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Melvin E. Rupp Sr., 87, founder of Rupp Rental and Sales Corp., died Saturday (Oct. 18, 1997) in his home in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

A Buffalo native, Rupp began his career as a carpenter and bricklayer, buying his first piece of equipment and renting it to others. That, said his grandson, Melvin Rupp III, began a construction equipment rental firm that serves many New York State construction companies.

In 1932, he founded Rupp Equipment Co., which later became the multimillion-dollar business known as Rupp Rental and Sales Services, employing more than 200 people in Upstate New York. He was active with the firm until his retirement in 1985.

He was a past commodore and life member of the Buffalo Launch Club and a past commodore of the District 3 Blue Gavel. He was past a president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and Buffalo Equipment Distributors. He was also a past director of the Buffalo Sales and Marketing Executives, the New York Sand and Gravel Association and the Engineering Society of Buffalo.

Rupp was a longtime member of Ismailia Shrine Temple; the Buffalo Consistory; the Highland 835 Blue Lady of Masons; and Local 17, International Union of Operating Engineers.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and golf.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Rose of Deerfield Beach; two sons, Melvin Jr. of Buffalo and William of Deerfield Beach; two daughters, Claire Ann Bishop of Buffalo and Sandy Rupp of Florida; a sister, Zeta Flanigan of East Aurora; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Private services were held in Deerfield Beach. A memorial service will be scheduled here in November.

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