Mr. Kupferer, who prized absurdity and rose reflexively to mock pretense and hypocrisy of all kinds, found much indeed to laugh about in his more than 30 years in the newspaper industry, and he shared his amusement liberally. He had a robust, infectious laugh that captivated everyone within its reach. He often said that he lived for the laugh. He reveled in exchanging smart, hilarious one-liners and commentary, especially with his two brothers and his colleagues on the news desk. He thrived on wordplay and banter, and he could take it as well as give it.
He was an inveterate reader and lover of arcane facts, and he did the New York Times crossword puzzle daily — in pen.
Mr. Kupferer was born Sept. 14, 1962, to Bruce and Anna Mae Kupferer. He spent his formative years in West Orange, New Jersey, and Millerton, New York, feeding a keen sense of curiosity and developing a passion for words and language. That passion led him to his career in journalism at four newspapers, starting with the Lakeville Journal in northwest Connecticut, followed by the Norwich Bulletin and Danbury News-Times, also in Connecticut, and finally the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for the past 25 years. He began as a reporter, but quickly found his métier on the copy desk, where he employed his considerable talent and knowledge to make mediocre stories good and good stories great. Mr. Kupferer was widely recognized by his colleagues as a peerless wordsmith whose editing approach was equal parts passion and precision.
Mr. Kupferer brought his quest for professional quality to other aspects of his life. He thoroughly enjoyed cooking and would tinker tirelessly to perfect the dishes he concocted, using only the best ingredients, and enthusiastically shared his recipes and cooking tips with friends. His spicy ‘Kupcakes’ (peanut butter and hot green chili sauce on rice cakes) were a hit with his copy desk compatriots.
He loved classical music and Prince, and he was a car guy who did a lot of his own repairs. He had a special affinity for a 1960s-era pale yellow Volvo he acquired as a young man that he dubbed The Egg. He once traveled cross-country in that car, sending back missives from “The Road Worrier.” He also reveled in classic comedies including “The Producers,” and he was a huge fan of Lenny Bruce’s work, which he could quote from at length.
Mr. Kupferer also loved his dogs, among them Ursa, Bella and Samantha, whose sweet demeanors reflected the love and care he showered on them. He had a gruff exterior that covered an equally gruff interior, but he was an extraordinarily warm and kind man nevertheless. For a number of years, he made it a tradition to take out several hundred dollars during Christmastime and hand out twenties to street people downtown.
Chris never married but he had many profound and fulfilling relationships over the course of his life. His friends and family carry heavy hearts alongside indelible memories of his outsize personality — his rich and deeply felt laugh, his scathing asides, his powerful warmth and generosity of spirit.
Mr. Kupferer is survived by his mother, Anna Mae, of Millerton, N.Y.; brothers, Keith and Kurt, their wives, Tara and Jolanta; niece, Katherine and dear friends too numerous to list. He was predeceased by his father, Bruce, and his uncle, Albert.
Calling hours will take place on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at 37 Park Avenue, Millerton, NY 12546. A Mass of Christian Burial will held on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 11 am at St. Martin of Tours Parish, St. Mary’s Church, 76 Sharon Road, Lakeville, CT. Reverend M. David Dawson will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery; Cobble Road, Salisbury, CT. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.