Michael Ruplinger graduated peacefully from his time here on earth on January 24th, 2022 while surrounded by his wife and children. Michael, known by everyone as Mike, was (and is) a man of great faith, intelligence and selfless service.
Mike was born in Los Angeles CA, on February 22nd 1939 to Paul and Millie Ruplinger and grew up in San Diego, California. Mike was raised in and lived his life as a strong and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a full time, 2 ½ year mission from 1959 to 1961 in the Northern Mexico Mission. After returning home from his mission, he attended San Diego City College where he met his future wife, Joan Watson – who just happen to be the May Queen (like a Home Coming Queen) for the Sorority and Fraternity she belonged to. As they progressed in their courtship, Joan learned that Mike was a “Mormon” and she was very interested in learning more about his Church. She was soon baptized and then they were married on November 22, 1963. They were later sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple (Utah) in November of 1965.
Mike and Joan soon moved from southern California to Provo, Utah where he attended Brigham Young University. He graduated with his degree in Manufacturing and Tooling Engineering in 1968. During that time frame, they had 2 children, Adam and Seana. After graduation, he worked various jobs that took their little family back to San Diego, then transferred to Denver, Colorado. He was soon hired by Caterpillar and moved to Peoria, IL where their 3rd child Kari was born. One month later after her birth, Caterpillar transferred Mike to be a service representative to the company in South America, and he moved his family to live in Bogotá, Colombia. He traveled all over central and south America. He could speak Spanish just like a native which has benefited him all his adult life. Mike and Joan loved their time there in Bogotá, where they got to know and develop many friendship with the people. They were deeply involved in helping grow the church and assisting the full time missionaries in that country.
Around 1975, the family moved back to the United States. Michael, then left Caterpillar to venture off on his own where he was self-employed for the rest of his career. He owned a demolition contracting business, gun manufacturing business (MK Arms), and construction where he has built many homes across Utah. They raised their family in Huntington Beach, CA – where he continued to work and serve the church in many different capacities. They later retired to Beaver Utah where they lived for many years.
Mike loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ immensely. He always went above and beyond the call with each calling he served in. But he always said, his favorite callings were the ones when he was doing missionary work. Many times, as children, when asking dad where he was going (he’d be dressed in a suit and leaving the house) he would say, “I am going out to fight the Devil…” Mike was a wonderful example of giving all he had to serve others. Often times he would be seen working on cars, either as his hobby or helping others who were having car troubles. He could fix anything, and was often called upon for help. We all considered him a mechanical genius! He was always teaching others, and seemed to know everything from engineering to politics to gospel topics. He especially loved his country and the freedoms we enjoy. Mike left behind a legacy of Faith in God and family and love of his Country. Those values were instilled in his children and we gladly pass on to the Grandchildren and to the Great Grandchildren.
Mike loved his family deeply; from his parents and siblings to his own family and to his grandchildren.
Mike will be greatly missed. He fought a long battle of Alzheimer’s but now he is released from that mortal body and is free. We have no doubt that he was met with love and enthusiasm by his loved ones already there, where we know he will continued to serve.
Mike leaves behind his wife: Joan Watson Ruplinger, Children: Adam Ruplinger, Seana Johnson (Hal), Kari Cox (Gary), 11 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. Proceeded in death: Paul and Millie Ruplinger (parents), his sister Katherine Michelson and brother-n-las, Stan & Rick; and many other loved ones.
Mike’s family would like to extend many thanks to the countless nurses and people who gave him full time care at Chancellor Gardens and Rocky Mountain Care and to Hospice Nurse Emily from Symbii – you all are invaluable!
- Survived By
- Joan Watson Ruplinger, Wife
- Adam Ruplinger, Son
- Seana Johnson (Hal), Daughter
- Kari Cox (Gary), Daughter
- Julia Best (Uwe), Granddaughter
- Kristina Ruplinger, Granddaughter
- Nikolas Ruplinger (Nina), Grandson
- Alex Ruplinger, Grandson
- Luke Johnson (Priscilla), Grandson
- Calvan Johnson (Caitlin), Grandson
- Mit Johnson (Allie), Grandson
- Garrett Johnson (Jenna), Grandson
- Lauryn Johnson, Granddaughter
- Kira Gradner (Isaac), Granddaughter
- Sunni Holmes (Brandon), Granddaughter
- Ann Colvin (Rick), Sister
- Peter Ruplinger (Mary), Brother
- Richard Ruplinger, Brother
- Preceded in Death By
- Paul Ruplinger, Father
- Millie Ruplinger, Mother
- Kathy Michelson (Stan), Sister
Life Story Info
Cause of Death
- Beaver, Utah
Religion and Beliefs
- MK Arms (self employed)
- MK Ruplinger Construction (self employed)
- Caterpillar Tractor
Bachelor'sBrigham Young University