Nov 21, 2014 - SEAN'S EULOGY BY GARNETT KINNEY [Sean Shupe]

Today we are here to celebrate a man's life and no man enjoyed a good celebration or represented life's vitality more than Sean Shupe. We have experienced a loss not just as individuals but as a community and should try to find solace as we gather here to rejoice in the life, stories and memories of a kind man and remember the impact he has made upon us as husband, father, son, brother, uncle, coach and friend.

Sean was a man rich with family. He was a husband and loving soul mate to his wife Bonnie as well as a source of pride and joy to son Paul. Sean is also survived by his mother Barbara Shupe, brother Artie, sister Dianne Macissac, sister in law and brother in law Wilma and Roger Broussard, mother in law and father in law Mona and Bill Christie, as well as a large extended family and group of friends. He was predeceased by his father Arthur and Sister Betty Murphy.

No words can truly express the loss that the passing of this gentle and jovial man brings but the fact is that his loss is felt by so many so deeply is a true testament to his character. I am honoured to have been called Sean's friend and to be trusted with delivering his families and friend's cherished thoughts.

At the ripe old age of 17 Sean met his soon to be blushing bride and best friend, Bonnie. Soon after they were blessed with their son Paul. Bonnie and Sean had the type of relationship that many covet, as their love is one that endured and strengthened over time. They will forever be sweethearts.

For those of you that have been in the Shupe garage you know that Sean believed in his family having the best of everything. Especially when it came to Paul and hockey. That boy has more dollars worth of hockey sticks that weren't quite right, than most teams spend in a year. What other Dad would have bought a skate sharpener to have so his son's skates would always be sharp. By the way Sean, I know you're listening and Mike says he'll get your that $3.00 for his last sharpening when he next sees you.

Sean was so proud of Paul. I remember looking down the bench during our year together and seeing him beaming whenever his boy was on the ice. He spent many years coaching and assisting with Paul's teams and looked forward to coaching the little kids once Paul had graduated from minor hockey.

I think of Sean as one of those people that we all hear about and love to hate. You know the ones that live life to the fullest and enjoy every second of it. The type of person that everyone can't help but like upon first meeting and unlike myself never makes a bad impression. Althought he certainly knew how to make a lasting one. Who could forget the night in Drumheller that Sean was coerced into putting on blond ringlet hair extensions with pink bows? If you find this hard to believe one of the hockey parents has pictures.

That same parent will also never forget the time she almost passed out in the Shupe bathroom after Sean made a joke. She started to laugh but ended up snorting coffee up her nose and choked. She ran to the washroom to clear the blockage and wait for the dizziness to pass. As she lie there all she could here was Sean's booming laughter.

Sean wasn't only good at making people laugh but was always ready himself with a quick smile or a hearty chuckle. It was very rare in my experiences with Sean for him to ever be in a bad mood unless of course he didn't agree with a particular call a referee had made during a game. It took him the whole year to get his penalty but when he finally did he as terribly proud of it. Apparently he hadn't watched Mike and I close enough.

I remember the night I introduced my wife to Sean about 5 years ago. I had just met him a few days earlier through hockey. He was his usual friendly self and offered to pour her one of his famous weak drinks. To make a long story short my wife came home late that night loudly proclaiming she really liked that Shupe guy and was he ever hilarious. She groggily got up late the next afternoon and told me not to let her play with Sean for a while.

My wife and I weren't the only ones taken with Sean. Once we had our son he looked forward to walking by the Shupe house. It was both funny and heart-warming to see Sean bent way down to our son's height to make faces and funny noises in an attempt to get him to laugh. I have heard many people here today talk and comment about how great Sean was with kids and how much their children will miss him.

Now although kids loved Sean he apparently wasn't always the best influence as his niece Barbie recalls. It seems that Sean was very dedicated when it came to helping her brother Mathew learn to talk. He diligently repeated a word over and over and over until Mathew got it. The result: Mathew could say "s@@# head really well and Sean howled with that hearty belly laugh of his.

Thinking of Sean is strikes me that if he wasn't playing with children he was playing with animals. Did I mention we have two dogs so you know we were never able to pass by the Shupes house without Sean coming out to get them worked up? For those of you who have been at Shupe's one thing is clear the animals run the house. For a big man Sean had a very soft heart when it came to his animals.

He also had a big heart and had recently added two more babies. One we all know as a slobbering puppy named Jake, who Sean doted on and the other a hog. His new Harley gave him the drive to be smoke free. I think because Bonnie said she'd take it away if he slipped.

Speaking of his bike, it wasn't long ago Sean was sharing his vision of their holidays. He was going to pack a bag and Bonnie on the back of the bike and head off to Toronto the see AC/DC. Bonnie thought that would be great: he could explore the open road....alone while she toured the sky in a plane. One of the few times they didn't agree.

Before Sean's Harley there was an old red 1976 Ford Fairmont. How when Sean left Nova Scotia he had planned to leave in his pride and joy. When Roger and Sean looked at it in preparation to leave they found a large rusted out hole in the car's trunk. Sean felt that he should patch the trunk since you could see the gas tank and he had a lot of stuff to bring with him. When he talked to Bonnie about the car and the trunk things changed quickly, as there was no way her stuff was going in "that car!" Before he left he picked up a nearly new Stellar and his gem was to be left and sold for a profitable sum by Bonnie. Well the sign went on and no one could see the value in his car so Bonnie ended up calling the local wreckers and pried $175 out of them for parts. Roger wishes that we all could have seen Sean's face when just two months later driving down a street in Calgary he came across his rusted out gem in a parking lot complete with Nova Scotia license plates. Apparently he rushed home to have his one and only I told you so conversation with Bonnie.

It seems from my rambling that Sean was all play and no work, but this is not the case I’m told by his co-workers. Sean's career as a surveyor saw him excel to become what his company's clients refer to as simply "the best surveyor they'd ever worked with." His colleagues admired Sean for his abilities to manage field surveying in an active and sensitive oilfield operations area. Sean's personality was directly responsible for the positive relationship with local landowners. As I have mentioned his easygoing demeanour and warm sense of humour made him a person who everyone looked forward to working with. Except perhaps when Sean quit smoking. Sources say that no matter how many mints, purchased in bulk, or how much gum was consumed during those first few "cold turkey" days Sean's friends and co-workers very briefly saw a different side of Sean. However, knowing him as we all do his bark was about as scary as Jake's.

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to spend time with Sean and most of all to have been considered a friend by him. Knowing the type of person Sean was, I have chosen not to morn the loss of him but rather celebrate the life he led. I like to think that is how he would have wanted it. Each of you will have your own special reminders, thoughts and stories regarding Sean. I invite you to not only reflect and draw strength from them but to share them with his family and each other. For if you do, laughter is bound to occur and Sean was a man who knew how to laugh and enjoy life. So I ask you to let your tears be one's of joy and derived from laughter; celebrate Sean's life as he lived it well. Sean you will be missed by your presence forever lives on in our hearts. Thank-you friend.



Last updated on: 2014-11-21 | Link to this post