Cleo Alton Dupy, after 100 years, 11 months, and 10 days of living and loving on this earth, closed his eyes and woke up in Heaven on April 12, 2021. A kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, farmer, and friend, he was a wonderful and lasting influence in the lives of his family and all who knew him.
Cleo was born May 2, 1920, to Fred and Alice Hoff Dupy on a farm southwest of Billings, Oklahoma, located on Red Rock Creek. He was the fifth child; his sisters and brothers were Hattie, Wilma, Wilson, and Dale, all of whom have predeceased him. His parents were hard working farm people who valued education highly. They instilled these values in their children who all worked their way through College at Oklahoma A & M (OSU).
Cleo's grade school education took place in a one-room rural school where he was the only student in his class for the first eight years. At Billings Union High School, he played football, was very active in FFA, and was student council president.
Upon graduation from high school in 1938, he enrolled in Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Husbandry. Highlights of his college career centered on agriculture. He was president of the animal science Block and Bridle Club and was outstanding Block and Bridle student. He was a member of winning Meats and Livestock judging teams. The Meats team placed first at the Fort Worth and Kansas City contests and second at the Chicago international contest. The Livestock team placed first at the Denver contest and second at the Chicago contest.
Cleo enlisted into the Army and left college a few weeks before graduation in May, 1942. His diploma, along with those of hundreds of other enlisting students, was mailed to him. After training in various installations around the U.S., he went overseas in 1943. He served in the medical corps in locations throughout Africa and Europe.
Following Cleo's army service, he taught Veteran's Agriculture at Billings and Vocational Agriculture at Lamont, while farming in Billings. At Lamont, he met his wife and love of his life, Lena Ruck, and they married on February 14, 1952. Into this loving marriage, they had three daughters: Jane, Jean, and Joan, who all became teachers. In 1956, the family moved to Okeene, where he taught agriculture for 9 years. Throughout his years of teaching, he made many life-long friends among his students, his fellow teachers, and the community.
After getting his master's degree at OSU, Cleo spent the last twenty years of his career in education as the Assistant Superintendent of Southern Oklahoma Area Vocational Technical Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma. During his career, he was President of the State Shorthorn Cattle Association, President of the Oklahoma Vo-Agriculture teacher association, and President of the State Vocational Association.
His daughters and granddaughters treasure the love, support, and guidance they received from Cleo throughout their lives. Lena and Cleo never missed any of their daughters' school performances, often traveling out of town to watch the band perform at football games; they continued this active interest in their granddaughters' lives.
After retirement, Cleo and Lena traveled and stayed involved in OREA, AARP, volunteering, church and other activities. At that time, Hilton Inn offered a plan where senior citizens could pay a very reasonable amount for a year of unlimited nights at Hilton Inns. Cleo and Lena stayed well over 200 nights all over the USA using that plan. Perhaps not coincidentally, Hilton Inns discontinued that plan the next year. Farming was important to both Lena and Cleo, and they were actively engaged in farming throughout their lives. They enjoyed visiting their wheat fields and were good stewards of the land they loved. Almost nothing brought as much joy to Cleo in later years than a trip to Billings and northern Oklahoma to see his farms and get the insider scoop on what was going on in the oil and wind industries.
As Lena's health declined, Cleo was selfless in providing loving and faithful care for her until she passed away in February, 2009. His steadfast example of a servant's heart inspired and moved all who saw it. Cleo was quite famous for his exceptional ability to remember names and details about people, so he rarely ever met a true stranger — anywhere he went around the state, he could strike up a conversation with almost anyone and discover that they had mutual friends or family in common.
Cleo carried on bravely through his last year—enduring isolation from family and friends, several cases of pneumonia, and one case of Covid, from which he recovered. He couldn't celebrate his 100th birthday with a traditional party; however, he was incredibly blessed to get cards, letters, and calls from over 300 former students, family members, colleagues and friends (both old and new). His family will be forever grateful we were able to visit him the past few weeks and got to meet and thank the dear people who have cared for and loved him at Epworth Villa Skilled Nursing this past year.
Cleo is survived by daughter Jane Dupy of Ada, daughter Jean Dupy of Edmond, daughter Joan Dupy Stone and husband Scott of Edmond. In addition, he is survived by granddaughter Amanda Stone Bowen and husband Cole and their daughters, Paisley and Landri, of Edmond; granddaughter Megan Stone Rector and husband Stephen, of Edmond and their sons, Stone and Wells; and granddaughter Jazzmine Sutton and husband Nathan of Ada. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Dupy Family FFA Scholarship, in care of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation, PO Box 33224, Tulsa, OK 74153.
Graveside funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Friday, April 16, 2021 at Billings Union Cemetery in Billings. Services are under the direction of Smith-Gallo Funeral Home, 220 North 1st St., Guthrie, OK 73044.
Visitation will be held the morning of the service from 10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. at Smith-Gallo Funeral Home.
Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.smithgallo.com.
Posted online on April 14, 2021