“Eulogy by Alan’s Children”
Alan F. Krupp (5/16/36 – 4/16/20)
Delivered 4/20/20 by his children; Beth Sholom Memorial Park, Manchester, CT
(I’m Larry Krupp, one of Alan’s kids. This eulogy is from all of us.)
By any measure, our dad was a remarkable fellow.
One measure is the words about dad that have flooded in from others in recent days:
“capable, principled and kind.”
“a doctor and true gentleman”
“a tremendous person”
“vital, engaged, and energetic”
“a gentle soul”
“brilliant and witty”
“a dear lifelong friend”
“an impressive, lively presence”
“the best doctor I ever had”
To us, Dad’s four kids, he was a role model, an inspiration, a leader, and – with our mom Judy - the glue that held the family together.
Dad was intellectually curious about a broad range of subjects, and accomplished in his field of medicine. His intellectual and professional pursuits were always accompanied by his compassion, strong sense of morality, and respect for all people.
He showed empathy to the elderly.
He made house calls on patients, even after it had stopped being standard practice.
He was a warm and loving son, to both his parents and his in-laws.
He looked after his older sister Nancy.
People in town would tell us that dad was their doctor, and what a wonderful doctor he was.
He welcomed into the family, wholeheartedly, not only each of his children’s spouses, but also members of their extended families.
We remember dinners around the table when dad was ‘on call’ and the phone would ring. The handset would be passed across the kitchen - the long cord dipping into whatever happened to be on the table – and Dad would take the call right there. It was a pretty funny scene. Except once dad started talking – and his voice would change when he was speaking as a doctor -- it was clear to us that this was serious business. We all learned to keep quiet while we sipped our milk and avoided our broccoli. When it came to serious matters like doctoring, dad taught us by example that it was important to be calm, focused, professional, and compassionate.
However, Dad’s compassion for his patients did not always extend to his children. When it came to us kids, well, our ailments never quite stacked up to what some of his patients were dealing with. Once, Dad spent quite a while downplaying the significance of Karen’s very sore ankle, and it was only days later that he finally ordered an x-ray ... and found out it was broken.
There are so many memories and stories about Dad. Some reflect his values and how he lived his life:
He was a prominent doctor in town, and had means, yet drove to work in an old VW beetle.
He took medical call every Christmas so his Christian colleagues could enjoy their holiday.
He called on nursing home patients just for comfort & conversation rather than medical care, and sometimes took his kids along with him.
He would take his young children on Sunday hospital rounds, then for hot cocoa in the cafeteria; and we saw how other doctors treated Dad with respect.
He was always the first one up and making breakfast at the family campsite.
He staged a boxing match (with boxing gloves) between Peter and me as a way to resolve some nasty sibling rivalry when we were young. (we don’t even remember who won.)
He taught each of his kids to ride a bike. And to drive a car.
A disciplinarian, he didn’t hesitate to play the role of the ‘heavy’ when needed.
Never one to shy away from using child labor, he engaged his kids to do his office billing and cleaning.
He was an avid consumer of the news, in print and online.
And, of course, there are just as many memories and stories about Dad that show how adventurous, goofy, and fun-loving he was.
He could carry a tune (unlike our mom) and often hummed to himself when he was going about his day.
He played a decent snare drum.
He kept a wood paddle from his college fraternity, but never fully explained what it was used for.
He ate jelly from the jar, and had such a sweet tooth that our mom had to hide candy from him under the sofa cushions.
As a ‘townie’ in Wallingford, he once went to jail with his high school buddies for stealing a lantern from Choate, the nearby private school.
While vacationing in Québec he didn’t hesitate to strike up conversations in French with the locals, even though his French was really pretty bad. (His pride in his linguistic abilities didn’t help.)
He once hitchhiked to Texas.
And of course: He could touch his tongue to the tip of his nose, a feat he performed dramatically, while giving himself a suspenseful drum roll with his fingers on the table.
Dad was an athlete. Starting when he played basketball in high school and throughout the rest of his life, one or more physical activities were always part of his life. Dad swam, ran, hiked, camped, skied, climbed, canoed, kayaked, sailed, played tennis, golfed, and played a mean game of table tennis. And of course, he rode his bicycle... or we should say – one of his many bicycles -- pretty much everywhere. He was a fixture at the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race, ran multiple marathons, climbed Mt. Ranier and Mt. Kilimanjaro with Judy, and yes, he completed a 100-mile bike ride at age 80.
Dad liked watching others too, particularly whatever activities his kids were involved with. He was an avid fan of UConn basketball (men & women), Trinity College football (go Bantams!), and – demonstrating his appreciation for the finer points of the game – he was a fan of the New York Yankees, which (alas) is not something all of his kids inherited. (By the way, had it not been for this pandemic, we would be standing with dad – today, at this very moment – along the Boston Marathon route, cheering on the runners.)
An interesting thing about dad’s athletic endeavors, though, is this: While he was better at some than others, and he took most of them pretty seriously, he wasn’t really that great at any of them. He never broke any cycling records, his sailboats and canoes sometimes capsized, his skiing was, well... not so good; and he would often dislocate his shoulder doing winter sports.
But that was the beauty of why dad pursued his activities: Not because he was great at them, but because he loved to do them. He loved the challenge, the striving; and when it came, the accomplishment. Dad often quoted Tennyson: “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”.
He didn’t shy away from an activity for fear of not excelling, or of what others might think.
As he often used to say: Life is a marathon, be in it!
Dad’s perseverance through hardship wasn’t just evident on Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon or in the later miles of the Seacoast Century bike ride. He faced the most personal of hardships in 1994 when, in his presence, his wonderful wife Judy was killed in a tragic accident.
A tragedy of that magnitude isn’t something anyone quickly overcomes, and dad spent time in that dark pit of despair that, as some of you know very well, is not easy to climb out of.
And yet, slowly, over the years that followed, dad did. Partly on his own, partly with the support of friends & family, he persevered. And he moved forward, into his next phase of life.
And it was a phase that brought him much joy and happiness: engaging with his grandchildren and watching them grow up and thrive; moving to Boston to be closer to his kids; getting involved in online dating; forming a loving relationship with Skippy in Florida over the last ten years and spending many wonderful times with her there and elsewhere; welcoming a new son-in-law to the family; attending grandkids’ graduations and one medical school induction; and participating in countless family dinners, visits, holidays, and events. And yes, as always, dad kept riding his bicycle, reading poetry, writing emails, and being a role model for his family. He lived the lessons Judy taught.
Dad was gregarious and had a good sense of humor. As with sports, he never let the risk of social embarrassment stop him from speaking his mind or reaching out:
Dad was the master of the unannounced visit.
He’d start unauthorized email exchanges with our friends (and not include us).
If an idea struck him, he wouldn’t hesitate to contact Rabbis or university presidents, whether he knew them or not.
And of course, he enjoyed telling jokes, particularly the off-color kind.
Finally... When people speak about their own lives and experiences, it’s often insightful to note what they say first, and - though we don’t always get to hear it - what they say last.
Even in our last conversations with Dad, elements of his character shined through.
He was hospitalized, and his condition was deteriorating and speaking was a challenge, but he still managed ...
to educate us by explaining the basics of the covid virus,
to demonstrate optimism by thinking about sunnier days in Florida,
to make us think by quoting from a particularly appropriate poem,
to make us smile by telling us a brief joke (about lawyers becoming rabbis), and of course,
to warm our hearts by telling us that he loved us.
Alan, Poppy, Dr. Krupp, Dad.
Whatever you called him, he was a truly wonderful man.
With luck, we’ll be able to live our lives, at least in part, the way he lived his.
We will miss him.
“Eulogy by Alan’s Grandchildren”
Pop loved his grandkids and we loved him. As we talked in the days after his death, we shared memories that illustrated his love of life, family, and all things containing sugar. From our earliest memories to the last Thanksgiving and Hannukah we spent together, we remember a man and a grandfather that pushed the boundaries of life, seeking to fill what time he had to the fullest and to instill in us that same desire.
Pop was stubborn in pursuit of his passions. He possessed unwavering, humble confidence in himself and he never let others dissuade him from living. That was a beautiful thing.
At the same time, Pop was generous with his time, money, and life experience. As we looked back on family gatherings, whether holidays or birthdays, graduations or sporting events, Pop was always in attendance. No other commitments ever took precedence. Not only that, but he made sure to fill our time together by teaching us everything from woodworking to sailing, reading to us and demonstrating the perfect pancake flipping technique.
Later in life, although he was limited in many respects, his consistent presence was still a foregone conclusion. He was still obsessed with learning, still could make us all blush with his quick wit and toilet humor, and still couldn’t be stopped from boarding planes and traveling great distances to see his grandkids.
Our grandfather was a man with a big nose and an even bigger heart. He lived his life as an example for us, always eager for new experiences but never waning in his ability to show love for those who were important to him.
Alan F. Krupp, M.D., 83, of Newton, MA (formerly of Manchester, CT), died April 16, 2020 from Covid-19. Alan was born in Wallingford, CT on May 16, 1936. He graduated from Trinity College and New York Medical College. In the mid-1960s, Alan served two years in the Navy as a doctor at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.
From 1968 until his retirement in 2001, Alan worked as a family physician in Manchester, where he cared for so many, rounded on his patients at the hospital, and made house calls at patient homes and convalescent facilities. Alan served as head of the medical staff at Manchester Memorial Hospital and spent countless hours working to improve the quality of care for patients of ECHN. Alan adored his wife Judy and together they raised four children. Family and concern for others were always the center of their lives. Even after his retirement, Alan remained an avid learner and traveled extensively. Alan wrote essays and poetry and studied Jewish teachings, quoted Longfellow and Tennyson from memory, and loved thoughtful discussions on almost any topic. He remained physically active throughout his life and completed his first century bike ride at age 80. Alan’s unique blend of optimism, perseverance, thoughtfulness and impish humor lifted everyone’s spirits.
Alan was predeceased by his parents, Edith and Harry Krupp, of Wallingford and Manchester; his sister Nancy Krupp, of Manchester, his wife Judy-Arin Krupp, of Manchester, and his son-in-law Roland Cheyney, of Acton, MA. He is survived by his children Peter Krupp, and his wife Vicki, of Needham, MA; Larry Krupp of Arlington, MA; Susan Krupp, and her husband Eric Brown, of Lexington, MA; and Karen Cheyney, and her husband Scott Rebhun, of Grantham, NH; his grandchildren Hannah and Ryan Cheyney, Gabriel and Noah Brown, and Aaron, Ben and Joanna Krupp; and his loving partner Sylvia “Skippy” Lober of Merritt Island, FL.
A private graveside funeral service will be held at Beth Sholom Memorial Park in Manchester, CT. A virtual memorial service will be held Monday (April 20) from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. Virtual shiva services and visitation with Alan’s family and friends will be held Monday through Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. For details about the memorial and shiva services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to MARC, Inc., 151 Shelton Road, Manchester, CT 06042; or the Judy-Arin and Alan Krupp Memorial Scholarship, c/o The Manchester Scholarship Foundation, 20 Hartford Road, Manchester, CT 06040.