William J. Kupinse, Jr. (“Bill”), former Easton First Selectman, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed on April 7th at his home in Easton, supported by the company and care of his family.
Bill was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and grew up in West Haven. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Dartmouth College and an LLB at Cornell University Law School, where he served as an editor of the Cornell Law Review. Bill was hired as an associate at Goldstein and Peck, P.C. in 1964, beginning a law career that would span more than half a century at the law firm where he was for many years managing partner. Bill said he would never retire and kept that promise.
The same year that Bill began his legal career, he married the love of his life, Patricia McGrew of Milford. Foremost among the couple’s shared interests was the town of Easton, which they made their home in 1977. Bill served as Easton’s First Selectman from 1997–2007, campaigning door-to-door for each of his five election campaigns.
When not working at his law practice or for the town, Bill could often be found outdoors. His love for the natural world extended back to his youth. In West Haven, he had been a Boy Scout and played ice hockey, and he spent summers visiting family in rural Alabama. As a father and then a grandfather, Bill took his family on countless camping, hiking, skiing and canoeing trips.
Consistent with his love of nature and his town, Bill devoted his energies as Easton’s First Selectman and board member of the Aspetuck Land Trust to protecting open spaces in Fairfield County and to preserving the unique rural character of Easton. He served on the board of Citizens for Easton and was active in the Exchange Club and other town committees. Bill was devoted to his family, and he loved to have fun. He made time to coach soccer, plan birthday parties and take family trips to museums and amusement parks.
Bill was skilled at many tasks and could fix most anything. He enjoyed working outside and tending to his vegetable garden. He was in the process of building a log playhouse for his grandchildren in the woods by his house.
Bill was honest, kind, patient, hard-working, funny and generous. His commitment to fair treatment for all living beings led him to cultivate a deep sense of humility. He studied the Bible and taught Sunday School for decades at Stratford Baptist Church. He was always attentive to others’ perspectives and open to changing his own. Bill was a trusted source of knowledge for anyone who had a problem or a question.
Most of all, Bill was a man of dignity and an example to all.
In addition to his loving wife, Patricia, Bill is predeceased by his parents, Mary Ellen Sandlin Kupinse and William J. Kupinse, Sr.. Bill is survived by his three children, William (Tiffany), Andrew (Karen), and Jennifer (Yuki), and by five grandchildren who affectionately call him Zee Zee.
An outdoor gathering will be held in Easton this Saturday, April 10th, from noon to 5 p.m. with visiting times staggered to allow for social distancing. In order to maintain the safety of all, please RSVP via email to RSVPWJK@gmail.com; you will receive a prompt reply with details about the location and the time that the family can receive your visit. A memorial service is planned for the following weekend, with details to be announced shortly.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Aspetuck Land Trust. https://aspetucklandtrust.networkforgood.com/projects/34575-membership-donation-page