Sammy Cupp "Sam", 64 of Rochester passed away June 21 suddenly. Beloved husband for 44 years of Betty Rae. Loving father of Anne Mackley and Amy (Scott) Dragoo. Dear grandfather of Olivia, Charles and Mitchell Mackley. Sam is also survived by his mother Lucille Gaffney (Bryant) Oxendine, brother Paul (Pam), sisters Bonnie Kapler, Judy (Gary) Wolfe and Mary (Scott) Adams. In-laws Signe (John) Jarvis and Cedric (Jean) Berggren, as well as many loving nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
Sam's career in automotive sales began in the mid-sixties, as a high school senior through a co-op employment opportunity developed by his business-marketing teacher. Cupp, a graduate of Warren High School, eventually became one of the owners of that dealership, Hamilton Chevrolet. His organization grew to more than 25 companies and over 2000 employees.
Influenced by his early opportunities, Sam realized how important motivation and education are to today's young people. In 1994, he created "Winning Futures", a comprehensive strategic planning & mentoring program designed to assist students in goal setting, achievement, and five-year planning. Winning Futures has provided over $1.6M in scholarships impacting over 22, 000 students. Sam's initial vision is now empowering teens in 38 states.
Sam's other passion was hockey. He began playing in his 50s. Sam was instrumental in the formation of the Michigan Sting Hockey Club. The organization has fielded teams for most major national tournaments. They achieved the unthinkable and unmatched sweep of Gold Medals (four Divisions 50 and 60 Recreational and Elite) of the National Senior Olympics in Providence, R.I. This significant achievement came on the heels of the second consecutive World Cup win in April of 2008. In 2009, the club won the prestigious USA National Hockey Championships in both the 50 and 60 divisions. That was followed by a repeat sweep of the Gold in October at the National Senior Olympics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The "Sting" was a heart passion for Sam that provided much fun and pleasure in watching it develop and continue to grow.
Among Sam's honors, he was recognized by then Vice President George Bush for his business achievements. He twice received Governor Engler's "Distinguished Community Service Award", as well as National Mentor of the Year and Macomb County Citizen of the Year Awards. Mr. Cupp was selected as Michigan's Retail "Entrepreneur of the Year" and was also
the recipient of a "Distinguished Service Citation" from the National Automotive Hall of Fame.
The family will welcome visitors Tuesday 4-8 p.m. and Wednesday 2-8 p.m. at A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road (between Maple and Big Beaver).
Funeral Service Thursday 11 AM at the Royal Park Hotel, 600 E. University, Rochester.
Read Sammy Cupp's Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.