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John Stanley Kupiec, age 86, of Warren, Michigan, passed away peacefully at home on December 29, 2023.
John was born on February 17, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan, to John A. Kupiec and Johanna Kupiec (nee: Samp). He wed Judith Leona Kevnick 68 years ago, and together they raised four children: Karen (Robert) Johnson, John (Kelly) Kupiec, Patricia Risk, and Carolyn (Ronald) Martz. John adored his six grandchildren: John A. Kupiec, Adam J. Kupiec, Amanda Salyers, Jennifer O’Hara, John R. Johnson, and Michael J. Risk, along with their spouses, Julia Pinover Kupiec, Melissa Salyers, William O’Hara, and Chelsea Johnson. He was also blessed with great-grandchildren: Cameron Risk, Bryson Risk, Grayson Kupiec, William (Jack) O’Hara, Ryan Johnson, Peyton Johnson, and Callum O’Hara. John was preceded in death by his parents and his two younger brothers, Thomas Kupiec and Charles “Skip” Kupiec.
John was educated through the 12th grade at St. Francis D’Assisi Catholic School. Afterward, he had a remarkable career in the automotive and heavy equipment industries, specializing in diesel mechanics. Early in his career, he engaged in the Motor City’s open wheel dirt track racing; his car was number 22. He would go on to teach Diesel Mechanics for more than ten years in Detroit’s inner city at the McNamara Skill Center in a program federally funded to rehabilitate those released from incarceration. He then ventured into truck fleet maintenance and management, working for esteemed companies such as Browning-Ferris Industries, Hertz, and Fleet Carrier Corporation. John’s entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him to establish his own specialty auto repair facility, Grosse Pointe Auto Works. In 2008, he retired, leaving behind a legacy of hard work and dedication.
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, formerly known as St. Cletus, held a special place in John’s heart as his place of worship, where he attended services each week throughout his life.
Outside of his professional life, John had a myriad of hobbies that brought him joy and fulfillment. Throughout the years, his epic backyard tomatoes, German Shorthaired Pointers, and bowling leagues kept him busy. He spent countless hours on Lake St. Clair, indulging in his love for walleye fishing. He had a posse of fellow fisherman who referred to him as “The Walleye Wizard” over the radio waves. When he wasn’t fishing on his 33’ Cruisers, Inc. boat, he was taking his family out on the water, making summer memories that included trips to Boblo Island.
Deer hunting on his 80-acre farm, up north, in Hillman, Michigan was a family affair. It was there that he taught his son to hunt and taught his daughters how to handle a firearm. That farm held his heart for years and his children carry precious memories of their time growing up there.
For years John coached basketball, baseball, girls’ softball, and flag football for Warren Parks and Recreation. He mentored the youth on his teams and was a trusted advisor. Later in life, he served as an election poll worker and contributed his expertise to the City of Warren Planning Commission. He loved our Country and was proud to have grown up and lived his entire life in the “D” and surrounding areas.
There has never been a bigger Detroit Lions football fan. In 2023, John was the recipient of a Detroit Lions team jacket as a 50-year season ticket holder. He never missed a home game and weddings, vacations, or other family plans were planned around the Lions calendar. He flew the Honolulu Blue and Silver flag at home and adorned his Lincoln Continental with Lions gear. He was blessed to know that the Lions won their Division this season and we are blessed to know they have a real shot at winning the Super Bowl with him, as the 12th man. “Forward down the Field!”
John will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His legacy of hard work, dedication, service and love for his family will continue to inspire generations to come.
Visitation Friday, January 5, from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. Rosary Service at Wysocki & Wilk Funeral Home, 29440 Ryan Road, Warren, Michigan. Instate Saturday, January 6, from 10:30 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (formerly St. Cletus), 26256 Ryan Road, Warren, Michigan.
Please share a memory, thought, or prayer with the family here on John's Tribute Wall.