Howard L. Cupp, Jr.


Howard L. Cupp Jr., age 82, of Clinton, Missouri passed away on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton, Missouri.
Howard Livingston Cupp, Jr. was born in San Diego, California on July 28, 1941 to Ettafern Mae (Cooper) and Howard Livingston Cupp, Sr. They moved to Robertsdale, Alabama to live near family when his father left the U.S. Navy. He was baptized in 1952 at First Christian Church in Robertsdale. In 1954 his father returned to serve in the Navy resulting in a move to Chula Vista, California where Howard was a member of the California Cadet Corps (ROTC) serving as Battalion Commander, overseeing several companies of young men prior to graduating from High School. He received a congressional recommendation to attend the Air Force Academy, however, he did not pass the required physical due to focusing his time on his studies.
The family relocated to Pensacola, Florida after his graduation in 1959 where he attended Pensacola Junior College and obtained his Associate of Arts in Chemistry. Howard went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Texas Christian University in 1963. Howard married Sharon Maurine Coil on August 29, 1963 in Fort Worth, TX. To this marriage Miriam Elise and Kathryn Marie were born.
Howard’s senior year of college he was required to take two religious study classes in order to graduate. It was while sitting in one of these classes that he realized the chemistry degree he would soon be earning would not be necessary in the work he was being called to do. After graduation he went on to receive his Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counselling in 1967 from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. He later completed the Master’s Program in Family Relations at Texas Christian University from 1973-1974.
Howard began his career in 1964 as a Student Pastor at First Christian Church in Troy and Rogers, Texas. From 1965-1966 he was the Student Pastor at First Christian Church in Whitesboro, Texas. He served as the Associate Pastor at Oakwoods Christian Church in Dallas, Texas from 1966-1968. He was ordained in 1967 at First Christian Church in Pensacola, Florida. He served as the Pastor at Park City Christian
Church in Wichita, Kansas from 1968-1970. From 1970-1976 he was the Pastor at Westmont Christian Church in Lubbock, Texas. He served as the Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Rogers, Arkansas from 1976-1982. He served from 1982-1988 as the Senior Minister at Crown Heights Christian Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On October 24, 1987 Howard was united in marriage with Mary (Farrell, Richardson). Together they combined their families to create a life of service, experiences, and love.
Howard retired from full time ministry after serving as the Senior Minister at The Christian Church of Clinton, Missouri from 1989-2007. He went on to serve as an interim minister after his retirement at West Side Christian Church in Topeka, Kansas, South Side Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri, and The First Christian Church of Butler, Missouri.
Howard gave and experienced many gifts through his acts of service to the church and the communities where he lived. He was a Christian Church, Disciples of Christ National Board Member, Regional Moderator, Mid-America Regional Council, Chairperson of Christian Education and Moderator of the Regional Assembly of Christian Churches in Arkansas, Secretary-Treasurer of the Conference of Regional Ministers and
Moderators of the Christian Churches serving all of North America, Presenter of “Bright Spots” on KDKD, President of the Greater Clinton Ministerial Alliance, Member of the Festival of Sharing Steering Committee, Pathways Board Member and President, Truman Lake Hospice Board Member, Sunrise Optimist Club Member, Clinton School District Foundation Member, Heartland Community Theatre Member, Life Flight Eagle Capital Campaign Steering Committee, Suicide Prevention Initiatives in Oklahoma City, OK, and Clinton, MO, a Member, Retired and Senior Volunteer Services Program Board Member, Volunteer for Golden Valley Memorial Health Care Volunteer Services, Olde Glory Days Volunteer and Sunrise Optimists Citizen of the Year.
Howard had a great appreciation of the arts. He grew up singing in church and school choirs and later sang in the Texas Christian University Concert Choir, once performing at Carnegie Hall. Many people that attended Christmas Eve Services led by him would say the evening was not complete without Howard singing “O’ Holy Night”. Howard enjoyed listening to classical music and attending concerts, musicals, and plays. Howard enjoyed traveling. He traveled internationally for the church and family vacations; going to England, Ireland, Scotland, USSR-Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In the later years of his life, he made wonderful memories traveling throughout the United States with his wife and friends, Ruth and Paul Few.
He additionally had a great love of trains from childhood memories of traveling with his mom and dad. He collected train memorabilia and books. He additionally traveled by train whenever he could domestically and internationally.
He is preceded in death by his daughters, Baby Cupp and Kathryn Barham, his mother and father, and brother-in-law, Richard VonSprecklesen. Howard is survived by his wife, Mary, children, Miriam (Richard) Bayless, David Barham (Son-n-law), John (Krystyn) Richardson, and Christina (Lee) Richardson-McQueen, his grandchildren, Joshua (Celeste) Bayless, Aaron Bayless, Rebekah Bayless, Adam Barham, Lennon Bramlett, Ella Bramlett, and Michael (Morgan) McQueen, and his brothers and sister Robert Cupp, Daniel (Lisa) Cupp, and Elaine VonSpreckelsen.
A Celebration of Life was held January 10, 2024 at the Clinton Christian Church with Pastor Tim Wessley and Rev. Dennis Rutledge officiating. Special music included “Petite Suite, Near My God to Thee (violinist, Rebekah Barham), For All the Saints, I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry and La Cathedrale Engloutie.” Peggy Arthur was the organist.
Services were under the direction of Vansant-Mills Funeral Home of Clinton, MO.