Michael Shupe

Obituary of Michael A. Shupe

Dr. Michael A. Shupe passed peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona after a swift decline with frontotemporal dementia. He is survived by his wife Jeanne Shupe; children Reed Shupe, Kaitlin Bergfield (Justin Bergfield), and Kelsey Stemm (Nik Stemm); and grandchildren Olivia Bergfield, Kai Bergfield, and Griffin Stemm.

Mike Shupe was born October 19, 1946 in Santa Monica, California to Eldon and Betty Shupe, and had a younger brother, Larry. His father’s career in the military and teaching English as a second language led Mike and his family to a number of homes throughout the world during his childhood, including Michigan, Germany, Sicily, Switzerland, Turkey, and Morocco, all of which he remembered with great fondness. A man with a longstanding passion in science and technology, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and went on to earn his doctorate in Physics at Tufts University in 1976. He had his son Reed with first wife Connie in 1970. He first became a professor at the University of Minnesota, where he met his wife Jeanne and had two daughters, Kaitlin and Kelsey, before moving to the University of Arizona in 1989. He deeply enjoyed his time as a professor of Physics at the U of A and was a proud member of the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland (a smashing success!).

Mike is remembered as a kind, funny, witty gentleman. He was a professional punster, and delighted in winning laughs and amused groans from any audience. His father gave him a love of poetry and language which he shared with his family, and he was conversant in French, German, Italian, and English. A consummate tinkerer, he built cars, ran model trains, and shot rockets with his son, and along with his wife designed elaborate play structures that enthralled his daughters. He had an artistic eye, dabbling in oil painting, sketching, and guitar. He loved Arizona sunsets, and enjoyed hiking Blackett’s Ride and Seven Falls with his children and friends. In later life, he was a master puzzler of both the crossword and jigsaw type. Mike was a loving, devoted husband and father, and doted on all of his grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.

Services will be private. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to Habitat for Humanity or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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