James Michael Cupello
August 22, 1946 - January 20, 2020
James Michael Cupello entered this world on Aug. 22, 1946, in Lebanon, Pa., and he passed on Jan. 20, 2020, in Sandy, Utah. Jim came to USAFA, like all his Cadet Squadron 24 mates, as an idealist with stars in his eyes. We all had much of that idealism knocked out of us soon after arriving at the Academy. By the end of that first Doolie summer, our starry eyes had become bloodshot from lack of sleep. However, Jim's altruism soon returned and remained with him through his Air Force career and long afterward.
Jim had an intense love of reading and learning. Over his lifetime, he showed us all that he enjoyed being a professional student as much as he enjoyed other things. He went on to earn a master's in environmental science and health physics from Rutgers University in 1969, a Ph.D. in radiation biophysics from the University of Kansas in 1974, an executive MBA from the School of Management and Strategic Studies in La Jolla, California, and an MBA in marketing with honors from the University of California-Riverside. In his spare time, Jim also studied quality control and became a six sigma master black belt.
Jim very much enjoyed being a father and grandfather. He is lovingly remembered by his entire family: six children, 13 grandchildren and two sisters.
James Michael Cupello was interred on January 27, 2020, at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery. We will all remember his calm demeanor, his positive outlook, and his boundless intellectual curiosity. (George Kramer, Class of 1968)
James Michael Cupello was born on August 22, 1946 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to Michael J. Cupello and Wilhelmina V. Fancovic. During his childhood, his family moved to Coleman, Michigan and it was here that James developed his great love of reading and learning.
Following high school, James was greatly honored to receive an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado from where he graduated in 1968. He went on to earn a Masters in Environmental Science and Health Physics from Rutgers University in 1969 and then a Ph.D. in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas in 1974. Over his lifetime, James showed us all that he enjoyed being a professional student as much as he enjoyed other things. He would go on to earn an Executive MBA from the School of Management and Strategic Studies in La Jolla, California, an MBA in Marketing with Honors from the University of California Riverside, as well as becoming a Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
James very much enjoyed being a new father and raising his young children. James felt blessed to be a father to Jacqueline, Michael, Tara, Kathryn (Chip) Kessler, Travis (Katherine) & Tanner Cupello.
As his children grew, James believed that the harder his kids had to work for something, the more they would appreciate their accomplishments. That philosophy propelled each of his children to find educational and professional accomplishment that he was proud of.
James was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was an active member. James was proud to be of Italian and Czech descent and enjoyed learning about his family history.
James passed from this world on January 20th and will be lovingly remembered by his six children, 13 grandchildren, sisters Diane (Harvey) Bushre and Carole (Lynn) Murray of North Bradley, Michigan.
An outdoor memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday January 23, 2020 at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Mausoleum, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, UT. Interment will follow on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 10:00 am at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO.