Harold Dupper: The Lord leads an Army medic in support of mission

Dr. Harold Dupper ’50 has spent his whole life following where his Lord and Savior has led him, and has made sure he will continue to support God’s mission even after he passes away.

Dr. Dupper was raised by hardworking German farmers in a small town North of Denver, Colo. Harold enjoyed going to school, however his father believed that school work belonged in the schoolhouse and when he was at home he was supposed to work. When Harold turned 14 his father decided he had gone to school long enough and kept him home to help work on the farm for the next six years. The only days Harold got to relax were the Sabbath and a couple of days in the summer when he would go to the state fair.

When Harold turned 18 and became eligible for the draft his father thought it would be a good idea for Harold to spend some time on the campus of Union College in the Medical Cadet Corp. Even though in 1943 the Axis powers were on their heels and being pushed back by the Allied Forces it was still a very real possibility that Harold would be drafted and his dad wanted him to be prepared. This proved to be excellent planning because Harold was drafted in 1945 and spent the next two years serving as a medic in the U.S. Army. While serving in the Army Harold started his medical training, and realized he enjoyed the work.

Not long after receiving his honorable discharge from the Army Harold met and fell in love with his future wife, Velma Lorenz ’49, who was studying to become a nurse at Union College. Velma convinced Harold to go back to school so off he went to Campion Academy and earned his G.E.D in less than two years. With his G.I. bill paying for college Harold moved on to Union College where he wanted to prepare himself for medical school. However, attending college was not easy. Harold did not consider himself an intellectual giant and one professor even tried to convince him that he wasn’t smart enough to become a doctor. “The Lord was with me though,” said Harold and he took his strong work ethic that he learned on the farm and applied it to his studies. Harold graduated from Union College in three years at the age of 25, and then went to the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University) where he graduated eleventh out of 90 students.

While attending Union College Harold received help from his teachers and his fellow students which assisted him in doing well. He especially liked Professor Jorgensen, even though he was supposed to be a really tough teacher. After completing their medical training Harold and his new bride Velma felt the Lord’s leading to become medical missionaries so they accepted a call to go to Burma. “We wanted to be in God’s work, using the abilities He gave us to serve Him,” Harold said.

After serving as medical missionaries Harold and Velma moved back to Colorado and opened a family medical practice in Ft. Collins. He continued to use his medical skills to serve God and his fellow man but he wasn’t satisfied with that, Harold also wanted to be a good steward of the financial resources he had been blessed with. As a result Harold set up a trust with the Colorado conference earmarking a portion of his estate to go to the church after he passed away.

Harold stayed in contact with Union College as well and when he was approached by the Advancement staff to help with the current capital campaign to build a new Science and Mathematics Complex he enthusiastically gave his support to help with the building costs. He gave a modest gift and he wanted to do more, but there was a problem. If he gave another outright gift Harold could not be certain he could afford to keep up with the rising cost of living throughout his retirement years. What was he going to do?

After speaking with the staff in the Union College Advancement office it was apparent to Harold that a charitable gift annuity would make the most sense for him. This allowed Harold to make a gift that would go to the college upon his death and provide a guaranteed income stream to him for the rest of his life. “I like the payout rate and that the income is mostly tax free,” said Harold. He set up the unrestricted annuity so that when he dies the money will go to whatever is the greatest need for the college at that time. “I think what Union College is doing is really good,” said Harold, so he continues to support the mission of the College, which is to provide a student-focused community that empowers students for learning, service and leadership through faith in Jesus Christ. Harold likes what the charitable gift annuity has done for him so much that he has set up  five additional annuities at Union, for a total of six, all of them unrestricted and will go to whatever is needed the most upon his death.

Harold praises God for the lifetime of service in the medical field that started so many years ago as an Army medic, and looks forward to the day when he will hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He takes comfort in the fact that after he dies the resources God has blessed him with will help carry out the mission at his church and at Union College.

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