The Thief River Falls Education Foundation has announced the establishment of the Robert Kauppila Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate who is enrolled in a community, technical or trade school.
Robert (Bob) G. Kauppila was born in Thief River Falls. He attended Northrop and Knox Elementary Schools and Lincoln High School graduating in 1967. He went on to attend Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis. He started his working career in carpentry and construction before beginning his military service in the U.S.Army in 1969. He served in Vietnam from August of 1969 to September of 1970. Bob was very proud of his service to his country. He received many military honors such as the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) as well as other medals.
After being discharged he spent most of his working career in Wyoming doing construction. He had a love of carpentry and took joy in helping others with their many projects. He loved the outdoors and spent much of his free time hunting and fishing.
Bob enjoyed playing and watching all kinds of sports. Bob started playing hockey on the outdoor rinks in Thief River Falls and played and coached hockey in Wyoming while living there.
He returned to Minnesota and continued working construction. He was active in veterans’ affairs and was past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW Post 2793) in Thief River Falls.
In 2013 Bob was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) attributed to his military service in Vietnam. He fought a courageous battle against this fatal disease and passed away in August of 2013.
Bob’s family has set up this scholarship in his memory to help Lincoln High School students wanting to continue their education.