Willy WC & Grace Rupkey, Page Fireplace builder 4-2-61

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Willy WC & Grace Rupkey, Page Fireplace builder 4-2-61 - lite Arizona Republic X \ • ' • < ' ! Sun.,...
lite Arizona Republic X \ • ' • < ' ! Sun., April % 1961 &«* BUILDER—Mrs. W. C. Rupkey, who lives in Page '' where there is little firewood, dreams .of getting back to her hobby of building fireplaces. She's ; constructed the rock wall in background—just to keep in practice. Fireplace Building Hobby Is Thrill For Mrs. Rupkey By JEAN DUFFY ''PAGE—You might meet Mrs. "Oregon W. C. (Grace) Rupkey in many places in Page, handing out books as a regular volunteer library worker, serving as a Grey Lady at the local hospital, knocking at your door to list your name for a census, or to receive your contribution' for a community drive. If you were a tourist stranded in Page, with both local motels filled, you might be welcomed at the-Rupkey home to spend the night. Here you would notice the dozens of sketches of house plans scattered about. If you looked closely at the drawings, you would see many fireplaces. THE HOBBY of this slender fragile looking woman is building fireplaces! She says that the biggest thrill of her life was finishing her first fireplace. "I couldn't wait until the final cement work was dry until I lit newspapers to see how it would draw!" 3 Living in the White Mountains of Arizona in the early years of their marriage, Willy and Grace wanted a fireplace in the cabin they built. A stonemason lived nearby. Dying of tuberculosis, he was too weak to do the work but he told Grace how to proceed, and often stopped in to advise her. After the success of her first fireplace, Grace rapidly built 10 more, in other cabins. She used native uncut rocks, gathering them herself and selecting each piece to fit into a planned design. Some of the stones weighed a quarter as much as she does! Building fireplaces to burn the fallen forest timber is the nearest Grace has come to the girlhood.ambition to become the wife of a forest ranger which brought her to Arizona from Iowa in 1931. AT THE age of 8, Grace read Trail" and became fascinated with the west, reading scores of books on the subject all through her teen years. When she was 18, her family visited California on a vacation. Through four years of college, Grace prepared for teaching with a singleness of purpose: to come to the west on a teaching assignment. At her graduation Grace applied for a position at the San Carlos Indian School. She had already signed up for a school in Iowa when she received a telegram in August telling her to report to San Carlos. Despite the pleas of her family who saw the move as a great tragedy, Grace left on a bus 10 day later, "with my $2 trunk strapped to thfe top." TWO WEEKS after her arrival at San Carlos, Grace attended a dance and met the Indian trader's son who was to become her husband 4 years later. There are plenty of stones to be found near the desert town of Page, but no wood to burn in a fireplace. Living here in a fireplace-less government home, Grace has kept in practice for fireplace making by building a one and a half foot thick, three feet high, rock wall. Much of her time is spent in community service but she relaxes by drawing plans for the home the Rupkeys will build in the White Mountains when .the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam is completed. The house plans are varied, but one thing remains the same; there is a fireplace in practically every room! Interested In ALPINE 4-0662

Clipped from
  1. Arizona Republic,
  2. 02 Apr 1961, Sun,
  3. Page 123

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  • Willy WC & Grace Rupkey, Page Fireplace builder 4-2-61

    JESUSisGODisJESUS – 06 Sep 2013

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