Janet “Jan” Lee Rupp of Clark, Missouri, age 70, passed away on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Memorial Funeral Home of Columbia.
Jan was born on July 29, 1950, and grew up in the St. Louis area. She graduated from Ritenour High School in 1968.
She married Andrew Rupp on September 29, 1981, in Phoenix. They moved from Phoenix, Arizona, to Clark, Missouri, in 1984 and she began working for Columbia Public Schools in 1988. She retired from Columbia Public Schools in 2018 after 30 years of service to the district.
Jan was an integral part of the administrative work of Columbia Public Schools. She appreciated the challenge of learning new things, particularly new technology. She was detail oriented, and many district administrators relied on her.
Jan’s contribution to the success of the Columbia Public Schools is immeasurable, Retired Superintendent Jim Ritter said.
“As the long- time secretary to the deputy superintendent and then the superintendent, she was in a very sensitive role,” Ritter said. “Her skills in technology were unmatched. She was loyal to her job and the Columbia Public Schools. She was my right hand. Indirectly, Jan impacted the lives of thousands of students and teachers.”
Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said he was honored to have Jan serve as his assistant. “When I was named Superintendent of Schools, I sought advice from previous superintendents who all encouraged me to ask Jan to join me as my assistant. On the surface, Jan and I appeared to be very different people from two different worlds, but we bonded over our love of organization, a witty joke, and our fierce dedication to the children, families, and employees of Columbia Public Schools,” Stiepleman said. “She loved being a part of something so much bigger than herself. Jan Rupp was the finest, smartest, most down to earth person I have ever met, and I am so grateful to have gotten to spend so many years working with her. She was a gift.”
Jan’s dedication continued after her retirement, she continued offering her expertise and historical knowledge of the district. She was a consummate professional who gained respect of every leader in the district during her career.
Outside of work, she found refuge in the quiet rural retreat she shared with her husband, Andy, and their dogs. She was an avid gardener, bird watcher, and enjoyed sewing and stitchery. She enjoyed working side-by-side with Andy on many home projects.
She loved the Great American Songbook and listening to music. Jan enjoyed Motown and she especially enjoyed The Temptations. Jan and Andy also traveled and Jan often remarked how much she liked riding with Andy and taking trips with dear friends. They liked to dine at Emmet’s Restaurant in Fayette.
Survivors include her husband, Andrew Rupp; her sisters, Sue Baker and Gail B. Rios; her brothers, James E Rickher and John Rickher; her nephew, Richard Rios and niece Christina Gotto, and many co-workers, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Lucille Lee Keck and her father, James Oliver Rickher.