Remembering John Lupton

Staples’ Class of 1966 was one of the most politically, musically, artistically, athletically and community-minded group of students in our high school’s long history.

John Lupton

John Lupton III was president of that class. He was always proud of that. Throughout his life, he continued to give back — to his classmates, his alma mater, his town, his country and the causes he cared about.

“Johno” — as he was known to his fellow grads, all of whom knew him and he knew in return — died Thursday in Washington, after a long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.

Lupton was born in Weston, to a political family. His father, John Lupton Jr., was a longtime state senator.

Weston students at that time did not have their own high school, so he attended Staples. He was involved in a number of activities there.

He took his class president duties seriously. At graduation ceremonies, the seniors donated a handsome “Staples High School” sign for the entrance at North Avenue.

John Lupton (left), Class of 1966 president, shakes hands with ’67 president Dick Sandhaus at the sign’s dedication ceremony. Principal Jim Calkins looks on.

A few years ago — decades after leaving — the class paid to refurbish the exterior of the Lou Nistico Fieldhouse at Staples, and added lighting to the current North Avenue entry sign. They also organized their own special scholarship fund through Staples Tuition Grants. Lupton was instrumental in all those projects.

After Staples, at the University of Minnesota, he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

His professional career was in advertising and sports marketing, in Atlanta. He also served several terms in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Returning to Westport, Lupton was hired as director of the Westport Historical Society.

His interests included baseball, blues music, travel and food.

John Lupton

Late in life he founded PCa Blue. The organization promotes prostate cancer awareness and education through blues music.

Survivors include his son, John Mather Lupton IV, and daughter Laura Adelaide (Lallie) Lupton. His son says, “Throughout his life, he was remarkably outgoing and optimistic. He was an incredibly loving and dedicated father.”

A memorial service will be held at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport in late spring or early summer.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Lupton’s name can be made to his PCa Blue organization (click here).

23 responses to “Remembering John Lupton

  1. John was the prime mover for keeping our Class of ’66 together…and proudly kept the title ‘President’ for life 🙂 Just last year, he spearheaded our 50th reunion and took such joy in keeping decades-old friendships alive. We’ll miss him…Ann and Bill.

  2. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    Thanks for the write up Dan. Johno was a good man in so many respects… Its hard not to sound trite… But he really did excell in many directions and always contributed generously. Im sad to hear of his passing.

  3. Johno was a very special person. His family especially his Dad was very much part of his great talent and demeanor. He never forgot anyone’s names and always had a lovely comment towards his friends. I’m shocked and saddened to hear of another loss of a good friend

  4. Nina Lipkowitz

    “Thanks I’d Rather Lupton”- Remembering Johno-

  5. Such a gentle, decent soul. Rest in peace, Johno, Mr. President!

  6. Tom Allen '66

    Nice piece, Dan, Johno and I had been friends since 8th grade via his cousin, Bobby, who was my neighbor in Saugatuck and Johno’s aunt, Helen Lupton Jones, who helped Bob Jones coach my Little League team, the Jaguars. Life will be very, very different for the class of ’66 w/o Johno’s soothing yet compelling presence. He’ll always be our president. Happy trails, old pal.

  7. Thanks, everybody for remembering my dear “bratty” little brother, Nan Lupton Dietrich, Naples, FL

  8. He was always very nice to me–and I was five years behind John at Staples. Sorry to hear this.

  9. After I had my own brush with mortality a couple of years ago, Johno took time from his own treatment to check in with me periodically to see how I was doing. I returned the favor, but not as often as I should have; Johno was a better person than I am. He was a natural leader who thought a lot about those he served. RIP, Johno.

  10. Sarah Zarbock

    I knew Johno from Weston 2nd grade on and had a severe crush on him when he was a Little Leaguer. He was one of the friendliest, most jovial individuals I have ever known. His was a very tough battle but was always upbeat who often called saying, “I have do much to tell you.” RIP, old friend.

    • Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

      Hi Sarah,
      Are your parents John and Barbara Zarbock? Was your older sister Linda? If so I was remembering your parents due to a post on Friday. My mother, Ramona Cookman hooked rugs with your mother. Both were Girl Scout Leaders. Heidi may have been the same age as my brother Corky Cookman .
      I have your mother’s book on hooked rugs and several pictures of your sister Linda. I also have at least one picture of your mother and mine with a rug one of them hooked. I’d love ton share the pictures with you if you are interested. Dan Woog can give you my e-mail address. What a remarkable coincidence. I looked for an address for you earlier today. 06880 is truly where Westport meets the world.

    • Penny Lupton Love

      What wonderful and kind comments about my dear brother Johno. I would love to reach you Sarah by email and then reach Heidi who was my class and your parents were my next door neighbors for awhile! Please pass my email address on to her Dan.
      With thanks and love,
      Penny Lupton Love, Johno’s older sister

  11. John is a kind, decent and generous man. I refuse to accept that he is no longer with us. As long as we remember him he will live in our lives. That just may be his best gift to us all. I will truly miss bumping into him. I love you John.

  12. So sad to hear this news. Johno and I shared the same malady. We kept in touch early on ,sharing treatment options etc. Shortly after he started working on his PCa foundation, he contacted me to see if I would like to provide some personal experiences with the disease. I told him I’d be glad to. Sadly, shortly after that we lost contact.
    I shall miss his smile, his friendly nature, strong handshake and last but not least, graduation night,1966!
    RIP Mr. President!!

  13. Becki Whittington

    John was a rare type of man who lived life to the fullest; was the one to organize and gather those around to help make life better. I am very lucky I got to see him last summer at the Class of 66’s 50th reunion. RIP Johno.

  14. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    I send my sincere sympathy to the Lupton family. John is still connecting people and leading the way even as he leaves a wonderful legacy of skills, talent and dedication for his family and all of us to admire.

  15. Mary Gail (Horelick) Gristina

    Was so sorry to see that Johno finally succumbed to the malady that he spent so much time and energy with – supporting others. He was always a grand cheer leader. Over the past few years I saw him occasionally and he would always giggle when he greeted me with “Hey MG”. Some of my classmates will know why.

  16. I remember Johno well. Too soon, much too soon he’s gone.

  17. When I saw Johno at our Class of 66’s 50th reunion, he looked like he had turned a corner for good on his health struggles. I’m so sorry to hear that it would only carry him for just one more year. How precious these years are now. When Jeremy Jones led the memorial honoring our other classmates who are gone, we could not help but be profoundly grateful for still “being here.” Johno, no matter what his condition, was an inspiring leader throughout his life, always present with a warm, welcoming smile and generous spirit. His was a life well lived.

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