The 2019 SPIRIT OF WAMEGO AWARD was awarded posthumously to Norman Hupe in recognition of his numerous contributions to the Wamego community and the long-lasting impacts of his actions.

When looking through Chamber and event pictures for the recipient of this year’s Spirit of Wamego award make sure you’re looking in the back row of group shots, and in the margins of the event photos.  That’s the most likely place you’ll find Norman Hupe.

Norman was the definition of servant leader.  Proud of his community and willing to take on any role needed, while never seeking recognition for his work or financial contributions.  But like the previous recipients of this award Charlie White, Rosemary Crilly, and Bill Ditto you cant write the story of this community without him.

Norman Hupe was a City Commissioner, and a two term Wamego Mayor.  Norman was a member of the Wamego Volunteer Fire Department, he served on the Zoning Board, he was committee chair for Troop 92 of the Boy Scouts.  He served as an Elder for the First Presbyterian Church.  He was a former Citizen of the Year.

From a Chamber of Commerce perspective Norman was a cornerstone of two of our largest annual events.  He was an essential member in the formative years of the Ag Night celebration and continued to contribute and volunteer to that event every year since.

And of course, Norman Hupe was a charter member of the Wamego Pyro Crew.  He was there from the first hand lit shells in the park to the spectacle now that brings 60k plus to our community.  That’s where I met Norman.  And that’s where he pushed me to the front of my first Pyro Crew photo so he could take his usual spot in the back row.

Norman was incredibly proud of his family, and rightfully so.  Perhaps the biggest contribution to Wamego was Norman and Jeanette creating a legacy of servant leadership in their own family that has continued to be modeled by their children and grandchildren.

Last February, the Hupe family suddenly lost Norman well before his time.  His loss was felt across the entire community.  The line at his visitation and attendance at his funeral was a testament to all those who’s lives were impacted by Norman, and how many of us were lucky enough to have met him and call him a friend.

Business owner, volunteer, philanthropist, servant, father, and friend.

Norman Hupe helped define Wamego Magic.  It is our privilege  to award the family of Norman Hupe the Spirit of Wamego Award.

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