55401 or at alsa.org.
Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.