Darrell Norman Kupke

Darrell Norman Kupke was born at Booleroo Centre on 13th Sept 1937 to parents Laura and Albert (Bert) Kupke; third child and brother to Laurie, Grace Noll (dec), and Coral Dutschke.

He started writing his life story thus;

“The first 27 years of my life was spent on the property known as Gum View at Yandiah.

Yandiah was a railway siding on the Gladstone Wilmington line, between Wirrabara and Booleroo Centre. The property was owned by my father and his Brothers. The Kupke homes were about a kilometre south of the siding with the land on the north, west and south side of the siding. The railway line came through a gap in the range of hills in our property and it was the second highest rail point above sea level in South Australia, being higher above sea level than the line over Mt Lofty. The highest rail point was on the Terowie/Peterborough line.” (He Took great pleasure in telling everyone that)

“The property was a mixed farming property, we ran about 2000 merino sheep, a herd of milking cows pigs and chooks, not to mention 2 hounds and 1 sheep dog, and cropped about 200 Ha to wheat. This was worked on a 3 year rotation. The balance of the property was too hilly to work and was used for grazing only”.

(This is as far as Darrell got in writing, so we will briefly add to it)

His schooling was at Yandiah Primary and then at Concordia College, where he obtained his Intermediate Certificate. Later at age 40 he studied through TAFE for his Land Managers Certificate in Real Estate.

After College he returned to the farm at Yandiah and thoroughly enjoyed working and hunting in the hills. He was involved with Rural Youth, Church as lay reader and Sunday school teacher, and the Luther League Youth locally as well as in the Western Zone and at State level. Darrell played cricket and football for Appila, predominantly as a ruckman, and won a Mail Medal in the Flinders League, tying in votes with his rover. He was also was a member of the local CFS.

Even though learning piano at college didn’t make him a pianist, it stood him in good stead for taking on brass instruments, playing in the Flinders brass band which won the street parade at the Tanunda competitions one year. He later would accompany Glenis, playing his trumpet whilst she played the organ or piano. He taught himself guitar also and with Cousin Des performed as “The Darmond Twins”, singing and playing at many a strawberry fete, amateur hour and concert in the upper North district. Singing has always been a part of Darrell’s life, and a good tenor was always welcome in the various choirs he sang in, and he was a regular performer with the Cleve Choristers stage productions.

Although they had known each other for years of Luther League days, Darrell and Glenis finally got together as a couple on a Luther League trip to Broken Hill. In 1965 it all happened – newly married, in a new job with Farmers Union and living in Adelaide. But in typical Darrell fashion, he quickly accepted and adapted to his situation. As they moved around the state the family appeared: Craig, Grant and Melissa. Darrell now had fishing and hunting mates!!! (Which were undertaken with varying degrees of enthusiasm and success!) Sptolighting and rabbit trapping on local properties made for an entertaining family weekend outing, with a resulting feed of rabbit stew prepared by Mum. His wife did not share his enthusiasm for such pastimes, but they shared lots of other interests. He took an active interest in the kids’ sport and education and served in various positions on School Councils throughout all their years at school. Home has been at McLaren Vale, Wirrabara, Lock, Bordertown and then Cleve for 29 years.

He was also a proud Poppa to Kirra, Lahni, Bailey, Cooper, Jaslyn, Tygh & Sienna. He especially enjoyed playing football with the boys. The family home has been at McLaren Vale, Wirrabara, Lock, Bordertown, and then Cleve for 29 years.

Darrell was an auctioneer and attended many clearing sales, always coming home with some bargain, whether it be electrical appliances, toys, tools and of course, bikes for the kids, which he would fix up and keep in running order. His shed contained a tool for everything, and he could fix anything and everything. Working with wood was his special hobby and made much of our furniture to add to the furniture bought at clearing sales. In later years did a lot of wood turning, so we have plenty of candle holders, trinket boxes and salad bowls. Photography and bird watching were other keen interests – and it would appear that these two hobbies in particular have been passed on to his children and even grandchildren.

Darrell was always involved with Church and Community. Church worship was very important to Darrell and the church family was always a blessing as the family moved around. He held many positions within the congregations wherever he was a member. He was a goal umpire for Rudall football club, played bowls and belonged to the various pistol Clubs. He was also active in the Cleve Probus Club and was always willing to take positions and do some maintenance work for church and clubs.

After retiring from the stock firm he kept himself busy by selling a bit of real estate, helping various farmers in the district, school cleaning, driving a school bus, looking after grandchildren, gardening and mucking about his shed. Darrell also makes the best tomato sauce!!!! (He has shared this recipe, but for some reason it never quite turns out the same – perhaps it’s there are some ‘secret’ herbs and spices!)

When he and Glenis both retired, they joined the “grey nomad” community and enjoyed exploring this great country of ours plus being fortunate enough to also experience overseas travel.

After the devastating stroke in 2013, he came to be cared for at Tanunda Lutheran Home. The staff were wonderful to him and he would give the carers backrubs and often tell Glenis some jokes they told as they attended to him. He also received many visitors from over the years which he enjoyed immensely, reconnecting with old friends and keeping in touch with their Cleve mates. Joining in with the Lifestyle programs at the home he developed a love/hate relationship with Bingo; the best part of it calling out “bingo” when he won a game. “It’s something to do,” he would say. Darrell especially loved outings to the Gallery to hear the amazing pipe organ, and the occasional production at the theatre. This was thanks to his specially modified (pimped up) electric wheelchair or the Tanunda Lutheran Home’s access van. Both these modes of transport were made possible by the generosity of friends and the Cleve Community. Despite his challenges, he never complained of his disabilities and kept his frustrations much to himself.

Darrell was very proud of his family and loved them dearly and we all love him too. We thank him for being a great and loving husband and soulmate, father and “Poppa”. We especially thank him for his positive outlook on life, whatever it threw him, and his strong Christian faith.

You have been a great strength for us and a loving role model for us all.

Melissa on Instagram

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