Today, March 22, in the afternoon a group gathered in the courtyard of the Support Services Building, an administration wing of Family Health West. The gathering included young and old, friends and co-workers, most often indistinguishable between friend and co-worker. The ever resonating theme of all the comments circled around Dr. Kupets’ sense of humor, kindness, and dogged physician skills.
A few of the things mentioned today at the Celebration of Life about Dr. Kupets:
???? The contributions and impact he made on the world were significant.
???? He was the most technically challenged doctor.
???? He was the Doctor who most loved their food the most (dietary/Flavors Grille), often eating all three meals a day at Flavors Grille.
???? The Emergency Department will remember him as a valued member and leader.
???? He was a valued colleague and trusted leader.
???? Put all his heart into his Medical Director duties.
???? He relished being an entertainer.
???? He was kind, generous, and funny.
???? If you were his patient you knew he cared about you.
????The beauty of life is that I have memories to hold on to.
???? Being a physician was his identity.
???? He was my family. He was my mentor.
???? Be kind and be okay with expressing your love for those you care about (lesson learned from Dr. Kupets).
???? Here’s to the man we’d all like to be more like.
Obituary as printed in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on March 9, 2022
Dr. Joseph E. Kupets, Jr.
April 7, 1954 – February 17, 2022
Dr. Joseph E. Kupets, Jr., age 67, a cherished resident of Fruita, Colorado, and beloved husband of Stephanie Kupets, died February 17, 2022. Joe’s sense of humor and compassion will be greatly missed by all who knew him and those he treated on the western slope of Colorado.
Joe was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1954, to parents, Joseph Sr. and Leoda Kupets. At the age of three, the family moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey where Joe attended school and high school. He graduated with honors from Cherry Hill High School West, Class of ’72. He then attended undergraduate school at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, where he graduated, with honors, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1976.
Joe was a very compassionate and giving soul. He spent several years teaching school for Socially Maladjusted and Emotionally Disturbed Children (SED). Joe moved to Colorado where he worked in the medical field until he was ultimately able to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. He attended medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri where he graduated in 1991. Shortly after his graduation, Joe and Stephanie were married.
After medical school, Joe completed a residency program at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver and received his board certification in Family Medicine and later in Emergency Medicine. From 1996, Joe was dedicated to providing medical care in various hospitals in Colorado until 2011 when he joined the ER team at Colorado Canyons Hospital. Then in 2013 became the Medical Director of the Emergency Department. He was instrumental in obtaining a level for trauma designation for Colorado Canyon Hospital serving the lower valley from Fruita to the Utah border. He is well known to his colleagues and patients as a dedicated, compassionate doctor. For those who knew him, Joe had several interests outside of his physician role. Joe had an obsession with all types of cars but he had a special place in his heart for the early models of the Ford Mustangs. However, hunting and his Denver Broncos were next on his list.
Joe is survived by his wife, Stephanie Kupets, to whom he was married for 30 years, and his son, Zach Green. He is also survived by brother, David Kupets (Tika), of Deerfield, Illinois, and sister, Deborah Kupets Mannon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Sr. and Leoda Kupets, formally of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and his dearly beloved older sister, Kathleen Kupets Gauthier, of Glen Burnie, Maryland. Joe will be missed by his numerous nieces and nephews, Dr. Stacey (Gauthier) Robert, Melissa (Gauthier) Sidebottom, John Gauthier, Jessica Kupets, Nickolas Kupets, Peter Papanikolau, Kaitlyn and Chris Mannon, as well as his great nieces and great nephews, Emma and Chase Robert, Riley, Hunter and Jeff Sidebottom and all of the colleagues, patients and their families who he loved so dearly.