---- — FAIRBANKS, AK. — Ronald James Dupee, 59, of Fairbanks, AK., died Jan. 1, 2013 after a long and valiant battle with esophageal cancer. He was born Dec. 18th, 1953 in Tupper Lake, N.Y., to Richard and Pauline Dupee.
He grew up in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and then drove to Fairbanks in 1975 in a Sunbeam with his brother Brent to find work. He worked his way from crew person to Manager at McDonald's where he worked from 1975 to 1987; owned and operated Church's Chicken from 1987 to 1992; operated Skipper's Restaurant and worked at the Carlson Center before finding his niche at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Physical Plant in the Housing Maintenance Department in 1995. He worked there for 17 years until his death. He was a dedicated employee with a stellar work ethic, well respected by his peers and the employees he supervised. He was awarded the Chancellor's Cornerstone Award in 2012 for his contributions to the mission of UAF.
Ron met his wife Betty when she came to Alaska to babysit for her bother George who managed the local McDonald's. Ron was the assistant manager of McDonald's at the time and his boss's sister was his prize. Ron and Betty went on to have two children and built a wonderful life together. In 1999, they were blessed to be reunited with Ron's daughter, Cyd, from Tupper Lake, N.Y., and she has become a beloved part of the family. All three children have blessed the couple with wonderful grandchildren and a wealth of memories.
In Dec. of 2011, Ron was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was told he only had a short time to live. Never one to give up, Ron decided he was going to fight, and fight he did. He battled his cancer with a vengeance and also created some amazing family memories. In the last year, he took a cross country motorhome trip up the Alcan with all of his children, flew to Denver, Colo., for a country concert his wife won in a contest, traveled to Valdez, Alaska for the kid's fishing derby where one of his grandsons took first place, went on numerous camping and fishing trips, was able to get in one last Moose / Caribou hunt (the first for his grandson) and took a family cruise to celebrate Ron and Dawniel's 10th Wedding Anniversary. He did all of this while continuing to work full-time and undergoing Chemotherapy sessions every other week. He wasn't able to cross off everything on his bucket list, but he sure tried.
One of Ron's joys in life was 'doing' for other people. He organized countless luncheons and fundraisers at the University for a variety of causes, and was the first one to offer his assistance if there was someone in need, or if there was a need for some "attaboys". All a person had to do was ask and Ron would be there, organizing, coordinating and cleaning up, offering up his carpentry skills, cooking prowess, tools or whatever else might be needed. He was a light in so many lives and his presence will be sorely missed.
Ronald is survived by his wife of 36 years, Betty; children, Cyd (Paul), Ron (Dawniel), and Christine; grandchildren, Angeleigha, Dante, Ron, Johnathan, Denali, Addison, Cooper, Aubriana, and Greyson; brothers, Richard, Brent, Michael and Marlon; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Richard and Pauline.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 in the Wood Center ballroom at 505 Yukon Drive on the UAF campus.
In lieu of flowers the family will be collecting donations for the Fairbanks Cancer Treatment Center at the service to help other patients who are struggling. Dr. Jackie Cox and all the staff and nurses at the Cancer Treatment Center have our never-ending gratitude for their wonderful care and compassion during the last year as well as all the friends and family that were so supportive through all the difficult times. God Bless you all and rest well Ron until we meet again.