The Reverend John Chalupa
+ 1915—2016 +
It is with a heavy heart that our Slovak Zion Synod announces the death of the Rev. John Chalupa who departed from this life in the Church-militant and returned to the Lord, joining all the faithful departed in the Church-triumphant. Pastor Chalupa passed away peacefully in the early evening of May 2nd, 2016, surrounded by family at his residence at Middlebrook Farms in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Pastor Chalupa was born August 24, 1915 in Lansford, Pennsylvania and was a son of our Lansford congregation, Saint John the Evangelist Lutheran Church. He was a graduate of Muhlenberg College, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1939. He graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1942 with the degree of Master of Divinity.
Pastor Chalupa was ordained by the Slovak Zion Synod on June 7, 1942 and served as Interim Pastor at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bronx, New York. In July of 1947, Pastor Chalupa accepted a Call to the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, in Bridgeport, Connecticut (now Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Trumbull, CT), where he was installed on November 9, 1947. That same year, he married Doris Irene Mealy (who predeceased him) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and celebrated the birth of three children in the coming years: Barbara Ann, Susan Jane, and Doris Ethel. He went on to become not just a grandfather of grandchildren, but a godfather to the spiritual ministries of our synod.
In 1972, Pastor Chalupa celebrated his 30th Anniversary of Ordination, as well as the 25th year of his ministry at Holy Trinity and his 25th Marriage Anniversary to Doris. He faithfully served Holy Trinity in Bridgeport for 35 years until his retirement in 1982. The following year, Holy Trinity issued a testimonial honoring him as Pastor Emeritus.
Since his ordination, the Rev. John Chalupa labored for 40 years as a Called pastor in the Lord’s Vineyard. Among his many distinctions in the Slovak Zion Synod, he served as Synod Statistician, Synod Archivist, and Dean of the Eastern Conference, as well as a mentor, colleague, and wise elder to others in the Synod. His love for Christ’s church will be measured by his avid involvement, prayerful support, and commitment to the gospel. Across the membership of the Slovak Zion Synod, he will be remembered as an exemplar of Christian stewardship and pride in the mission and ministries of our Synod, having generously given of himself, his time, and his finances to its ministries.
In May of 2013, the Slovak Zion Synod recognized Pastor Chalupa on the occasion of his 70th Anniversary of Ordination. When asked how he survived 70 years of highs and lows ministering among the people of God in Christ’s church, Pastor Chalupa cited his faith, and then noted: “I also smiled a lot.” Indeed, Pastor John Chalupa, best known for his inviting and welcoming personality, will be remembered for his faithful witness and the grace-filled joy he brought to all those who met him.
A Funeral Service was held on May 6, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (406 White Plains Road) in Trumbull, CT. Visitation was the previous evening, May 5, 2016 from 4-8 p.m. at the church.
Our Synod gives thanks for this faithful child of God and his witness among us these past 100 years. May our Lord comfort the Chalupa family and all who mourn with the resurrection promise which comes from Jesus Christ, the One who has destroyed death itself.
“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God. And no torment will ever touch them. . . and they are at peace. . . . And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1; Revelation 21:4).