A Mass of Christian Burial for Walter J. Kupkowski Jr., 58, of Lackawanna, an employee of Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity for 29 years and a Green Beret combat veteran of the Vietnam War, will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Ridge Road and South Park Avenue, Lackawanna. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.
Kupkowski, a lifelong resident of Lackawanna, died Tuesday (Sept. 19, 2000) in Roswell Park Cancer Institute after a long battle with cancer.
Known as "Rambo" to friends and relatives, he was a graduate of Lackawanna High School. He served in the Navy for two years and then joined the Army, where he served in artillery and airborne units. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His commendations and medals included the Purple Heart.
Kupkowski worked in the maintenance department of Our Lady of Victory Homes, painting in nice weather and snowblowing and shoveling in the winter. He had been a bowler and was a dart player.
He was a parishioner of Our Lady of Victory Basilica and a member of Col. J.B. Weber Post 898, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Matthew Glab Post 1477, American Legion; and Chapter 77, Vietnam Veterans of America. He was one of the driving forces in establishing a monument in memory of Vietnam veterans in front of Weber Post.
Survivors include three daughters, Lisa of Lackawanna, Lori Ann of North Carolina and Theresa; his mother, Martha of Lackawanna; a sister, Marcia Tos of Lackawanna; three brothers, Gene of Midway, Ark., Albert of Los Fresnos, Texas, and Joseph of Shortsville; and four grandchildren.